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We switched all of our banking to a different bank. And, I kid you not, there were recently two separate robbery attempts. One included a bomb threat. To top it off, each were exactly a month apart. Like mine. Unlike mine, both would-be robbers were caught.

Heightened over-awareness and anxiety run rampant through my veins. I guess there will always be “triggers”.

I received a letter last week from my psychologist, Dr. T. She had received a note I’d left with the receptionist the last time I visited her clinic. (I still go there to get meds from the psychiatrist Nancy.) I’d told her how I’d been doing so much better and that I was doing things we’d discussed. Like writing a blog. She loves the name and that made me smile. She was the one who inspired it by teaching me how to breathe specifically for anxiety. “Breathe” has become a part of my daily moments of focused mindfulness, which she also taught me. More on that later. But now, back to my story.

So, I was told I had to get another counselor, and over the next two weeks I spoke with several more people who had no idea what they were doing. I have literally 6 full pages of gripes in my journal. I’ve decided to spare you all the diatribes, but to anyone who has PTSD, I know the struggles you may have had or will have. First, with acknowledging your need and reaching out for help. Second, dealing with all the red tape as patiently as you can, while dealing with very real and troubling emotions, thoughts and nightmares. The reward for your patience can mean the difference between living with and overcoming, or stuffing everything deep inside where it can’t hurt. Trust me. Get help, because the ‘stuffing’ will eventually erupt.

Frustration and anger, with the incompetence and lack of caring on the parts of the individuals I had to deal with, plus the debilitating depression and helplessness I suffered, led me to wanting to write about my experiences. I want to help and encourage others to persevere! Many people with PTSD never seek help. Many that seek help will give up because they feel that no one cares.

You are not alone. You are not a number. You are a human being. Helplessness breeds apathy. Stay strong. Persist.  Breathe.

I eventually had to get a regular doctor, who referred me to a psychologist, a psychiatrist, (referred by the psychologist), a nurse hired by Worker’s Comp, and a slew of others who became true tethers that I clung to while I journeyed through my personal jungle.

(to be continued)