My Daily Struggle With PTSD

To put it bluntly: I struggle with post traumatic stress disorder. Although the original cause of my PTSD stems from a very specific and singular instance in my life, something that will most likely never happen again, I still struggle with feeling safe on a daily basis. Not the fear of being physically safe, like the fear of being physically harmed, but the feeling of being mentally and emotionally safe: to be able to take comfort in knowing something is not going to happen. For example: I made love to my significant other for the first time, and although everything was “safe” I feel as though the worst thing is going to happen and she’ll get pregnant and my future prospects with end. I once smoked a cigarette with a friend just as one of the spontaneous, teenage mistakes that are normal, and in a way, “healthy” to make, but I fear that I might get cancer. I can’t internalize my doubts and fears yet and it’s frustrating. My way of coping with my fears is to catastrophize them so that I can come to terms with the worst possible scenarios. I have a therapist, I know it’s unhealthy, but I still need to talk.

evycarnahan asked:

Hello! I've been a long time watcher of your story Death and Taxes and I was wondering if that's still in the works? Any plans for that being available to read/purchase?

I apologize for taking such a long time to answer your question. I wondered how best to respond, and how to appropriately answer in public, since I know you are not the only one who wonders about the status of Death and Taxes. In the end I’ve opted for total transparency and honesty, just, well, because.

Death and Taxes is just one of the myriad joys in my life that have been completely consumed by Major Depressive Disorder. The last two years in particular have seen a sharp decline in almost everything I used to enjoy - art, music, writing, blogging, nearly every friendship and social interaction. All of these things are just… gone, like they were never there at all. 

This is humiliating, but depression has gotten so debilitating to my day-to-day functionality that my mental health provider has recommended me to disability services at my university. Any day that I manage to shower and feed myself three square meals is now a significant accomplishment. I am trying new medications, but the adjustment period is long and the side effects are a barrel of monkeys in and of themselves.

Right now, Death and Taxes feels like a chapter from someone else’s life. I want that life back, even though I have no idea how to get there. Last week I barely left my bed and starved myself for several days in a row. This week, with the help of several therapists, an SSRI and some anti-anxiety medication, I’m fighting tooth and nail just to get up and bathe and eat and exercise. Next week I want to go back to classes and try to finish up the semester. Soon, I want to write or draw or talk to my friends again. Someday, I want to publish Death and Taxes. 

I wish I could give you more than someday, but someday is a lot more than I had a week ago.

I don’t care that you got into drugs for three months straight, or how much sleep you lost in that period. I don’t care that you went home and fucked that person and woke up at 6am hating everything about yourself, or that you smoked so much you sounded as though your lungs were giving out.

You’re not a bad person for the ways you tried to kill your sadness.

You’re just human, and being human means you need to survive and you do so whichever way you deem fit, fuck everyone else.

—  Hannah Elizabeth Frances