December 2nd 2012 is a date that changed my life forever, I was 32 years old with a husband and 2 children ages 8 and 4, a thriving career as a hairstylist, a couple goofy dogs, life was good.
I had struggled in my early twenties trying to figure out my way in the world and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had some depression and anxiety issues but with the help of some medication and some cognitive behavioral therapy I eventually found my way.
Nothing I had ever experienced prepared me to witness my husband getting hit by a car right in front of me. The minutes it took for the ambulance to come felt like an eternity as he laid unconscious on the road, I will spare the gory details. The months following the accident seemed like pure torture. I was helpless against the overwhelming flashbacks that produced anxiety attacks that crippled me. The guilt of surviving, the depression of losing my husband and the plans we had for the future, the overwhelming task of helping my 2 young children cope, the family dynamic of being the sole provider was all too much. Overwhelmed is not a strong enough word. I couldn’t even get respite when I slept as nightmares were the norm. I tried multiple antidepressants but felt like a walking zombie. I was also using anti anxiety medication for the seemingly unending panic attacks. I HAD to function, I NEEDED to be there for my kids! In addition I was talking to a therapist weekly, and attending grief groups, and just talking with other widows in Facebook groups. Talking seemed to help me the most, specifically with people who have been through something like what I went through, letting me know that my feelings were “normal” for what I was battling. PTSD.
I talk about it so that others can too. You’re not alone, there are people who get it and people who care.