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When I lost my leg, my whole world was turned upside down. This is my story…
I began to equate love with being thin. Still, on the outside, I worked hard to make it look like I had it all together.
In my imagination, I’ve been diagnosed, incarcerated, fired, divorced, and buried. My mind is a scary place to be sometimes.
I’ve always felt different from other people. I didn’t always know why I was different, or what I did that made me different — I still don’t realize it sometimes.
I found myself in the E.R. with a brain aneurysm. It took a huge toll on me physically and mentally. My family went through their own trauma as they watched me suffer.
How can a boy expect to fill Dad’s shoes when he leaves?
I know that taking care of myself – body, mind, soul and spirit - needs to be my first priority. I’m still on a journey to find balance in life.
I never know when it will hit me, nor why. Some days, I can do everything I have planned. I can even enjoy biking, hiking, or snowshoeing. But then, it hits me yet again.
I get trapped in this dark place where there’s nothing to do but sleep or cry until my head pounds. On those days, just getting out of bed is a triumph that I need to acknowledge.
Life is hard in general, but for those of us who are perceived as different, it can be especially hard.
At 63, I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, caused by a rare case of pneumonia that I never knew I had. My lungs were completely black. The situation was dire.
I didn’t even want to try taking a risk; defeat was unacceptable, shameful, and had consequences that affected everyone around you.
I would daydream about someone seeing my flaws and loving me anyway. It took me a long time to find my identity in something that goes beyond my skills or appearance.
It seemed like getting an abortion was the right thing to do at the time. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional whirlwind that came soon after.
Even though I knew she would never be like everyone else her age, I still hoped she would be happy.
I lived in fear of myself, and when I looked at my son, I thought it was sad and strange that I had to include myself in the list of people he needed to be protected from.
I dealt with a lot as a child. Stability and security were foreign concepts to me. I thought I beat the odds and survived. Unfortunately, the cost of that survival was high. My PTSD laid dormant until a new event brought it back to life.
After swimming in a motel pool, a man followed up alongside me. "Just wanna walk you to your room, make sure everything's all safe for you." When it was over, he ran a bath for me. I was still in that cold water when they found me in the morning.
There are days when I have a pity party for myself, when I mourn because I can’t have just one normal day.
I felt like a failure as a mother. How could I have let my son become so depressed that he wanted to take his own life?
I felt totally alone and completely misunderstood. I thought the only way to numb the pain was to kill myself.
The constant stress and ridicule by a manager, who didn't want me to look better than her, made me physically ill.
PTSD affects not only the person suffering from it, but the family as well.
It's not your fault you've been abused. But you can do something about how you feel.
Don’t lose hope. You don't have to be socially awkward forever.
There are still many stigmas surrounding anxiety — which may keep you from seeking the help you need.
It’s time to educate ourselves about how chemical imbalances in the brain affect mental health.