Living with a post traumatic stress injury sucks. Living with addiction and depression sucks. Let me highlight some reasons why.
- I often can’t remember who you are. I know that it’s common to forget a name when we meet an individual again, but I literally forget that I have ever even met you at all! This doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s common enough that I avoid large gatherings for fear that the person whom I’m talking to is expecting that I remember them. I try so hard to practice name association, but that memory technique is completely useless when I can’t remember that we’ve ever met. It’s an embarrassing fact about my life now.
- I rarely leave my house. I’ve become somewhat of a hermit. I try to get out and enjoy the nice weather, but there is not a single bone in my body that wants to do so. Noises like motorcycles, loud mufflers, chainsaws and busses put me into full anxiety mode. I try to plug my ears fast enough, but it’s usually too late. When the noise comes at me all I want to do is sit in my room with my fan on which provides enough white noise to block out the world and to have a window open from time to time.
- I can be very apathetic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a caring person; buried deep down is my desire to help people all the time – which makes sense as I have been a paramedic for fourteen years. But allowing strong emotions such as love to bubble to the surface as much as I allowed it to before, is very scary to me. My ability to logically match an appropriate reaction to an emotion has changed, often causing me to worry and over reacted to something quite minor. So I avoid feeling all together. My kids are a different story, I love them so much I could explode, but as for any intimate relationship in the future I am doubtful any will last, so I imagine myself living alone on a mountain, and somehow I’m completely ok with that.
- I constantly fear that you don’t believe me. There is a liar in my head that tells me that anyone who has not experienced PTSD, depression or addiction doesn’t believe me. It tells me that people are just nice to my face, but that behind closed doors they roll their eyes and laugh at me. I suppose that’s why almost ALL of my friends have changed to one’s who ‘get it’, and that’s ok. I know that for the most part that people support me, but the liar convinces me from time to time that even my closest friends and family think I’m putting on somewhat of an act. That I could just pull up my sox and stop being so glum and useless. It’s funny how I think that people think that I want to be sad.
- I forget really important things. Not only do I forget that I’ve met you, I forget things that are super important. Doctors appointments, to pick people up…heck I even forget what I’ve forgot! Eff!
The struggle is REAL.