Thursday, February 9, 2012


I was officially diagnosed in early January.

I started realizing how bad I was feeling in September. I had a two week period where I barely got out of bed. The minimum of groceries purchased, essential laundry done and Mickey taken to school was all I could accomplish. I'd had days like that before but that's all it was, a day. I still wasn't sleeping through the night and would wake up at least once and have to check on the kids before being able to get back to sleep. My sleeping finally got better when we got Lilly. Having her crate next to my side of the bed meant that I could finally sleep through the night.

In October, I worked hard on just trying to feel more like myself but realized it wasn't working. I joined our local gym in November to see if I could work out enough so that endorphins could counteract what I was starting to see as a real need for help.

I went almost every weekday. It didn't help.

In late December I had a yearly check up with my doctor and told him of my issues. Depression, extreme negative feelings, panic attacks while driving and multiple flashbacks to my son's accident everyday. I was really afraid to admit these problems to him. Because while I was struggling, I was also doing really well at hiding it from people. I felt like acknowledging my problems would make them real. That having these problems meant that I was a weak person.

My doctor was wonderful and very understanding and prescribed some anti-anxiety meds and recommended a therapist for me to see. I started the meds right away and told my husband and my mom about what was going on with me. A week or two later I also confided in a dear friend who helped me get up the courage to see the therapist.

I am so glad I did. She confirmed that I had PTSD and we worked on some strategies to help me deal with my flash backs. Most of my other symptoms had been helped by my medication but the flashbacks weren't.

It has felt so good to get help and get a handle on my issues. While I still think about Mickey's accident daily, it no longer traps me. I've only had one bad flashback since I started with my therapist and it happened the night we put our 15 year old dog, Devo, down. That flashback was awful. It made me realize that I'd been dealing with at least a half dozen of those horrific visions every day. It was no wonder I'd been struggling.

It's now been a month since my diagnosis and I'm doing so much better! Parts of my life that have just been neglected are getting some much needed attention. Important things like my relationship with my husband and unimportant things like the hot mess that my craft room has become.

I'm putting this out there just in case there is someone else who is struggling. Someone else who feels like they should be able to "just snap out of it". Someone else who feels worse just knowing that they haven't been able to.

Get help. Talk to a friend, a family member, your doctor...someone. You are not weak, you are not bad. You just need to get help.

Trust me. :)


Tifany said...

What a beautiful post...not because you have PTSD or are/were struggling...but because you shared it.
You are so brave and I appreciate you for it.

joscelyne cutchens said...

Erica, I'm glad you are getting help. I love you!

sssalad said...

I think you are an extremely strong person who was just given an awful lot to deal with. I'm glad you are getting help and are feeling better!

Nicole said...

You are amazing, Erica! In so many ways you amaze me... as a mom, as a crafter and as a human being. Thank you for sharing this story!

noel joy said...

Sending many prayers your way still. I'm so glad help and healing are coming your way. Thanks for sharing for the sake of others. You're a beautiful person

wendipooh13 said...

Erica!!! what an amazing post, and that you got out there and said it!!! {{HUGS}} and good thoughts headed your way that you can work through this, I can only imagine how hard it would be and it's something you can not forget!! you are soo brave!!

~jan said...

I can bet this little blog post helps a lot of people out, dear Erica. Help and healing go hand in hand but can only be offered when asked for and you were so brave to ask. Thanks for showing the way. Hugs, friend.

erin said...

Erica, you are very brave to share your story and I thank you for being so candid and honest! I will keep you in prayer, and am very happy you have found some resources to help you!

Shemaine Smith said...

Erica you are so brave to write this post and I hope that just one person happens to read this and feel like they can identify with your work here. Therapy has been amazing for my family and we are such better parents too! All the best to you.