As I have said before, these posts are the most honest and accurate collection of my feelings and experiences as I travel down this long road to recovery. Most posts are positive and up beat as they look at ways I handled things and how positive things are as recovery progresses. However, in some cases, things are not so positive – this post is one of those – while not in the depths of depression, there is currently a depressed air about where I am at and what I am doing – but in the true spirit of honestly and openness, here is my latest collection of thoughts…
I have found I am now experiencing a very interesting feeling regarding the conditions I have. For years I have experienced the pain, confusion, discomfort and relatively minor suffering of PTSD, depression, a bad back and heart disease (evidently caused by the PTSD and depression).
I have lived with these things for 10 years or more but managed to continue my life as it was – active, creative and very busy. I have now had all conditions diagnosed by medical professionals and now liability has been accepted by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The trouble is, now I find myself starting to consider myself as a person with the conditions and am starting to get into a mindset that tells me I am disabled and need to be acting in a different way to how I prefer. I also am thinking more like a victim than an ‘ordinary’ person. I no longer feel I should be carrying on doing all those things I have done for the past ten years and, instead, I should be slowing down and taking more time to rest and ‘be retired’.
Those of you who know me, would know that this is not something I can readily do – yes I have always found the quickest and easiest way to do things and I have always found a way to have fun doing my work – but the idea of sitting around thinking of myself as an invalid is not what I can do. But the front part of my brain is telling me that I have been diagnosed as an invalid and if I am to be getting any financial support from veterans’ affairs then I need to be acting, or at least to be seen as, deserving such support. I guess it’s a bit like a young person using a disabled car park – immediate first impressions are that he or she is doesn’t look disabled so shouldn’t be using it, but hidden under the youthful appearance is a suffering individual.
I also still have a feeling of not deserving any support or benefit from what I have done previously in my life. This is because I still have all my legs and arms, I am not physically disfigured at all and, apart from people thinking I am a bit weird, I seem to have all my mental faculties. As I have said in previous posts and in my talks – this recognition of deserving is one symptom of my conditions that I really cannot get on top of – despite considerable focus on this during counselling sessions and my reading and tacit acceptance of general consensus, I still do not consider myself suffering anything serious from my experiences and, therefore, not deserving any recognition for what I have done.
So at the moment I am struggling with getting back into the swing of things regarding the blogs, the talks and the new project “Getting Better”, which is a one man play based on my past ten years. There are also a few people who are looking at books of my experiences and even a biography. It is these opportunities that are my motivation for keeping going, without then I fear I will fall into the mindset of the ageing retired gent waiting to die. So it comes the time to go back through my posts and my talk notes and take some of my own medicine and get back into the swing of living my life.
On a closing note, my GP and Psychiatrist say this is a relatively common reaction when you get to this stage of the process and the conditions. I continue the journey…