I was diagnosed with ‘accumulative PTSD’ …. I can detail the progression of how I arrived there, but those in our field of work do not need to hear or re-live my traumas as they can be triggers…. what I have to share is the disappointment of Health Services and their mandate to either get us off the payroll or back into service…. they did not allow me any time to get my mental health back….I contacted a lawyer, who advised me that yes I had grounds to pursue, but advise for my own well being, to really consider if this was the route I wanted to take…. I opted for my own well being, advised that I was prepared to take legal action, they backed off, I took the time to collect myself and decided to take early medical retirement… 17 years in….I lost 3 years of my life to numbness, not feeling, isolating myself etc…asking for help and being told there was nothing in place to help me…my husband walking out on me, in the middle of it all…. I am one of the lucky few…. suicide was NOT an option…. there is a life outside the job….even at my lowest point, when things seemed hopeless, my husband leaving, and feeling left out…. I held on, suicide was not an option….. at my lowest point I told myself there is a way out of this black hole…. I just need to find the steps to get me there…. suicide is final, no coming back from that…..it took me time to get my mind back, and my back up to fight for my rights…. I had lost everything… my marriage, my savings, my social life….and now reality hit me… my dream job…. So over a period of time, literally , one day at time… counted the good things that my career brought me, I looked at every day as a new beginning, no matter how hard it was… I forced myself to be thankful for one two or three things that made me smile…. and each day it got easier to remember how to be ‘human’ again…. and begin to feel good and happy that I was alive….and that I have done great things in my career ( even tho there were no thank you’s). I know there are people alive today because of my interactions….. it was a long black rocky road, but I am a survivor…. my message is…. we are human, we care, we hurt, we cry, we feel….. and know there is a life to be lived…. please to those of you who want to end it… that is not an option….PTSD is like a cancer…. you can survive… fight, and beat it… don’t let it win…. look outside of the box, do not let the traumas consume your life…. your family and friends and yes believe it or not co-workers are there too…. share your misery, because believe it or not they will also have a story to share…. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TALK AND REACH OUT….suicide is final….and remember there are so many people who love you…. touch base with them ….they will understand, in my case, it was not family or spouse it was former co-workers…. stay strong… you can survive this… step outside the box… there are people who will listen and understand… reach out beyond the circle you know…. life is short enough as it is…..learn to love yourself for all the good you have done….
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