I submitted this story to “The Mighty” but it wasn’t published. So I’ll share it with you 🙂
I have been suffering from anxiety, OCD, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and most recently diagnosed with PTSD.
I enjoy writing about my emotions with pen and paper, there is something about the way paper smells in a new journal that helps me feel at home.
My husband was in a head on collision over a year ago this past June, and I was 3 months pregnant. We had tried and tried for 6 years to get pregnant. I guess my mind just went into that fight or flight mode and I knew I had to be strong for him and our unborn baby.
It wasn’t until a few months after I had our daughter that I was diagnosed with PTSD which includes anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, and depression.
When I heard the psychiatrist tell me I was experiencing PTSD I was shocked. I wasn’t at scene of the accident (although I did see photos of his truck – in 2 pieces). I didn’t think I deserved that diagnosis. I was not a war veteran, a paramedic, or a first responder.
It was, and still is, hard for me to tell people that I do suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have nightmares of the collision, of losing our unborn child, of losing my husband. Because of this, I tend to not sleep much.
Something that I find helpful is to journal. The way I have come to cope with my illness is to journal in third person. Instead of “I feel…” I will say “She feels…”. I think this is my own way of accepting my diagnosis and working through it.
I have okay days, and I have terrible ones. I try to focus on something positive in every day. There is always something to be grateful for, and every time I look at my daughter I smile, sometimes cry, because we are making it.
Everyone accepts their diagnosis and illness in a different way. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way, as long as you are working through it. Of course we will all have some setbacks but we will also have breakthroughs.
I still feel ashamed or not worthy of having my diagnosis of PTSD, I’m working on it. Everyday. And that is all any of us can do.
Keep going. Even tiny bits of progress is still progress. Please know that you are not alone in your journey through your illness. You must focus on how far you have come, not how far you have to go. Focus on those days you don’t want to get out of bed, but you do! That is progress.