Love & Support

539137_10151978463217784_339769967_nThis battle is not news to me – it is 4 years old. It is one I fought for 2 years, before enjoying a comfortable lull. I understand that to those of you who read this, this is like jumping into cold water head first.

I kept my struggles a secret from very important people in my life. For this, I am not sorry. I am sorry for the shock and upset it has caused in its aftermath, but I do not apologize for being selective about whom I shared this information with. You see, people react very differently. I have friends who will cry with me and friends that will saddle up with pitchforks. There are family members who will approach the situation with empathy and others that will simply retreat in anger.

I understand that those who have never before dealt with mental illness may be concerned when they read brutal honesty. However, I would like for a second for you to consider yourself. If you can honestly say there was never a time in your life when you considered ending it all, I applaud you. I also think you’re lying. Even the brightest of spirits have seen the darkest of valleys.

It was brought to my attention tonight that my honesty may frighten people. Suicide is not a joking matter – it is not a term I would ever dare to throw around lightly. However, I would like to clarify that I am not suicidal. I suffered a relapse. Relapses suck. In my last post, I shared with you that I did not want to die, but I did want the pain to end. If you can attest to reliving a very personal violation or the violent death of your mother, please let me know how that doesn’t mess with someone.

Some mistook this as a declaration that I was going to harm myself. If this was your interpretation, I would like to apologize. Not because I feel that I have to justify my recovery process – because I don’t – but because I understand the fear and panic that comes from the pain of a loved one.

I am not whole. I am not entirely healed. Kate has taken to referring to me as “just a little cracked” for which I actually appreciate her. Honesty is a new practice for me. I spent high school lying about where I was, who I was with, and what was happening to me. I spent years blaming myself for the assault and for the death of my mother.

Now, I have decided to flip it all around. I am done running from the trauma I cannot entirely erase. I am through with veiling or sugarcoating it for the benefit of others. I know now that the only person that can save me is me and no one else.

That being said, in these last few weeks, I have never needed the love and support of friends and family more. Tonight, concern was expressed in anger and the source of support I had to draw from was my roommates and three incredibly kind return missionaries with the best answer to my heartbreak. You may not be religious, whomever you are, but I will tell you now that I have never felt more peace than I did tonight when I was given a blessing by these three men. We prayed together, and I was able to feel a sense of comfort I have been searching for, for some time.

Tonight, I also learned that the recovery process has to be somewhat selfish. I understand that those who know me personally may be concerned when I admit that I have struggled. However, this is not their fight. It is mine. I have sought out the help I need – in fact, I sought it out years ago – and I am simply now documenting my recovery. One day, when I am on the other side of this valley, I will look back and see how far I have come. I will see the highs and the lows, and be able to use my struggles to help others.

I am not broken. I am not in danger.

If you have any questions to ask me – if you are confused at all concerning my situation or your own – please email me at ptsdsurvivorstories@yahoo.com. I will do my best to answer, but if you want it to be sugarcoated, I won’t do that for you. My new philosophy is honesty, and I will not be ashamed of it. I will not be embarrassed by my history any longer.

I love my life, despite all of its pitfalls. I love the lessons that I have learned and will continue to learn. I may be “just a little cracked” around the edges, but aren’t we all?

I love you all and I hope that this post can bring you some peace. If you need me, I will be here.

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