My brothers and sisters who suffer from PTSD. We can be a lot of emotions in a short amount of time: sad, angry, anxious, scared, frustrated and even happy sometimes. However, we must not be ashamed. Most of us have lived some incredible lives. I know this from having shared stories with some of my brothers and sisters who share this terrible condition called PTSD.
Most of us at some point in our lives were heroes. We were heroes not by choice but out of necessity. We found ourselves in situations that simply defied anything rational. In order to overcome we became our own heroes in order to get ourselves through the ordeal. All of us have suffered because of it and it is how we ended up with PTSD.
We live in a society that frowns upon weakness. We are supposed to be strong. Some of us may of gotten PTSD through the profession we were employed in. Many of those professions strongly discourage being weak. I myself worked as a funeral director. As a funeral director I worked for the Office of the Chief Coroner of the Province of Ontario, the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Government of Canada assisting in the recovery operations in Haiti.
I know what it means to be strong and to play a strong role even when inside you hurt. I know I was ashamed to admit how bad I hurt and was in denial about it for the later stages of my career. Even when I left my career I spent two years not only in denial about how bad I hurt but I was ashamed to admit how bad I hurt.
When we are ashamed we are alone. We suffer in silence because shame forces us to do it alone. We suffer further because shame stops us from asking for help. When we are ashamed we turn to all the self-destructive behaviors in order to try to lessen our pain. Shame is also what makes us think about self-harm and even suicide because options exhausted we see no way to end our pain.
Walking into a mental hospital to ask for help the first time on my thirty seventh birthday was probably one of the scariest and most humiliating things I have ever had to do. That being said it was also one of the most important things I ever did. One month later once I got my official diagnosis I decided to go public with it because I thought it was important people know what I was going through.
I will continue to share my story because I think its important people know what I am going through. It is also why I would encourage you to share your story with friends and to do so without shame or fear of judgment. I fail to see how anybody’s judgment could be possibly worse then the judgment we are inflicting on ourselves every day.
I think if more people were aware of how many people are out there with PTSD I think we all would all benefit from more resources being directed to assist people who suffer from PTSD. We will help to not only make things easier for ourselves but the future generations who will deal with our terrible condition.
If you have not gotten help yet then you need to put the shame and fear aside and step up and play a hero once again and get yourself the help you deserve. You suffered for it so you deserve it. The rest of us who have been diagnosed owe it our family, friends and society as a whole to let them know we exist and we ask to be treated simply as the hurt people we are in pain. Let our shame end and the healing begin.