The Long-Standing Battle

How I survive my long-standing battle with PTSD

As the early-morning darkness yielded to the light of the early day, I awoke with a feeling of terror and dread… Another PTSD nightmare. As if my broken slumber wasn’t enough, I have to contend with what is, so far, a hyper-sensitive day.

When I suffer my way through a night like these, the powers of PTSD overtake me and usually write off my entire day following. I am, sadly, at its mercy. I’m not going to lie – I am tired of mental illness and its long-standing battle.

What it’s like to have PTSD

photography of person walking on road
Photo by Leo Cardelli on

Fortunately, there is a silver lining to this chaos. Always look for the silver lining; this solace comes from my repetitive onslaught that my mental-health condition forces me through. I know, I know – how can having the mental tar beat out of you constantly have a positive side?

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Well, it took me a long time to discover what it was, but when I did, the answer was quite simple. I am forty-four right now and therefore, this is far from my first dance with the mental-illness devil, but guess what? Despite my battle that rages deep within, I’m still here. Yes, each and every time, I’ve come out the victor. So I guess you could say I’m a survivor.

While this may be true, there have been many times on my road to mental wellness, I have thought “This is it: the moment the unrelenting symptoms finally win the war” – yet here I am. So far, I’m batting a thousand. My story, while not an easy one to live with, has, nonetheless, provided me with gratitude for life. Furthermore, my love for family and respect for friends, inoculates me to a degree from doing any more harm to myself.

With that said, knowing that I come out on the other side alive and well, empowers me to plow through days like today. There WILL be better times ahead.

My friends, if you look back on your worst days, I bet it felt like you were destined to remain in that state forever, that the mental-illness monster had finally won the long-standing battle, yet it has not. You are here and you got through it! Being symptomatic doesn’t mean it’s the end. It means that you are a mental health warrior who will live to fight another day.

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency services, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all who served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

Lemonade stand
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Categories: Mental Health, PTSD

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