I’m just over 12 mths on from where I could hardly leave the house without panic attacks. Every journey had to be planned to the finest detail and all places checked for exits etc. The last 3.5 years since the PTSD diagnosis I’ve spoken quite openly about how it’s affected my life. About how I was so deep in mental trauma that I wanted it all to stop and the only way I could see it stopping was to kill myself. About how a letter from SSAFA dropped onto my doormat saying they were about to cross me off their books actually was a turning point. About how the offer of help from The Speakmans actually gave me back my life, enabling me to go out of the door which had kept me virtually prisoner, or slave to severe planning, before going out. There are things I can never unsee but there is hope that you can live, instead of merely existing.
Some people don’t really understand mental illness and I received comments such as “you can’t be that bad if you were going out doing talks”, or that “you don’t look ill”, or “well how come you could do that yesterday but not today”….. These where comments made to me as well as “you will be ok after some time off”, “it’s just stress” or “it can’t be that bad”.
Those comments were made out of ignorance or denial of PTSD and it’s affects on the human brain and physically to the rest of the body. It has lost me friends who stopped asking me to go out, lost me my house and fiance who told me I was “f****d up in the head”, it resulted in one or two saying I can’t have been that bad, and believe it or not it resulted in some people using my illness for their own gain. Yes, sadly that was true but I recognised that so it’s ok. That’s not my problem to worry about its theirs.
That’s why I have been sharing my story. Noone can totally understand what you’ve been through in life, PTSD is a diagnosis like any other medical diagnosis. And like any other diagnosis each persons experience is different. There are always signs and symptoms with any illness but they differ in severity dependant on person, situation or time. By sharing my raw details I am able to shed a little bit of light on what is going on for someone else. If a person reading my blog absorbs just one sentence that can be a light bulb as to how they are feeling then it’s served it’s purpose. It doesn’t matter about the doubters, the user’s, those who may be jealous of your life or those who are ignorent to your illness. Through all of that, and it’s sadly a part of everyone’s life at some point, as long as your pure of heart then those people don’t deserve to impact on your daily life and deserve none of your time, thoughts or energy. Remember that through your darkness someone else can see light. Do not change that for anyone and most of all DO NOT CHANGE.