Recovery, It’s Not That Easy.

I received a lot of feedback from last week’s post. A lot of it came in private messaging and email asking how I was doing. Last week was rough and I openly shared about how bad it was for me and of the things going on in my mind at the time. It was not pretty. But I’m ok. I promise. I think I will have those kinds of thoughts once in a while, from time to time, perhaps for the rest of my life.

Let’s see if this analogy makes sense. I think I will battle suicidal thoughts the same way a recovering alcoholic battles his demons. This friend of mine that I’ve known for half my life now is a recovering alcoholic. I asked him one day how long it took for his urge to drink to go away. He had already been sober for 10 years at the time of that conversation. He said, “Never.” He told me that every day he thought about and missed drinking, but most days the thoughts were just in passing and barely noticeable. But every once in a while, he said, it was hard.

I think I’m in that boat with my mental illnesses and suicidal ideations. Honestly, most days are pretty good. But I will always know in the back of my mind that I tried to kill myself. I will forever know what it felt like to be that low and the possibilities of what could happen if I get that low again. I will always be at risk. I know that. I accept that and I do what I can to make sure I protect myself.

Most days are normal, whatever ‘normal’ is. Most days I look at my past in a way that I cheated death, a battle in which I won. Well, I haven’t really won yet, it’s an ongoing fight. Because every once in a while life becomes so completely overwhelming that I slip into the dangerous darkness of my mind. Even though the thoughts of a couple weeks ago were horrible, I ended up not doing anything to harm myself. I just needed some time for the process to run its course in my head.

One question that stands out from some of the responses last week is, “How are you able to share things so personal and put it out there for the world?” That’s a good question. It wasn’t easy at first to be able to put all the words together in a way that would make sense to more than just myself. Even in my own mind I had great difficulty trying to figure out what the hell I was saying and thinking. But once it started flowing I became very comfortable with it. I decided that I would write about my life because it is great therapy for me and I would share to the world in case it helps someone else.

I fully understand that not everyone can do that. I get it. There are a million things going on in my life that I don’t share here. There are some things I will never share here. But some of it I need to, I have to. I have to get it out and try to make sense of it. When I post to my blog every Saturday it helps me, whether people read it or not. I get considerable satisfaction in being able to put my thoughts in order to be able to share stories of my PTSD, attempted suicide, the occasional dangerous mindset, highs and lows, depression and anxiety, the good, the bad, and the ugly. All the things that are The Story of My Life. Many things that others can relate to, but can’t share themselves.

Two very stressful weeks are behind me, but I wouldn’t say that life is all that great right now. And to be honest, I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. As a matter of fact, I can guarantee that it will get worse before it does gets better. You think I would be used to it all by now, but I’m not. I hate it. I hate the situations that I’m in. I hate that I’m not capable of doing the things I used to do. I hate that I have little motivation, low energy, and almost no desire to interact with the outside world. I don’t even want to write much anymore.

Even though I know it can’t happen again, I miss being deployed. I miss being in Afghanistan. For many of us, that is a normal feeling after coming home from war. We miss the camaraderie. We miss the feeling of knowing that someone always has our back. I know for me, I miss the chaos, the danger, and the excitement of being there. There is a weird high from being surrounded by the unknown that each day offered over there. Maybe I’m crazy, but I miss it. And I know that I’m not alone. I keep up with many of my friends I deployed with and many of them feel the same way. There was a strange level of comfort that I just don’t have anymore.

I’m sure all of that contributes to what is going on in my brain right now, this feeling like I don’t belong here, that I can’t adapt, that I can’t find a normal that I’m at ease with. I know my past experiences do not cause the bad or uncomfortable things in my life today, but I certainly do not deal with said things like I used to be able to. Not coping well is simply compounding everything. One thing after another, each making life worse than the one before. Or at least the feeling of life being worse. And I hate it. At some point it has to get better.

Until then, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Thanks for reading this week. Hopefully, next week’s post will be more positive. But no promises. Good day, God bless.

Dave

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27 thoughts on “Recovery, It’s Not That Easy.

    • Hi Dave, I read your blog very interesting on the feeling that you get after you come back from being deployed…my son had the same thing he has PTSD as well…what he did and he learned it quick he went sky diving to have the kinda same feeling and it helped him but it is in a more positive note…he loved it and goes alot I know its expensive ..but he always has been on meds and has counselling and goes all the time …still to this day now he is on medical marajauna I dont know if i spelled it right but it works for him and it really helps him to stay calm and focused….he is trying the best that he can we have seen so much progress since the beginning you wouldnt know he had it ….just hang in there Dave n keep doing what your doing or maybe try something new. Thinking of you and praying that you feel better and remember this life is not easy anyway always something we all have to struggle with at times just keep pushing forward God Bless! ❤ Also thank you for your services in serving our country to keep us safe. xo (((hugss)))

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I wonder out loud if you are involved in any mental health groups with your local VA (or similar organization). I haven’t been reading your blog long enough to know if this is an option, but I know that my mom’s husband deals with PTSD and talks about missing being deployed, and he deals with that by getting around people who have been in his same situation (other soldiers). Just a thought, please don’t take offense, I know sometimes suggestions of what to do that might help can be irritating, especially since I don’t proclaim to know first-hand what you are going through. PTSD is different for everyone, I just think sometimes it is helpful to get around people who “get it” on the most basic level. Keep hanging in there!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This was a great post from you, so open and honest. And I totally get where you are coming from with putting it there for the world to read. The good, the bad and the ugly. It is a form of therapy. It’s cathartic, clears out the cobwebs that we tangle ourselves in inside of our own thoughts. I’m glad that you’ve found an outlet to help you sort it out. Keep writing and working on you. And I agree with Rachel, that quote is fucking perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I know that your honesty and willingness to share your struggles will inspire people who need to hear it. I recently met a guy who served in Vietnam. When I asked him what the hardest thing about it was, I knew what he was going to say: “Coming back home.” And that’s exactly what he said.

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  4. I think after living on an adrenaline high for however long, “real life” would be a drag for anyone. So, weird and hard to deal with it may be, I think your reaction to this is “normal.” I was an adrenaline junkie, as I called myself, for a long time. What I realized was that it was also unhealthy for me. With the adrenaline, I could and would do self-destructive things I would not consider without it. I was a drama queen. Some of it was that I was hiding the PTSD and from it as I thought it was insanity. Some of it was that I really liked being dramatic and not thinking much about what I said or did.

    Suicide ideation is also normal for PTSD, intellectually you know that. Suicide is the absence of pain and PTSD hurts. Wanting to not hurt is also a normal reaction.

    You’re doing what my therapist pounded into me that I do: “reacting normally to an abnormal set of circumstances in the past.” On the one hand it’s a relief and on the other, I really dislike being a sheep in a flock of sheep. Egotist that I am.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Well, I didn’t know it was normal. One of the things the Abuser convinced me was that I was abnormal, weird, or warped in some inexplicable way. For decades, I thought all the crapola from the PTSD was because I was “bent or broken.” Finding out I was “normal” was very freeing in one sense, but hard on my ego. Baaaaaa.

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  5. I will forever know what it felt like to be that low and the possibilities of what could happen if I get that low again. I will always be at risk. I know that. I accept that and I do what I can to make sure I protect myself.—-it’s a feeling that only the suffering fully understand! It’s so crazy how mental illnesses connect people no matter their race, ethnicity, or background. I can relate to everything you wrote. Thank you for being open and positive inspire of your pain!

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  6. David, Self forgiveness is in order here you live every day and live for today as we both know that tomorrow is not promised. You know that today is all we will ever have, looking back on the past in reflections is a great thing but please try not to beat yourself up over an incident that is not a reflection of who you are becoming as a result of that action. Be grateful you had the experience and know that people care about where you are going and how you get there. Love you David, Always Brat~~~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love when someone shares their battles with depression, and oh my… is it a battle. I have fought with it since my teen years, one unsuccessful suicide attempt, and many dark dreary days where the thought had crossed my mind again. It’s just a stigma, something people don’t talk about. I’m not sure why. 2 years ago, on the 20th anniversary of my suicide attempt, I wrote about it on Facebook. I talked about how alone depression feels, how telling someone to stop being sad I’d like telling someone to stop having cancer. I opened the deepest part of my soul to all 1034 friends on Facebook, fully prepared for the “you’re just wanting attention” or “there’s people who have it worse” and my favorite “what could you possibly have to be depressed about, just choose to be happy”. I was met with others tales of woe, with many private messages thanking me for being so open about it, and they told me their stories as well. I had no idea so many people felt the same, it was empowering to not feel like a freak, or like the only one who feels that way. I’m on meds that are finally working, but there are still times when I feel “the darkness” creep in, but I’ve learned to just ride it out. I’ll ugly cry, sleep and sleep and sleep, whatever emotion comes I just “feel it ” until it passed. Thanks for sharing your story. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t count the number of private messages, emails, etc of people who relate but aren’t comfortable in sharing it like this. That is part of why I do. I accept being a voice for those that can’t speak up.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I cannot relate to your experiences of war, deployment or PTSD. But I can empathise with the feeling that life feels like it’s getting worse before it starts to get better. As many people have probably told you already, you’re not alone. I found this post comforting to read tonight after thinking about suicide a lot recently.

    I’m sorry you experience life and the thoughts in such a similar way to myself, I know how exhausting it is. I believe that there are better times ahead for both of us though. I have to

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for writing this. I was just thinking abt this yesterday. I was holding a knife and just for a few seconds some horrible ideas came in my head. And I wondered, will I ever be able to look at objects and not think abt horrible things? Will they always just be there, no matter where I am in life? Once I’ve gone that deep, will I always go back there? I don’t know but I appreciate I’m not the only one. Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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