Real men aren’t supposed to be bothered by silly things like nightmares.
Men of his father’s generation certainly didn’t let “feelings” get in the way of responsibilities like work and family.
And yet, here he was.
The nightmares were relentless, torturing his sleep.
The days weren’t any better, though, because memories of the trauma haunted his waking hours.
Alex tried pretending it had never happened. In the two years since it occurred, he had gotten pretty good at “acting” like everything was fine.
But then the guilt, shame and fear, started eating away at him. As time passed, it got harder – not easier – to pretend everything was fine.
He felt angry. In truth, he felt angry a lot.
There were more and more days when he didn’t want to get out of bed.
It wasn’t long before it was just easier to have a drink or two to forget about it. That helped for a while.
But then he needed more drinks to keep the thoughts at bay.
The more he drank, the worse he felt. The worse he felt, the more he drank.
His wife didn’t understand why he called into work so much. Why couldn’t he get up and help more around the house? Why couldn’t he just get over it?
Even his kids seemed disappointed in him most of the time.
Their disappointment only made him feel worse about himself. Those feelings turned into more anger.
He couldn’t get out of bed most days and stopped caring whether or not he lost his job, his wife or his kids.
By the time Alex started counseling at Human Support Services, he had given up hope. He was doubtful that there was anything or anyone that could pull him from this dark hole he’d been living in for so long.
Today, Alex has hope.
He is midway through treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His counselors say he has been making great strides.
Alex conquered the biggest part of the program – facing, identifying and telling the story of his trauma.
Since then, he has been working to repair his family relationships and has been slowly putting his life back together. He has identified what his triggers are, and is working on ways to navigate around them and manage his reactions.
He doesn’t call in to work as often, and is able to see how PTSD was impacting his life.
For Alex, working through the counseling program and PTSD curriculum at HSS has given him hope and allowed him to see light at the end of the tunnel.
There are others out there like Alex who feel lost in the darkness. Through no fault of their own, they struggle with mental illness or trauma. They need help finding their way back into the light, and you can help.
Join Human Support Services in our efforts to ensure that every individual who comes through our doors for mental or behavioral health services is given the very best guidance and tools for recovery and relief.
You can help build better lives – one story at a time.
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