Stress. Anger. Frustration. The nightmares are back. Everything is building up and I don't know if I can cope. I'm standing on the edge of a cliff and weighing out my options.
Should I do it?
I look down below and I see Satan standing there; pointing to images of who I used to be. He reminds me of prior suicide attempts. He reminds me of the standoff with police. He reminds me of the drinking and drugs; the fights and destruction. I look over my shoulder and see Jesus standing there with his hand out, willing me to turn around. What should I do? Satan calls out to me again, saying its so much easier down there. I close my eyes to think...
Thwack! A sharp pain shoots through my back. Whack!.. Thwack!... Someone is throwing rocks at me! I turn around and see people I recognize coming towards me. Why are they throwing stuff at me? Family, friends, coworkers... what do they want from me? Why are they throwing stuff at me? They get closer to me and start pushing me towards the edge. I can no longer see Jesus.
I fight back and push against the crowd. "Leave me alone!" I shout. I'm fighting with everything I have and I'm able to hold back the advancement. "Don't do this to me!" I plead. They don't listen. They are still trying to push me. I'm fighting but starting to fatigue. My arms and legs are getting weak and I know I won't last much longer. They are going to push me over the edge. When I reach the point of utter exhaustion, I turn around and look below.
"FINE! - IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?" I sprint for the edge and jump. As I'm falling I can hear their voices... "we're sorry.... we didn't mean it."
I think to myself 'kinda late for that, huh?'
I hit the ground and everything turns black.
END OF PART ONE.
This is an allegory of someone living with PTSD. There has been a disconnect from the lives we had before the trauma. When you are in the military, there is a saying "adapt and overcome." There is an instinct for survival. When you are suffering from PTSD or depression, even small things can feel overwhelming. You can't just adapt and overcome. One small problem? okay, we can get through this. Two problems? This sucks but I can manage. Three, four or five problems all at once and you find yourself standing on that cliff. Something that seems insignificant to one person can unwittingly push the person with PTSD over the edge.
Even if they don't die, they will be different for awhile.
In part two of the story, we will see what happens in the bottom of this valley.