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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1893357-Things-I-Did-and-Things-I-Do
Rated: ASR · Monologue · Other · #1893357
This is a piece about all the things I used to do and what is now different in my life...
When I was sick - before I started to get "better" - I practiced judo.  I took photographs of bugs and flowers and people and beautiful things.  I rode my bike all over the city.  I noticed everything around me and appreciated nice smells and fragrances.  I spent time doing what it took to apply to medical school, organizing my materials, ordering transcripts, getting letters of recommendation, and meeting deadlines.  I went hiking and biking up on the trails on top of the rims.  I took my watercolor bag with me and painted outside in the sunshine and the breeze.  I talked on my HAM radio and kept a log of contacts.  I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  I earned scholarships and went to interviews for them regularly.  I had friends, both faculty and students, that loved to see me.  I went to church and read my Bible.  I ended up in the psych ward a lot for suicidal ideation.  I took many handfuls of pills to control my PTSD and my Depression from the War.  I am a combat Veteran.

Now my BMI is 40 and I am waiting to see if the VA will authorize me to go to the hospital's weight clinic.  I no longer hike or bike or paint or sketch.  I do play the guitar, a new hobby within the last year that calms me when I am stressed.  I am going to graduate school for a Master of Science in Psychology.  I am behind in all of my reading, my labs, my projects...  I have exams coming up fast that I do not know how to prepare for.  I no longer practice judo.  I no longer go to church or read my Bible.  I have been reading a tad here and there of the Book of Mormon.  I have not been to the psych ward for a while.  That is a good sign, I guess.  I am having ECT's once a month, which seem to be helping my suicidal tendencies and my Depression, as well as the handfuls of drugs I take to control my PTSD and Depression.  I now have to take medication for a seizure disorder that none of the doctors (except the neurologist) think I have.  It is supposed to improve mood as well, but all it does is make me lethargic and slow - comatose - and lifeless.  Lately, I have been hearing voices again, but my doctor has prescribed an increased dose of antipsychotic that I can take as soon as I receive it from the VA.  I am having an all-out crisis that I hope my doctor calls me about later today.  If he does not, I will understand.  He works hard and is a very busy man.  But he cares.  I have the best psychiatrist I could ever have.  I am a combat Veteran.

So it sounds like things have gotten worse and not better.  Well, I still have the nightmares, the flashbacks, the panic attacks, the hypervigilance, the excessive startle response, the avoidance, the suicidal ideation...I still have the PTSD and the Depression, but I also still have the best doctor I could ever have.  All in all?  I am getting better.  I smile more, I laugh more, I do not feel as suicidal, because I am having the ECT's and my doctor's visits and my case manager visits.  If I ever need help, it is usually available, even if I have to go to the hospital psych ward.  That is okay.  I am not a prideful person.  I cannot be.  If you are to accept help, you must be humble, and I have learned humility.  I have also learned strength in the face of disaster and crisis.  I have learned to care for others and how to calm and help others who are having mental health crises or just life issues in general.  I have different friends, now, but still both faculty and students, as well as people in the community, at the hospital, and at the VA.  The VA has done a lot for me.  Without them, I would be a homeless substance abuser.  Instead, I have regular and reliable mental health care and primary health care that can refer me out to specialists if need be.  Even though I am fully disabled by PTSD and Depression, I am still striving to become a psychiatrist - a medical doctor.  I want to help people like me.  People with mental illness.  I am a combat Veteran.
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