I’m a survivor of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For over four decades, I struggled to find a way to live my life looking like I was doing great. And most of the time I did that successfully. I was the executive producer of the longest-running conservative talk show in one of the top five markets in the country. I had a comfortable savings account and traveled when and where I wanted. I was the eldest of a large clan of siblings–none of whom had the slightest idea of the emotional minefield I was tiptoeing through every single hour of every single day.Broken places. I had plenty of them…and I just didn’t know HOW or WHERE to get help, I didn’t know how to ASK for help.
But I did. Everyday. In my prayers. I prayed the shortest prayer in history:
“Dear God, HELP!!!!! Amen.”
The dark times and my addictions kept me hidden from most people. I was privileged to have a job that allowed me to work from anywhere in the world as long as I had an internet connection. There were weeks when I didn’t see another human being–even loved ones I was connected to.
Because of the narrowness of my world, I kept giving everyone around me the ol’ heave ho, and things continued closing in on me until I was living almost constantly in survival mode – emotionally and physically. I felt ashamed and guilty. In my eyes, I was a failure, unworthy to be alive. No matter who my famous friends were or how great my job was or how awesome my family was, I simply wanted to die.
Broken places. I knew I was broken. Really broken. And I didn’t believe I was fixable.
I’d tried EVERYTHING over the years.
Multiple residential drug treatment programs. Residential eating disorder units. I think I single-handedly supported the families of at least a couple of therapists/counselors over a period of years.
At the end, right before I entered intensive trauma treatment, I was pretty clear on the fact that something was horribly wrong with me and that I was in deep, deep trouble.
Little did I know that God was about to answer my prayer.
(to be continued…)
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