“I am not my hallucinations”

When I was in my senior year of high school, I witnessed a horrific accident. I held the hand of a dying man, begging him to stay awake until the ambulance came. Unfortunately, the injuries were too intense, and they were unable to save him. I made the mistake not to go to a PTSD specialist afterwords, and chose to internalize it and lock it in the back of my head. The effect it had on me bled through into my everyday routine. I started having flashbacks and hallucinating. Everyday I would “see” people in front of me getting run over and mangled bodies under cars. I would retreat into my brain and run until I passed out. My friends saw a part of me that I wish never existed. I drank myself into a stupor, self-harmed, attempted suicide and was eventually hospitalized. After dozens of different medication cocktails and therapy, I started getting better. What no one knows is that sometimes I still see things.

Sometimes the panic attacks get too much and I freak out. I’ve scared away strangers, freaked out my dates, and have avoided a steady job out of fear that I will flashback, hallucinate, or get thrown into an anxiety attack. I know I am not the only one who suffers from this, but I haven’t met anyone yet, which makes for a lonely battle.

I know that there is more to me than the things I “see”, and I am working on having the confidence to look back on the past five years and not only see my PTSD. I don’t want to look at my scars and only see my mistakes. I refuse to let something thats not real define who I am, and hopefully in another 5 years, I will look back at this and see it as the moment I turned myself around.