Hi all. My name is Devin. I’m 27 and I live in Texas. I suffer from depression, anxiety, and several years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD.
Growing up I was always the shortest kid in my class. Today I’m like 5’4. I think the worst time in my life was back in Jr. High, It was the first time I considered committing suicide somehow. I was bullied very badly in the 9th grade. I couldn’t wait to get out of that school and make my way to high school. I was very depressed and I thought I wasn’t going to make It, but somehow I did and high school was better for the most part. High school the bullying came to a standstill, but I was very alone. I hardly had any real friends. My old grade school friends did something bad to me in the middle of high school on MySpace.com that resulted in an old girlfriend breaking up with me. I got out of high school and decided that college could wait for a while. I didn’t feel like going through a repeat like my final years I spent in high school, so instead I decided to go into the military.
I joined the US Navy and became a Corpsman. I served for 8 years and did one deployment to Afghanistan. My career in the military was for the most part satisfactory but at the end of my contract I couldn’t wait to get out. Afghanistan was overall a bad experience. All the trauma that I witnessed was bad. I came back home different. To make matters worse a couple of months later I lost a close family member, and had to watch him die. After that I pretty much became an alcoholic. I was drinking to forget all of It. All the gore, the losses, the blood and guts I’ve seen, but nothing worked. I was really losing It. So I sought out help from the VA.
I went to my nearest VA hospital without my parents knowing. The VA panicked over me, and they put me in what I like to call “the bad place”. “The bad place” is a mental hospital. I hated “the bad place”. They make you stay in a room with another person who is far crazier than you. They invade your privacy to make sure you aren’t going to kill or hurt yourself. I had to talk to multiple shrinks. I had to get out of “the bad place” so I begged them to let me out and reassured them I wasn’t going to kill myself. They cut me loose, but made me see a local counselor and psychiatrist every week, and they nearly put me in AA, but I talked them out of It. They also put me on some meds to even me out and help me with the trauma I had to see. Another few days later they officially diagnosed me with PTSD. I never told my family this. To this day I am still keeping all this a secret because I don’t want them to worry.
My therapist really helped me deal with my problems. She was very calm and understanding. After months of consueling she helped me find direction in my life. To make a long story short, I went back to school and earned some certifications and a degree. Then I started a brand new chapter in my life as a civilian - I became a Firefighter/Paramedic. I really enjoy doing what I do. Before I even took the job, my therapist cautioned me about taking this job. She warned me that doing this will just add on to my PTSD. But I told her that I like going out there to heal and save people.
I feel very successful about myself, thinking about all the good I’ve done for my country and my community. I have helped saved lives. It makes me feel good. But when I’m at home in my personal life, I feel alone. I hardly have any friends. Its hard for me to open up to people, especially towards women. Its because of my sickness. It isn’t easy when you’re constantly depressed and reliving certain traumatic events. They just don’t go away. I think the thing that’s kept me going all this time is music. I have a great passion for rock. A few years after Afghanistan I taught myself how to play the guitar. Today I’m pretty good. Not an expert by any means, but I love playing. It makes me forget about all my problems for a few minutes, and gives me peace.