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Public Humiliation Isn't Helping Me

Discussion in 'General' started by CaptainR, Mar 25, 2007.

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  1. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

    I'm new here. Only posted a few times. Just thought I'd vent a moment.

    I'm a high ranking cop with 22 years on the job. Suffering from PTSD manifesting itself painfully as major depression for some time now. The past two weeks have been hell. I made the ignorant mistake of self-medicating with alcohol, and was arrested for DUI (two weeks ago yesterday). I thank God that I didn't crash, or hurt someone, and that I was arrested before I could.

    As you can imagine, being in the position I'm in this arrest caused even more of a downturn for me than it may have for others. I awoke dangerously suicidal, and if not for my wife arriving in the town I was arrested in to get me before they let me out of jail, I wouldn't be posting (I never called her, she found out where I was with the help of my department). I've since begun anti-depressants and therapy and haven't had even the urge for a drink since. Because of my work history my bosses are supportive. I tried to keep the situation under wraps, but the local paper learned of it, and published a story about it in Friday's edition.

    The pain of the public humiliation is stifling. It kills me to think that everyone will believe I'm just another irresponsible public official. They have no way to know what's been going on in my head, what's been tearing away at my life, and I can't tell them. Even if I could, they'd not understand.

    None of this makes sense, I suppose. But I thought if anyone can understand what I'm going through because of this disease, it would be others in this forum.

    I've gotten great support from friends and acquaintances. But they mostly reiterate that "everyone makes mistakes" etc... It's hard to not scream out that this arrest was not the problem, it was the symptom, and after it's done and forgotten, I still won't be whole, I'll still be in a battle they don't comprehend. I'll still be fighting to find some semblance of "normal" in my life. I've tried to tell the few people that understand there are bigger issues going on with me that I wish my problem was a "drinking" problem, but I don't know that they comprehend the true meaning of that statement.

    Rambling, I know. I apologize. Can't say these things to anyone else, so I toss them out here, for whatever they're worth.
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  3. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Welcome, Captain R,

    My dad is a retired firefighter. He recently had a liver transplant as a result of a history of self-medicating those surface symptoms. I know he could relate to what you're saying way more than I could, but given everything my dad's always told me, I kind of relate, too. It seems a good sign, though, that you're beginning to attend to the personal costs of your service to your community--costs which, as of course you know more than me, can be huge. My best wishes to you, hodge
  4. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    I have an interesting theory here though, in that you have made the conclusion that explaining the bigger picture to people that they would not understand. Did you ask them already? If not, then how did you determine this conclusion? You know where I'm going with this already... being a typical negative thinking style renoun with PTSD. We can't think for others, we must ask and explain, then determine what we must based on more factual data provided to us by people, not guesses and made up thoughts.
  5. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

    Thank you for the kind words, Hodge.

    And Anthony, I know what you're saying is true. I've heard it from my therapist, wife, confidants... The negative focus is a real struggle for me right now. I know that deep down part of holding on to that negative belief about people not understanding is a fear of revealing how truly weak and vulnerable I feel. Too many years of being the strong one for everyone who needed me or counted on me. Too many years of being the one who nothing is too big for me to handle. The role of being the one who needs help, needs others to hold me up and take my hand is not one I'm accustomed to or adjusting well to. That topic has been the recurring theme of my counselling sessions for the past weeks.

    Thank you for being honest enough and wise enough to call me on it. I needed to hear it again, especially from someone I can be sure understands what it's like to live with this stuff going on in my head.
  6. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    I just returned to the forum after decideing that this forum was not of much help to me. Boy was I wrong. I was diagnosised in 1997 with no hint at why I have PTSD. but it really doesn't matter. The pain and suffering is still the same. I drank, I drove but I didn't get caught for it. I woke up one morning with no idea where I was OR who I was in bed with. As a woman that can prove to be somewhat unsettling. Some how I managed to go cold turkey on the booze and never drank again. My mom says that God watchs our for fools and small children, think she's right? Hang in the it does get easier to manage. Note I did not say easier. It took me a while to get over the idea that I had a 'mental problem' Now I embrace it. I'm crazy and I've got the papers to prove it. When it gets tough, run to the mirror--if you ain't bleedin it isn't that bad
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