So, hopefully I didn’t lose too many people after that last post. I won’t lie, it was hard to write and put out there for people to read. Partly due to the fact that I think I come across as fairly callous in my actions that night of “sitting, waiting for death” so that I could get on with the rest of my shift. I can assure you though that that is the furthest from the truth. The reality was, I wanted to get the hell out of there as fast as I could because I knew it was a messed up situation.
I have purposely left out a lot of the details as they are the cornerstone of my current therapy. Let’s just say that there was a perfect storm of action and inactivity that night that has haunted me ever since and pushed me to this point. it is truly possible that as I continue to write this blog, more of the story will come out. But for now, that’s as much as I can give.
So where does that leave me now? Well, once a week I meet with my Psychologist to work through this incident IN DETAIL……. It is not pleasant and it sure as hell is not easy. But it is a necessary evil if I want to get to the other side of the rabbit hole. I’ve also had a Psychiatric consult / assessment as well as contact with the RCMP Health Services, Veterans Affairs Canada and a number of other support. I have sought out groups to attend to help me normalize some of this and I have done a tonne of research on my own to try to wrap my head around this. I have also been vocal to friends, family and coworkers about what is going on.
All that to comfortably say that I have PTSD.
As I have found out, once you are diagnosed with PTSD, things change. The way people interact with you, the way you interact with people, the way you process things, the way you enjoy things and how you do things all change. And lets not forget the biggest one, with PTSD you also get awarded a beautiful thing called STIGMA which changes everything mentioned above and so much more.
PTSD is considered a mental illness in the DSM 5 and the stigma towards mental health issues is huge. Luckily, I don’t give a shit and I make fun of it all the time. I’m also fighting against the stigma by being vocal and open. I’m not hiding my PTSD and I’m making sure that everyone knows that I have it. Hell, I’m going to wear it as a badge of honour. A badge that reminds me of everything I have done in my service to the communities I policed and to the country as a whole.
It’s a badge that no one can take away from me.