Why I Don’t Regret Having PTSD, OCD and Depression in My Life

Dear PTSD, OCD and Depression:

I’ve known you all for a long time, even when I didn’t understand you.

I knew you were there for me, just not in the way a friend would have been.

I learned to ignore all three of you with the help of alcohol.

For many years I thought I was just drinking to have fun. In reality I was drinking to forget and cope with the evil roots you’d planted in me.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you were a tough one to learn to face. Since I was a kid, I let you get into my head and dictate my life. I had many sleepless nights because of you, and I learned to surrender to your thoughts. In a way, you made me feel like I didn’t deserve to live.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), I know I used to make fun of the fact that I couldn’t function without you, and in a way, that’s how it was. But you also allowed me to have some control of the things PSTD wouldn’t allow me to control. So I don’t really dislike you all that much. I just wish you hadn’t been so persistent.

Depression, you were always there, almost dormant. You invited yourself to be a part of my life a few years after I’d stopped drinking. You brought so much pain; I almost let you take my life to void those feelings.

Despite the suffering and the pain you three imposed on me, I don’t regret having you in my life. I know I’m a better person because of what you put me through.

Because of you, I found myself, and with some good people’s help, I was shown how strong I am.

You’ve taught me to be compassionate and how to find a purpose and look at life with optimism.

I’m thankful I didn’t surrender to your perseverance and desire to fully control me.

You’ll always be a part of my past, present and future. But now you’re just a reminder of the struggles and triumphs. I’m happy to tell you that I feel victorious and ready to help others overcome you. This is all because of your lessons.

Thank you for giving me a reason to be happy and be grateful.

For all of March, The Mighty is asking its readers the following: If you could write a letter to the disability or disease you (or a loved one) face, what would you say to it? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

Want to end the stigma around mental illness? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

Just 10 Seconds of This Could Make This Autism Journey Way Easier

Some of the better moments of my parenting life have boiled down to this. Someone took ten seconds out of their lives to help us out. To accommodate us. To include my kiddo. A simple gesture like the teenager who broke from her gaggle of friends to hold open the door for me when I [...]

This Young Man Just Found Out His Life Expectancy May Have Doubled

When Gabe Weil was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, doctors said he most likely wouldn’t live past 25. The genetic disorder led to progressive muscle deterioration and weakness; Weil began using a wheelchair at age 10 and required a full-time caretaker. “I can’t stand up. I can’t move my arms. Just to breathe requires effort,” Weil says [...]

When I Thought My Daughter’s Muscular Dystrophy Crushed All Our Dreams

Dear Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, You came into our world and crushed all our dreams. You changed the way we perceive a lot of things, the way we think about a lot of things. You forced us to alter our definition of “normal.” You made me cry rivers and gave me heartache I didn’t know was [...]

3 Years Ago, My Letter to Autism Would Not Have Started This Way

Dear Autism, Thank you. I know, right? I’m just as surprised as you are. If I’d been asked to write this letter a few years ago, it might have started out more along the lines of “f*&ck you.” Amazing how much your perspective can change in just three and a half years. That’s right. It’s [...]