Nine Years

So, it’s been nine years since the robbery that sent me on a downward spiral of PTSD and everything that goes with it. Some times I can’t believe it’s been that long. It feels like it was maybe a few months ago. Other times it feels like a lifetime ago. I forget things like people’s names I knew back then. Either way, so much has changed.

I’ve been told that I’m making progress. Frankly, I don’t see or feel it. I guess that’s part of the PTSD and depression that make me feel that way. I can only see the old me and know how different I am now. Sure, there are times that I may appear to be ok, but the truth is…I only let people see me during the good times. There are plenty of other times that I don’t want you to see.

I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I feel like I’ve let my family down because I am not able to work. And I’ve tried. I’ve gotten a couple jobs in the last few years. One job I didn’t even make it to orientation. The next job I did ok with while I was alone doing the training modules on the computer, but once I had to join everyone else I just couldn’t do it. The anxiety I feel is dabilitating. Of course, I saw myself as a major failure. My family was struggling and I did nothing to help.

Kind of a strange and scary thing has begun to occur with more frequency… I will be out of the house and I’ll completely forget where I’m going. And even have no idea where I am. Recently I was driving down a road I’ve been driving down for 26 years, and I lost where I was. Nothing looked familiar. Sheer panic raced through my mind and body. Thankfully it didn’t last too long and eventually I came up to an intersection that looked familiar.

I look at situations like the one described above and I start to worry/ wonder about the long-term affects of PTSD and the meds I’m taking. It scares me. I can’t find anything that shows test results or research done with any conclusive information.

When I think about 9 years of PTSD I think two things. First, I think about people I know who have struggled with it for many more years than I have. They are surviving, just like I will do. I also think about how my life is now with the “new me”. I still don’t know exactly how to be this new me. I’m still figuring it out. I keep trying to do things the old me would/could do. I get frustrated quite a bit when things don’t work out…things like when I tried going back to college, when I tried to work at those jobs, and when I try to do things like going to a crowded store or to church or a family gathering without taking my anxiety meds.

So, 9 years… I don’t know what to think or feel about it. I’m happy I’m alive and I’ve had these last 9 years to be with my family. I still mourn the loss of the old me. He wasn’t by any means perfect, but I had 33 years as that me. I had finally figured a few things out. Now the learning has started over again. I’m trying to do the best I can with the me I’ve got. So, please be patient.

I’d like to thank anyone who actually read all the way through my rambling. Your support means so much to me! Thank you and God bless you!

-mark

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