Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Today is a day we remember all those who served in the military and fought for our freedom; my husband is one of them.  He served in the army and went to Kuwait.

The hard part for me on this day of remembrance is the memory of my military experience.  I joined the Air Force in February 2004; I was really excited to see the world and make a difference.  By the age of 24, I had tried many paths to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  The military was my escape.

Unaware of my mental disorder I self medicated with alcohol throughout my early 20's.  This became unavailable for me when I entered the Air force and went into basic training.  I survived the 8 weeks of basic and entered tech school.

After a couple days into my tech training I had a huge manic episode.  I don't remember much but my mind was creating all sorts of crazy scenarios and being on an Air force base didn't help with my delusions.  They admitted me into the psych ward; my manic self thought I had supernatural powers and they were trying to evaluate me.  That was when I was diagnosed bipolar.  After a few weeks on medication and confinement I came down off my high and digested what was really happening...my dream was being taken away from me.

A medical discharge sent me back home to my parents.  Not knowing anything about my disorder I didn't follow up with a psychiatrist and stopped taking the medication they gave me.  Needless to say I went into a deep depression.  That's when I attempted suicide and almost died.

Even though I am better now 7 years later, it still stings like it was yesterday.  What if I had made it in the Air force?  Where would I be now?  I love my life, but there is always that what if.  The part that hurts the most is the rejection from the military.  Any type of rejection hurts, but this one was big.  I don't tell people that I am a veteran because I don't consider myself one.  On this day though I think about how I could have been.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you are a Veteran! You've served your country so much more than myself and more than almost everyone in the country, no matter the discharge. I thank you for that. : )

    I think the "what if" plagues people with or with out the disease. People without the disorder make mistakes that they regret, we just happen to live with a disorder that we can't always control. I would just accept it gratefully as a turning point when you finally realized there was something different about you and how to treat it! Not knowing would have been so much worse and affected your life for a lot longer. The same thing happened to me with a great job - I was fired, but at least I know now how important it is to take my meds and manage my disorder (some days better than others!)

    I hope you had a great day on YOUR day! : )

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