recovering from PTSD mental illness has to come from you the inside

Recovering from PTSD Can Only Begin with One Person

I’ve heard it time and time again. Though, admittedly, it has always seemed quite abstract to me. But now it’s becoming a very real and very bitter pill to swallow. I can no longer avoid the truth.

No matter how much I wish, no matter how much I persuade, no matter how much I present my case of overwhelming evidence, no matter how much I hope.

And no matter how much I plead.

He will not change unless it comes solely from within him.

Saying the words to appease me has simply become insulting these days. Saying the words is not the same as doing it. Saying it does not make it true.

And in the meantime? I sit on the edge of this damned merry-go-round as it spins. If I look out, I will watch all the same scenes flash past me. Other people moving around their lives, trying hard not to see us on the merry-go-round. And if I look in, I will see only my husband, constantly off-balance on the revolving deck. Mentally trapped in the cycle that he refuses to step down from.

Better the devil demon you know.

But I desperately want to step down. I’m only on here for him. I desperately want to walk away from this hateful merry-go-round and never look back. I want to grab his hand and take him with me. But it doesn’t work like that. I can’t do this for him.

Only with the seed of determination will he be ready to step down.

And when he does, I hope I have enough strength left to be right there next to him.



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  1. Pingback: A Wife Sitting on the Sidelines of PTSD – Away With Her Words

  2. I could have written this except I am not a writer. It is almost like one has to make a choice daily, sometimes many times a day, whether to hang on or let go.

  3. You’re right. Only he can make the change. It’s sad to say but I think they need something bad to happen to them to make them realize this. It’s like an addict who almost dies before they start seeing what’s happening in their life.

    • I wonder this sometimes too, Vicky. Some think that a person needs to hit “rock-bottom” to then finally rebound off, but others think that people need to intervene before they get this far. It’s so hard to know what to do.

  4. “That he refuses to step down from”
    I’m not sure what to think about this. To what extent does a person with PTSD have the choice to refuse to get better, or try?
    My husband, for example, is having a lot of therapies, has become an advocate for others with PTSD and other mental disorders, and I know he is working hard to get better. If I’m having a good day, I think this way.
    If I’m having a bad day though, I tend to think he is not trying very hard (really, how hard would it be to say please, thanks, and ask me how my day was?!?)
    The ups and downs of life married to PTSD are tough.

    • In my experience, a person with PTSD has the choice to accept treatment or not, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be successful. They then have the choice to try another treatment, and another, until they find something that helps them. But if they decide not to keep searching for the therapy that helps them, then essentially they have made the choice to not get better. Does that even make sense!? It sounds like your husband is trying all he can to achieve the best recovery possible, which is great.

  5. Love your writings and insights . The word Recover to me is bothersome and I will try to explain I have never Recovered in 36 + years of fighting this injury . In my early 20’s I had to stop self medicating alcohol and drugs were tearing my life apart I have never recovered I have found ways to manage by using peer to peer groups . Yet my demons continued to haunt as you would be more than aware of anxiety anger depression . By good fortune I was finally able to recognize and identify what was transpiring and sought wellness through others I was given more tools to move forward and Manage and accept my injury it was a long hard process i have come to accept I will never recover so to speak even though others see it as that . What I have done is become able to manage my injury in conjunction with health care professionals and peer to peer support . The lack of sleep nightmares etc have lessened substantially as have the anger frustration and depression associated with this . My family sees the difference and for me its a daily self check and having the proper tools to identify correct and accept . I don’t have to let the dark side overwhelm me and take me to places that no person should have to go . I seek wellness rather than survival made many good friends and contribute to fellow Veterans and my community . Wishing you love and serenity lofty goals but achievable

    • I definitely understand what you’re saying, Doug. I’m not sure that anyone fully “recovers” from PTSD because no one can ever wipe their memories away. I guess I have a similar view of recovery as you – by managing PTSD as best as you can to regain as much of your old life/self as you can. I also see a “positive recovery” being a process of trying various available treatments and therapies to find what suits each person best. If someone recognises that they are not entirely content with their current level of function, then recovery means to seek more or different therapies to reach that higher goal. So I wish you well on your “recovery”! Take care.

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