I have been home from Iraq for nearly four years now and been really struggling ever since. In 2007, I was diagnosed with PTSD and began treatment, but coping on my own, I started to abuse all of my controlled substances like Valium, Klonopin, Lortab, Ritalin, and Ativan. I never took my Zoloft or Risperidol because I was numb from the benzo's and pain killers. The Ritalin only kept me awake, which made it appear I didn't abuse, and functional around my family.
Everyday I would wake up to same regiment of pills, keeping me numb, and that is only if I slept from the night before. This went on for two years until I introduced alcohol, along with the prescriptions, and suicide became a constant thought.
The war was always on my mind, constantly blaming myself for not bringing home all of my troops and doubting decisions I made in the middle of battle. Things I could never change, but still beat myself up daily.
Then, being an addict, I constantly got my meds increased and became more numb and drunk. I attempted suicide five times, with five hospitalizations, all not doing anything to help me.
Now, it's 2009, and I just completed an intensive treatment program for PTSD and addictions and am starting to lose focus again. I do not want to go down that road again, but my mind is numb on it's own and emotionally I am not here. I barely had the courage to write this post. So, what am I suppose to do now? Any advice would be great because this PTSD is hell and is not going away, even as I take my med correctly now.
First let me start by thanking you for sacrificing your life for my and my family's freedom. Yes it is true that some men gave all but you have to trust that that was God's plan, and he did not intend for you to hold that responsibility! I can imagine that second guessing yourself is normal for any life and death situation but that fact that you are alive should help in knowing that you did the right things at the right times. I don't know a lot about the military, I grew up in a small town in Nebraska so military wasn't a big part of my family's life but I have married and ex-Marine, I have a son in the Army now, and a brother-in-law in Iraq as we speak. I can only imagine what you are going through but I know that drugs and alcohol will only prolong the pain you are in because it tricks you into believing it is gone and "numb" but then it always comes back right?
Do you have or have you thought about getting a pet? I am a big advocate for pet therapy as I have seen first hand how it takes a person who is suffering pain no one can understand and eases it with unconditional love a cat or dog can offer. If you have someone to take care of, then you can take the focus off of your past experience and gain new ones. I don't know if that will really help you but you didn't mention any family or friends that you have tried to reach out to, so I am guessing really. Please know that I care and I am here if you ever need to talk. Please don't give in to the temptations that you are feeling especially taking your own life, you are here for a reason, a purpose, true you may not know what it is but God does and you are a child of God, turn to Him and talk to Him. I will pray for you, please be at peace.
Welcome to this site. I am trying to get information from the government and assistance out of the VA now myself. I have several friends with son's that are having problems after their return, so I know a little bit about what your coming from. I got my emotions back, but it took years on my own. I am glad you did write in here. Maybe this will help.
as some of the people who have posted already you should continue with therapy it is crutial in helping you lead the most normal life you can. maybe take up a hobby to keep yourself occupied during the times that you feel like you are losing control. meditation works a bit but only if you are in a place that you feel safe. these are a few things that have helped me for the most part with dealing with stressers. My brother was killed 4 1/2years ago in iraq so i do understand some of the problems that you are facing. please dont blame yourself for your troops not coming home safe i assure you the families dont.
the best advice i can give is to go to the local Disabled American Vets office. they wont turn their back on anyone and will be able to help you with any problem you might have, the people who work there are vets so they do understand unlike some of the other places.
I'm okay, I relapsed on pills and lost focus again.
My life has went downhill fast and I'm working on rebuilding
my marriage, which is nearly over due to my self-pity and guilt.
I am lost emotionally everyday and fight to stay sober, when the pills
make the memories go away and the VA keeps pumping them down me.
I do not know if today or tomorrow I'll lose control again, but I feel like
life in general isn't ever going to get better with this PTSD in control.
I will do my best to stay in touch with you all and Thank You for all the support!
Funny how I never even heard of you until a couple of days ago when I logged in looking for support, but I've been thinking about you and hoping you're okay.
I know how it is dealing with VA, too- I've been struggling with them for a while now and am beginning to think that I can't resolve my issues with them as long as we are here (there is one more PCS in our future as hubby moves on to his final duty station). Hopefully you'rs resolves more easily.
I wish you luck and strength in your struggles to maintain your marriage- it takes a lot of work and commitment on both sides.
Needing So Many Types of Help...Just Don't Know Where To Start?
I know where to find help and I know how to swallow pills that help, but there is so much more that my family has no clue about. Recently, the VA mailed me a double order of Klonopin, suppose to take 2 pills per day (1mg each) I had 60 pills on Friday and then Saturday, another 60 pills arrived. Feeling like I couldn't handle stress either days (which is entirely a placebo effect, because of having the pills in my possession) I consumed all 120 pills by yesterday morning.
The entire weekend was a blur, my wife knows something went haywire, but because I hide my bottles and use the excuse "the Lithium causes slurred speech and drowsiness", she tends not to pry into what is going on.
Again, I fell off the wagon hard and am not happy about my actions, because I need to be a father and husband, not a strung out junkie that I am, anymore.
Today, without the Klonopin, I am withdrawing really bad and took some old Vicodin to calm me down (which only aggrevated my anxiety). I told you all in my first thread that I am killing myself slowly, well do you all believe me now. I am going to the VA tomorrow and entering substance abuse counseling (for the second time) and try to beat these addictions.
I am sorry if I let any or you all down...but at least I am not boasting about how cool I am.
I know you have given me some greeat advice and it's much appreciated, but it seems like everyday I get another shot of bad news about my healthl. I just got back from the doctor who confirmed that I have Hepatitis C (I have no idea how I got it) I've been truthfully manghomse with my wife for seven years and never shared a needle or used a needle in my life.
Then I woke up with "lock jaw" the other night and went to the dentist where he diagnosed me with TMJ. So, with these two diagnosis' I am trying to keep my head up, but it's hard...really hard.
first thing you need to do is start reserching the hepatitis c from what i found something as everyday as getting a tattoo could cause the HCV virus to show. TMJ isnt that big of a deal ive had it since i was 6 you are just going to have to learn to eat smaller bites and do some exercisess to stregenthen the muscles around your jaw to keep the disk in place. something as simple as chewing gum every other day can help. hope you are ok
I spent 6 yrs in the Army and I totally feel where you are comming from. I got hurt in Iraq and couldnt go back to bring my toops home. That and the other wartime experiances haunt me everyday. The addiction thing I also stuggle with and I have no answer to that because I am just realizing that I have a problem with booze. I have been out since 06 and have been seen weekly(sometiems 2 to 3 times a week) since I got out due to PTSD issues. I have found that the pills dont work for me and the therapy does as long as you can find a shrink that will push you into talking about the things that need to come out. I dont know if you have this issue but I wont talk about anything unless its pushed on me to talk about it. If you can find a shrink that will push you to do that......it might help. Dont give up Roy, I have been in your same boat 3 times and SO know where you are commig from. I know I am not one to give you that great of advise because I am stuggeling right there with you but it helps to know that WE are out there and WE are NOT alone in this struggle. Im here with you, Roy...obviously not "there" with you but...Im here. Good Luck, Roy!!
Wow... I'm sorry to hear about your situation Roy... I can only begin to show my gratitude for what you have done for your country - and the peace throughout the world. Thank you, and thanks to all your fellow brothers in arms. There's not a day that goes by - that I don't feel guilty for not having taken responsibility for my rights and freedoms; and joined forces with my country's military. Just know that there are those whom envy your dedication - your compassion for the world - the pain you must be suffering now; all because YOU chose to help bring safety to the lives of everyone around the globe.
If there's anything I can say to you - that could help; it would be this... "YOU ARE NOT ALONE." And in a heartbeat - I would trade places with you. I would take all the pain away, if I could... But I can't. Only you have the ability to deal with those pains. And like you have already said - medication is not the answer. It's a good way to, "numb," the pain... But the pain will always remain... Perhaps you need a different, "Source," of help. You just gotta look for whatever it is, that you NEED, maybe you haven't found it yet.
Its sad; what you have to deal with. When you sign up for the military - these things you're experiencing now; they certainly don't seem a part of the, "occupation..." Sadly; it IS an occupation... And you've performed your duty. (It isn't a matter of how well you performed, or how bad; so don't blame yourself for the WHAT IF's.) Its the FACT; that you willingly - CHOSE - to take on the occupation of ALL occupations. The most important of all. For that - you have EVERY, "RIGHT," to feel the way you feel. Not one person will ever blame you. (And if they do; they lack insight into what I envy about you) And now - you are suffering the repercussions - the same repercussions (As different as they may seem, and alone as they make you feel) that many soldiers have felt before you... That many soldiers, even today; feel.
I don't know much about the military. The fact that you've come back from Iraq - and have PTSD; I couldn't possibly imagine what went on. I know I couldn't possibly comprehend the level of distress you or your fellow brothers have experienced... I can only say - I understand that what you are feeling; is a product of what you have experienced. And there is no shame in that. None whatsoever. And if there was one way to get over these pains... It would be to ACCEPT; that you've done your duty - NOT ONLY - as an American Citizen... But also as a human being. You have put your life on the line - for something you believed in. You've sacrificed the one thing that matters most to you (Your life) and you've done it for those around you. You've made this world a better place. And without You, and all the other soldiers overseas - our world could have very easily; come to an end.
hello my name is mick just want 5ay i am new to this but am also a sivoir of a trma like you .listen to me i have done the same thing and had same problems my war was in veit nam my friend. took me a long time to realize that i made it home no eazy task for us.i fought for a long time asking what do i do next. then i said to myself hay i lived in spit of all the thinges i saw and did hit twice. my friend took me a long time dealing p.t.s.d after a while i needed help geting my act together. but not any idea what to do. it took me a very long time to realize that i was wageing war on myself. just as we foughit with courage we fite the same way to get it back tougether. i am not saying it is eazy not by a longshot. i ask you if we made it home why kill whats left of my sole sorry our sole. i really hear where your comeing from. i am not going to let those in office kill whats left for me to live for after all i am stil alive and will try to get everything out of this that life that i can otherwize i really died in combat afterall.i really feel where you are comeing from. listen its a long road but there is light at the end of all the madness. please talk to me anytime hope that i can help