I realized over the past two weeks that it’s hard to find inspiration to write about mental illness when things are going well. But then I realized, it’s equally important to celebrate your successes. Since receiving a diagnosis of PTSD 4 years ago in Los Angeles, I started a journey of self-healing. I hit rock bottom many times in the process, but it taught me more than success ever did. Coronavirus took my career, I almost lost my home, and my mental health took a nosedive. I enrolled in nursing school to try to get my life back on track. I didn’t know what I was signing up for. Stress is a HUGE trigger for PTSD. I started drinking heavily to combat the stress, and things spiraled from there. The engine blew up in my car and I found myself back in a deep CPTSD/depressed episode. I dissociated for weeks (a way that the CPTSD brain separates from the trauma by shutting down.) I don’t even have much recollection of the episode. I found a therapist and started going once a week. Little did I know, this would bring back intense flashbacks and nightmares, and I would get much worse before I got better.
Fast forward to now…a month into treatment and a month sober (with one minor slip-up) and I finished my first semester of nursing school with a 4.0. It turns out that the warranty wasn’t quite experience on my car, and my new ($8500) engine is covered. Therapy is going much better and I was finally taken off the waitlist at The Julie Valentine Center (a nonprofit organization that provides trauma therapy for victims of childhood sexual abuse) after a year of waiting. I start my next semester of nursing school in 2 weeks and I am genuinely happier than I have ever been in my life. I say all of this to say: no matter what you have been through, there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. But you have to take the first step to healing. You have complete control of your life, even if it seems out of control. There are always solutions, even if you can’t see them. Trust the process and that the universe/God has a plan for you.
If you are struggling, I’m here. If you just want to chat, or share your story, go to the contact tab and send me an email, day or night. You’re not alone.