We are no less wounded.

I cannot believe how many hits I have received on my blog. It’s only been going 3 months and I’ve received over 10000 hits. It has been read by 52 different countries and I have been blessed to have reached others who are also fighting demons. It warms me tremendously to receive an email, Facebook chat or a response direct to my blog. This was the very reason I set up the blog. A place where those trying to live with a mental illness can reach each other, open up maybe for the first time to someone who understands. Someone who isn’t going to judge, patronise or ostricise them.

Who else can understand when you can’t be bothered to do the necessary things like look after yourself?! By now you will be aware of how honest I am so lets do some more sharing. One of the more noticeable symptoms has been lethergy and lack of interest. My ‘personal admin’ has sufferred somewhat, to the point where it’s taken me weeks to cut my toenails despite the fact they have been digging into the toes next to them! I also hadn’t shaved for sometime and it’s only when my mum spotted the hair under my arm trying to escape out of my t-shirt sleeve that I actually forced myself to do it (4 days later)!! I think the hair under my arms was longer than whats on my head which is what I need to grow!! I’m definitely not into this fad of growing and dying underarm hair though; just think of those jobs you really don’t like doing that you put off for as long as you can, that’s where I’m at with everything including personal management. Don’t worry I don’t look like a yetti just yet!! To be fair, with the amount of hair that was on my legs I could have passed as a fella except I’m a little more gifted in the boobie department than most men I know!

Most days I have virtually no energy but if I want to keep going I have to get up and get on with things. I am so pleased I did today because I had a wonderful afternoon with a great friend. We walked along the sea front on a beautiful sunny day. I needed the toilet so we walked to a cafe. I opened the door and BAM!!!!! The noise just hit me square in the face. Then I noticed the place was packed solid. I couldn’t see beyond the people to see if there was a toilet in the cafe. I instantly felt smothered and couldn’t face going in there regardless of how much I needed the toilet. I probably would have wet myself rather than try to fight my way through there. I could hear very single noise, bustling of people talking, kids running around bumping into chairs, cash being jingled in pockets, til register opening and banging shut…..I just had to turn around and walk away with the door banging behind me….

I find it really difficult to accept this is my life from now on. I have made friends with a couple of physically wounded heroes and they ‘appear’ to be getting on with their lives, running a bar etc, married with children, running marathons etc. I am so very pleased for them for sure that they are adapting and getting on with life but it also saddens me. I am struggling to leave the front door most days, I find it difficult to form new relationships following my ex leaving me and it takes me all my time to run a bath never mind a marathon. People returning from war zones with PTSD are no less wounded yet we remain an enigma…..


About mitsanuk

I left the RAF in 2015 following 20 years as a frontline paramedic. It has been an amazing career but then found myself suffering because of this. My blog exists as an outlet for me as well as a place for others to read and try to understand the mind of someone with PTSD. Please feel free to make comment on any post and lets raise some discussions on how we can help to end the stigma which surrounds mental illness. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please follow and share in the hope my experience will help others.
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2 Responses to We are no less wounded.

  1. K says:

    Hi Michelle

    My friend Mel passed your blog on to me as she said your words just summed me up too & as I vaguely remember you from DARTS, I thought I’d drop you a quick line. What can I say, but I know each and every thing you’re going through…..and I’m in tears as I write, as that entry above could’ve been all about me.

    I too served on MERT as a Paramedic when it first started in 2006 and did numerous tours out there & thereafter and although I’ve been med discharged for 3 years now, I only got correctly diagnosed with complex PTSD after a (failed obviously, although I took enough to sink a couple of people…..damn my body’s resistance to the stuff!) huge overdose of prescription opiates in 2012 once in civvi street, which forced me to seek help…and after several months as a resident at H4H Tedworth house (an amazing supportive place) & what it was worth, a 6wk one-to-one residential course at Comabt Stress – which in their words “Didn’t even scratch the surface” of my traumas (I sadly cannot recommend them atall, but this is my own personal view. Once you get this 6 week course, you are dropped off the books for life and sent back into the nhs to sort you out. I had no follow up, no contact to see how I was post treatment, nada! And these people are supposed to be the Specialists in this field! It’s disgusting that this is how we are treated – Thank god for other charities and the very decent specialized NHS MH services out there, but it is what it is). I’ve had years of EMDR and I can say things have eased off a little, but Ive come to acknowledge that this is now who I am. I am a completely different person from many a year ago and one Im slowly trying to accept.

    My traumas appear to be spanning from the twenty years of service and the traumatic events that arise whilst my EMDR sessions just confirm it. It ranges from ’91 Onwards – Afghan, Iraq, Sierra Leonne, Germany and even the UK – Each trauma memory scaring the hell out of me as its ‘plucked’ from my brain. When the memory just ‘pops up’ out of nowhere, I’m just totally shattered and emotionally destroyed each and every time. When someone says to me, what exactly makes you so scared & sad….I’ve no idea, as I just can’t even read my own mind anymore. It’s just a constant video playing in the back of my head. I can’t hear anything or see what’s playing……but the result is that my body reacts in a constant pattern and that pattern is what makes me or has even ‘made me’ who I am now. Reclusive, socially withdrawn and yet I can still manage to put on a confident external facade for anyone who comes in contact with me, to the extent that externally I appear almost ‘normal’ (although what the heck normal is, I’ve no idea anymore!) I can’t do this for long as it’s soo draining, but enough to get me through life as it is. The benefits of being a truly stubborn, Independant & determined git! Needs be really. Sad huh?

    I too spend days/weeks not seeing/speaking to anyone and just ‘numbing off’ to the world in an attempt to distract myself, although I know it’s soo much better to have companionship for your MH (Mental Health) and Mental wellbeing – Sometimes it’s just soo much hard work even just stepping out of the house, that it’s just easier not doing so. Then you don’t have to explain why you’re suddenly bursting into tears in the middle of a shopping store or the middle of a street! I can laugh at it now and just ‘go with it’ as that’s normal for me, but before I just wanted to just die there & then – How can I explain how I’m feeling to anyone else, when I d t even know my own mind anymore. However, I’ve now got an assistance dog who ensures I get out & about with support (a Canine Partner; after my several spinal surgeries and years of rehab, I’m left with nerve damage in my left leg/foot and chronic pain – Failed Back Surgery Syndrome they call it. A spinal Cord Stimulator for the pain – So my mobility isn’t great, but as anything you just get on with life and make the best of a shitty situation) whom is literally saving my life as we build our bond. Sounds dramatic I know, but so true. I live alone and apart from some very very resilient friends, who enforce themselves onto me, knowing that although I need my space, I also need to engage in life. So yes, life is slowly building back up…..but it’s a long and tough road. This dog gives me the unconditional love and companionship I so dearly need and miss from being close to another person.

    I had all the symptoms whilst serving and yet no one acknowledged them or even saw them in me – plausibly just putting me down as a miserable, unsociable, distracted, emotional person. I had 6 months of EMDR treatment in service prior to discharge & yet they still failed to acknowledge that the traumas that were slowly destroying me right in front of their eyes were just an ‘Adjustment Disorder’ and kicked me out with such a diagnosis!!! Leaving me to think that I was officially just a weak and pathetic person. Quite the opposite actually, but when someone ‘labels you’ you kind of go with it, although deep down I knew the traumas were the true cause, I was in such a terribly dark and crappy place, who the hell was I to argue the diagnosis! It took me to believing I was getting premature dementure because my memory was soo bad (& God did that scare me witless I can tell you!!), Literally locking myself into my house for over a 6week period because the flashbacks/triggers were just too much and attempting to end it all, for ME to reach out to anyone who would listen. Thankfully Help for Heroes were there for me & the only ones to boot………if they hadn’t been, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this now.

    I do hope that you stay well. I’ve probably blubbered on about everything and nothing, but I wanted to tell you that you are not alone. I hope that slowly things will begin to dampen down a little for you. This thing won’t ever go away Michelle, but it will get easier to live with. Trust me. I know that it feels very lonely in this world and sometimes you just wish it would all just stop…….but just keep hanging in there and hang onto the hope that life will get better for you. I promise you it will.

    Stay safe my dear and don’t ever give up

    K : )


    • mitsanuk says:

      Hi K,

      Thank you so much for contacting me and I think I can place who you are from DARTS many moons ago.
      Its a hard road to be on but its encouraging to know we can support each other by talking. Im too stubborn to let this beat me and I hope, as you are now doing, others find the inner strength to keep fighting these demons.
      For aome reason society identifies with the physically wounded yet turns their head away when faced with another reality of war – the hidden injuries, lying deep inside, tormenting its host to the point of giving up. I wont let it beat me & neither should you.

      Keep fighting hun and keep in touch xx


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