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Disclosure

Disclosure related to trauma is difficult to navigate. Sharing secret information can be courageous, but it can also make the person disclosing information feel vulnerable. The truth is, as we share our experiences — especially dark ones – with others, they perceive us differently.

I always try to be seen as happy and kind to others, although certain experiences have made me feel and act differently. The word “victim” carries a heavy weight and meaning — something I consistently struggle with as I consider who I am.  (more…)

A Certified Peer Specialist Living With PTSD

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OC87 Recovery Diaries and Philadelphia public television station WHYY teamed up with first time filmmakers from area mental health and wellness organizations to create original, short films that detail journeys of recovery and transformation. We are thrilled to present the first of this year’s four projects: Open Eye Portraits: My PTSD Survival Story, by Brenda Lewis and Sheila Hall Prioleau, from RHD United Peers.

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The Letter To Mother: PTSD, Anxiety & Major Depression

This is part two of Mary Rogers’ story. You can read part one at this link

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I am still in the process of healing with the help of a psychiatrist, a therapist, and the love of my life. He has been my lighthouse showing me my way home. He was my beacon in the night. I am working hard daily, to show up, be present, and deal. I am finding strength and have determined that maybe God doesn’t hate me and maybe hope isn’t bullshit after all.

My psychiatrist has been an angel in disguise. When I first came to her, I was a shell of a person who had become used to having my cheeks stained with mascara as I could not stop nor contain my tears.

She immediately set me up with twice-weekly therapy appointments, started me on medication, and began working closely with me to offer me other alternatives.

I learned of the calming benefits contained within ashwagandha and about how your body can absorb magnesium through bathing with Epsom salts. I learned a lot about exercise (releasing endorphins while getting fresh air and sunshine). I learned about nutrition (and the mind/body connection). Most importantly, I learned the importance of communication.

At first I had a very difficult time converting my emotion into words. I was very “stuck” in the fourth stage of grief: depression. Under my therapist’s suggestion, I wrote my mother a letter.

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