Today was probably one of the hardest days in my recovery with PTSD. I have not been riding my bicycle. I have not been leaving the house. Maybe three or four times in the last month. My avoidance has gotten out of hand these days. I find it easier to come up with a reason not to go outside a lot quicker than I used to. My anxiety level goes way down when I’m at home. But at the same time I feel like I’m putting myself in a cage. Isolation seems to be my best friend, and the safest bet.
Today I received a wonderful thank you from my very dear friend about PTSD awareness on my Facebook page. I did not reply, I guess I was feeling guilty because I haven’t done anything in the last few months to raise awareness about PTSD. I hadn’t done anything to even take care of myself.
So I took what feels like the biggest step of my life – I asked a friend for help. That moment of silence after I asked felt like an eternity. I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed. It’s hard to tell someone you are basically stuck in your bedroom and you need their help to get out. My friend said yes. It’s going to feel good to get back on my bicycle again. Well mentally it’ll feel good, but physically it’s probably going to hurt. It’s going to hurt bad.
Since the http://www.understandingptsd.org/ptsd-awareness-adventure-2012/national-center-for-ptsd-finish-line/I really haven’t posted much on my blog. I didn’t know what to say since I was not riding anymore. Visitors from my blog started writing to me telling me about their situations and what they’re going through; their personal dealings with posttraumatic stress disorder. I had not prepared myself for that part of writing about PTSD. I was not prepared for the response. So I just quit writing.
I’ve done a couple presentations in California. I even went to a festival and made some new friends. All thanks to a new friend of mine that taught me to think about things in a different way. That worked for a while.
I have so many new friends on Facebook. They “like” my pictures. I “like” theirs. For those of you familiar with Facebook I was given big thumbs up everywhere, the thumbs were flying. Unfortunately I had convinced myself that I was making new friends and being social. I would text my friends on Facebook, people that I only met once. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good friends I just can’t get out of the house. I now realize that on my pictures I was pretty much alone. And my friends were in big groups and at parties out in public. Coming to that realization I sunk even deeper.
I absolutely hated the fact that I had to ask for help. I did not like the way it made me feel about myself. I did not like having to admit how mentally weak I was. I’ve been a soldier – I can handle it. I just rode my bicycle 4000 miles! So I became pretty angry with myself and very, very disappointed.
Christmas Eve was probably my hardest day of 2012. That’s when I decided that I needed to ask for help. I didn’t get any help or relief that night and I forced myself to try to have a good time. On Christmas day I knew exactly who it was going to be. It took me about 8 days to build up the courage to ask for help. If you are dealing with PTSD, remember it’s not a weakness to ask for help.