They say the key to happiness is to find someone who’s crazy fits with your crazy. If you can find that person then you have found The One. The one you can take on the world with, the one that you can conquer anything with… And this certainly includes PTSD.
One of the main reasons I started this blog was to reach out to others. I wanted to open the door to PTSD and prove to others that they are not alone; even though it may feel as though you are. I wanted to reach out to those who may not have someone to talk to; they may not have their own support network, their own ‘partner in crime’. Although I am fortunate to currently be with the love of my life; I know all too well what it’s like to be alone; to actually be ALL alone. I have been on both ends of the scale and I certainly have an incredible amount of both sympathy and empathy for those that have no one to talk to. It’s enough to break your heart.
As mentioned before, isolation is a common behavior for those suffering from PTSD. Not to mention you are likely not the most pleasant person to be around, at least not like you used to be. So whether you are alone simply because of circumstances beyond your control, or you have pushed everyone away, get some help. Having people around you that know you will significantly improve your odds of making it out the other side.
You see I am beyond lucky in this area. I’m fortunate to now be sharing my life with my soul mate. Her name is Jackie, and she is a spunky little 9-1-1 Fire Dispatcher who can certainly hold her own in any situation. She was indeed instrumental in getting me the help I needed. When things started to get bad, it was Jackie that jumped in when I needed her the most. She began making the calls that I could not make. She found out the steps that I needed to follow and what I needed to do. She did the things for me that I couldn’t do for myself. She got shit done.
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No joke, this 5’1” little dispatcher is not to be messed with nor taken for a ride. I’m pretty sure she actually gets bigger when she is angry. She has a focus and tenacity second to none and an unparalleled loyalty to her loves ones. In addition to being an emergency dispatcher, she was also a single mother which only added to her grit and credibility. The point is, we were a perfect fit. Her crazy matched my crazy. And when I would start to speed off the tracks; she would reel me in. She knew me enough to know the difference between when I was being ‘me’ vs when the PTSD was taking over.
Jax would call me on my bullshit when others were afraid to talk to me. She would tell me things I didn’t always want to hear, but needed to. She knew when to handle with care and when to push. She ran blocker between the kids and me on bad days, and nurtured our family time on good ones. She walked that fine line of tolerance with my PTSD while not putting up with any shit.
You need to have a strong support team in your life when dealing with something like PTSD; otherwise you can never find your true north. So gather all of your ‘crazies,’ just as long as they have a positive influence in your life. Keep them close. There ARE people in your life right now that keep you in check. I know that sometimes it might not feel like it, but they are there. Someone who can decipher from the real you vs the disorder. It might be a spouse, mom or a dad, a sibling, a friend at work, or a buddy on a hockey team; or even someone that you have only known for a few short months. But there is someone that you hold in high regard, someone that you actually respect and trust. It’s people of this nature that you need to surround yourself with when you find yourself in the middle of a battle like PTSD. These are the people that will remind you of the life that is waiting for you. The life that is already there, but just simply got put on the back burner for a while.
Whether you know it or not or believe it or not, there are many others in your line of work that are going through the same struggles you are. That does not mean they are any more willing to talk about it then you are. And each individual will certainly have different signs, symptoms and struggles and their own unique coping mechanisms. But the point is there is more than just a few of us. Find the right people and surround yourself with them.
Have someone in your life who can fight FOR you, and then who can fight WITH you.
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