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Selco on PTSD: The Price You Pay for Survival


Oftentimes, that price is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. This is a very real condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a horrifying event or series of events.  You can learn more about PTSD here on the VA website. Once called "shell shock" or "battle fatigue syndrome" it can affect more than just soldiers.

You can't survive something awful and expect to live unscathed. PTSD isn't a symptom weakness. It's a sign that you have a conscience and a heart. It's a sign that you love and you care. It's part of being a survivor, and that's why all of us are here – we want to survive.

In this article, Selco shares his deeply personal experience with PTSD.

The Price You Pay for Survival

by Selco

I am not alone.
he's here now.
sometimes I think he's
then he
flies back
in the morning or at
noon or in the
a bird no one wants.
he's mine.
my bird of pain.
he doesn't sing.
that bird
swaying on the

—Charles Bukowski 

For all people out there, who carry this ugly bird on their shoulders.

Anxiety, phobias, PTSD, depression… are just words.

For the people who have not experienced it personally, those words cannot portray feelings of being lost, alone and cornered while you are fighting for air, or simply thinking that you are going to die. Or that you are not gonna make it. Or that it is not worth to make it.

I imagine it like a big black bird, ugly bird, hovering above your head in circles, then landing on your shoulders, pinching your shoulders with claws, and with its wings covering your vision. It suffocates you, blurs your judgment, pushes you to make decisions, or more often not to make decisions…

How many times you were in a situation when you felt that you are in your own private hell, while the world around you was still turning, unaware of the darkness in you?

When I am there, I do not care for anything. That ugly bird pinches my shoulders (and my shoulders hurt for real)  and blurs my vision, so I do not see reasons to push on and on.

I know that the reasons are there but I cannot see them. I just keep hoping I will be able to push on, to the moment when again I see reasons for life.

It comes, and it goes…PTSD

So this post is about all of us who carry that bird on shoulders.

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