I am 29 and I struggle with PTSD
My name is Bradley. Im 29. For the last 12 years I have worked as a corrections officer in a maximum security prison. Im also a firefighter for the local fire department.
In 12 years ive responded to many critical casualty incidents, many involving children.
In the same 12 years ive worked in 3 different prisons for 3 agencies in 2 states.
In the same 12 years I've been married twice. Marriage number one lasted almost 3 years and ended in divorce for several reasons, one being my inability to function in a public environment.
In the course of the divorce and aftermath I met another girl, we became the best of friends and in time became engaged and got married.
After a few months our marriage was already on the rocks due to my inability to function plus numerous acts of infidelity on my part…. In an attempt to save my marriage I sought out help from a counselor….8 months of therapy and not much had changed…. Short story…she left. A few months after she left I listened to her wishes and filed for divorce.
Fast forward to January 2, 2018. I got up and went to work as usual, and came home. I came home to an empty house because while I was at work she took what she felt was hers from the house we used to share.
I was on antidepressants at the time and damn I wish i had read the potential side effects. The next thing i knew I had my pistol in my hand and was about to put it to my head.
Then something clicked, I put the gun on the mantle and took 2 of the pills the dr had given me to take in the event of panic attacks. I woke up the next day about noon having missed work, and quickly called my Captain to explain.
The next few weeks were a blur of what can only be described as hell. No anxiety medication nowhere to go for help and eventually a medical leave from work.
January 15 i was able to see a new doctor get different medications with far fewer side effects and for the first time I felt some sort of relief.
About a week later something inside me snapped and I finally broke and called the National Volunteer Fire Counsel and within an hour was on the phone with a retired corrections sergeant from Massachusetts and within hours had an appointment set up with a PTSD specialist in the local area.
The first time I met with the specialist, we talked about expectations and realistic goals. That night was the first time I felt like there was actually hope.
Today is March 5, 2018. As im writing this Im sitting in a recliner in the living room at my now ex wife's apartment. Our divorce has been final since February 12.
This is where the real story starts. The last couple of months our relationship has gone back to what it started as , best friends.
The real story is that were still deeply in love.
The real story is that there's nothing we cant change.
The real story here is PTSD isnt going to run my life anymore.
The real story is I didnt take the easy way out.
The real story here is that the story isnt over.
The real story is theres hope.
And the perfect visualization of that hope is ;
; , its simple and yet it means everything in the world.
And soon, im going to add another tattoo to the ones i already have. firef;ghter
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