Living with PTSD.

Sometime ago I was involved in an armed robbery at work. It was fucking scary. I tried to kid myself that I was tough and after two weeks went back to work. I wanted to be in control and I didn't want my work colleagues to think I was soft. I thought it was fine, things would go back to normal and everything would be ok.

The trouble is I was lying to myself. Things couldn't go back to normal. Every time I was at work I would have vivid flashbacks and think it was happening all over again. I would try and contain and hide my anxiety because I felt like I was being over dramatic. Being in the same place it had happened was too much for me and after talking to a Doctor they signed my off immediately. 

Now it's been nearly two years since the robbery. The two men are behind bars, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I now have agoraphobia- I can't leave the house unless I am with somebody I feel safe with. I constantly worry that I will get mugged, the house will get broken into, my family will get mugged and all sorts of various scenarios my mind has cooked up. But worst of all, worse than all the hyper vigilance, worse than the flashbacks, worse than the anxiety and fear:

I feel ashamed

I feel ashamed that I have lost my independence. Ashamed that I have to explain to Doctors and uni and other appointments that I can only come if I have my own chaperone. Ashamed that I lay in bed at night in fear of the slightest noise, ashamed that I have to go round the house checking the locks, looking out the windows and making sure things are "safe". Ashamed that I am not strong enough to just get over it and move on. Ashamed that I can't just jump on a bus or nip to the shops. 

This is what living with PTSD is like for me. I'm working on it.

[You can learn more about online therapy from BetterHelp here*]

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