On October 2, 2003 my life changed forever. My husband was on tour in Afghanistan and an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up in front of him. He survived without a scratch on his body, but his heart and mind would never be the same, and by association nether would mine. He was eventually diagnosed with PTSD and jumping forward over a decade, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety to the extent that I was no longer able to work (ironically I worked for military family services).
I feel to compelled to share our story because I know we are not alone. The circumstances are different for everyone but there are many common threads.
Mental health conditions often prevent us from being able to speak up effectively when we may need to the most. It’s not because we don’t have something important to say, but we may not have the ability to say it at that moment. I know in the midst of my depression my mind would lie to me. It would say that I was a failure and that no one would wanted to listen to me anyway. So now that I am in a healthier place, I am able to say what I could not before.
Another common thread is the shame and secrecy that often surround a mental health diagnosis. This needs to end if we are going to make positive and lasting change. I believe we will all benefit from an open and honest conversation about conditions like PTSD, depression, and anxiety because their effects reach far beyond the individual. They effect our families, our workplaces, and our communities.
My dream is to change the conversation about mental health; to be able to talk about it as we would any other condition. We will then will we be able to focus our energy on healing and thriving.
We live in a world filled with contradictions and turmoil so I’m sharing my journey from depression and anxiety to thriving in a crazy world.
Thanks for joining me, Robin