Meeting Strangers That Changed My Life Unequivocally. (approx. 3 ½ - 4 min. read)

For those of you that live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) none of this post is going to come as a surprise but for those of you that aren’t a survivor of a traumatic event, it may come as a surprise to you.

I will do or say just about anything to get out of an event and an ‘event’ for me is anything outside the house; my comfort zone. Whether its a dinner, a Doctor’s appointment, coffee with a friend, or a gathering of people, and just to clarify what I mean by a gathering of people, is anything over four people.

Ever since I got held up, events have caused me all kinds of stress and all kinds of health issues, so I avoid them like the plague. In the beginning, I used to torture myself and I would medicate myself and go to whatever it was, but as the years passed, that changed. As the event got closer, I would start to stress, and I would work myself into such a frenzy that I would end up getting sick.

In the beginning, it was just things like coming down with a bad cold or the flu, but then the illnesses became more serious and I ended up with type II diabetes, shingles, and I almost lost the sight in my right eye. The stress was literally killing me, and I had to do something about it.

I decided that I had to put myself first, and I stopped going to anything that caused me stress. I wasn’t going to try and hide the anxiety that PTSD caused me when it came to stepping out of my comfort zone.

It didn’t bother me in the least because in my head all I thought about was the fact that if I stayed home I would be safe. If I stayed home, I couldn’t get into an accident and no one could threaten my life. More importantly, no one could say anything derogatory about the way I lived my life and send me into a spiral, so dark and so deep, it would take me weeks to get back on track.

…but somethings changed.

There’s an event coming up this weekend that I’m really excited about and it’s been ages since I’ve had that feeling! Honestly, I’ve been making excuses about not leaving my house for so long that my friends and family have gotten so used to me saying no, that they don’t even make me go through the arduous task of trying to justify myself anymore.

It’s better that way, at least it is for me. I have a really kind heart and saying no to anyone, or anything is really difficult for me & I’m glad people have become conditioned to how they need to treat me and my illness …but like I said, something’s changed and I truly think it’s because of Laddie. This weekend his graduating class is getting together to celebrate them (our service dogs) and how they’ve made our freedom possible. We also get to meet the puppy raisers that loved and cared for our service dogs before giving them over to us.

I can’t wait to meet these people!! I’m literally sitting here with tears of joy streaming down my face at the thought! These puppy raisers made it possible for people like me to live again! Before I got Laddie, I hardly ever left the house, in fact, there were days, weeks in fact that I never even stepped out the front door. Now I’m stepping out almost every day to go for a walk with Laddie by my side.

Not only that, I’ve been able to get together with friends, some for the first time, and actually sit in a restaurant with them – something that as you know caused me intense fear, prior to getting a service dog. The best part is that Gary and I have been able to go out on dates and be like a normal couple in love, instead of me being so hyper-vigilante, I wasn’t able to carry on a meaningful conversation unless we were in the safety of our home.

Stay safe and stay strong. Thanks for following.