Yes, karebear, I am looking into a service dog for help cope with PTSD. Dealing with Diabetes is easy, dealing with memories is not.
Progress is being made: PTSD is not the large black sharp metal claws with blood dripping off of them from a huge black raven that has a hold of me and will never let go. Now, its this Mad Magazine looking punk with a white and red striped shirt, blue pants, white knee high socks, wearing black strapped shoes - he mocks me, talks trash to me, and taunts me. I'm visual, that is how what it looks like in my head - its also how I write.
Am I mad about it? Heck yeah. Am I going to let go of being mad? Heck no. For years I've played nice with PTSD. Never said anything to anyone - especially family and friends. I did what I was told to do, in spite of any signs of progress - it was in fact getting worse. I thought happy thoughts, said the right things to the right people - in short becoming a professional liar to everyone, including myself.
How was I rewarded by playing by the rules? Sleepless nights terrified to sleep because of dreams and flashbacks. I almost lost my wife and kids because I could not talk to them about it - driving away anyone who truly cared for me. Loss of sexual desire and other things because of medications. Loss of my self worth and self confidence because of failure after failure. Being driven by fear, further and further away from where I needed to be and who I needed to be.
I had started to believe the trash I was selling myself, even going as far starting to take advantage of the whole situation for personal gain. Diabetes was some thing to hide behind, the perfect card to play when pressed about anything I didn't want to talk about - mainly PTSD.
It took a very bad episode which lasted over two hours to wake me up and start me moving in the right direction. The new changes I've made have had a very positive impact. The number of anxiety attacks and flashbacks are down, and they re both down in intensity as well. For the first time, it finally looks like the big ugly monster can be beaten. I just might be able to have a real life again.
I know its not over. I know I'll have bad days. I also know this is the closest to being me I've been in a long time. Being off of all my medications for Diabetes is good, being totally med free is the goal now. Time will tell if I get there.
I'm not sure what would happen if I would meet some folks I count as dear friends here face to face. I don't know if I would break out in a cold wet and stammer, stutter, and shake if I tried to talk to them about my memories. I do know I could meet them - which is huge for me.
I did promise to some people an explanation about what it going on. For the emails, well wishes, prayers, and encouragement, I am thankful. I also would like to thank the people who are concerned - its nice to know some one cares enough to say some thing not easy to say.