PTSD Awareness Day

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day and June is National PTSD Awareness Month. There is a misconception that only service members in the Armed Forces can get PTSD. Anyone can have Post-Traumatic Stress. This can happen after any type of trauma such as being robbed or assaulted. It is not exclusive to military combat. People who experience consistent trauma for several years, such as Prisoners of War (POW) or children who grow up with abusive parents, can develop Complex-PTSD. This is not recognized as separate from PTSD but more like a subcategory. Though most of the symptoms are similar there are a few differences.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder. Sufferers often deal with both anxiety and depression. Symptoms can be severe making it difficult to find medication or treatments that work. I suffered childhood trauma and have lived with PTSD most of my life though I was unaware for most of it. I often use writing to cope with many things I struggle with. I have had difficulty making friends and more difficulty keeping those friends. Most of my struggles I brought on myself. Its only in the last year that I’ve tried to change how I talk to and about myself.

Last year, I self-published a collection of my personal writing from different blogs into one book. Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. I shared many things I went through at those times. Many people would comment expressing how much they could relate or how much they appreciated what I wrote. So, today and tomorrow, June 27 – 28, the eBook is free on Amazon Kindle. I hope my thoughts I shared in the book will help others. Click the title in this post or check my Projects Page.

To anyone living with PTSD or any mental illness, you’re not alone. Never give up. Never surrender. It does get better, but first you have to be kind to yourself. That means changing how you think about and talk about yourself. Good luck.

Coffee & Contemplation: Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I have dealt with my own mental health issues for many years. I have a long way to go in my recovery, but writing has always been helpful and therapeutic. Not only do I write for my personal blog, fiction, and poetry, I also write on occasion for another blog. I don’t get paid. I write because it helps me, and I hope it helps others who read what I share. It’s called The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog. I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I am allowed to write about my experiences.

I have also written for The Mighty. A site that covers many different kinds of mental and chronic health issues. I deal with childhood trauma and many other traumatic events. This has caused anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. I spent years trying to make sense of these things. Early on, I wasn’t aware of all my symptoms. I wasn’t aware of how I allowed these painful memories to impact my daily life. As I overcame one obstacle, another would take its place. A never-ending battle. I continue on doing as much as I can and trying to stay positive. 

After two years of writing for these sites and on my own, I decided to compile many of these blog posts into one collection. I share my thoughts in my collection Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. It’s on sale in paperback and Amazon Kindle. My hope with that book was to help others realize they were not alone. I hope others read my experiences and they get the desire to keep fighting. Calling myself a mental health warrior helps build confidence in myself. I want to help build confidence in others. I want others to know they still have a fighting chance.

Poetry Monday: Tearful Tension

Pick at your fingernails
Pull the skin off your lips
Rejoice in solitude
Panic from loneliness
Obsess over small things
Freak out for no reason
Blame yourself for nothing
Assume they all hate you
Shut down when you should rise
Push away those who love
Too much is on your mind
Too much stimulation
You just want to be held
You don’t want to be touched
Anger and frustration
You feel broken and dead
Every day you’re drowning
Each day is a battle

From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.