PTSD Awareness Day: Hope is Universal

It is PTSD Awareness Day (27 June 2023).

I lived with PTSD for many years and for many years, I believed I would always have PTSD.  

Man sitting in car wearing sunglasses and blue sandman shirt.
Randall Smith, handyman!

Now I am in remission.  

I want to let you know: 

Living with PTSD was hard. But it was possible. Getting to remission was hard. But it was possible.   

Since I was first diagnosed with PTSD back in 2005, I have experienced two significant bouts of PTSD.  

The path out of each bout was different.  

The first time, I took 18 months off work. I had no choice. 

The second time, I spent 12 months away from work. I made the choice. 

The first time my leave led to my medical retirement from the Queensland Police Service.  

The second time after my leave, I returned to Churchill. 

The first time, I took medication.  

The second time, I came off that medication and added some other medication for the nightmares.  

The first time, I put on 40 kilograms. 

The second time, I lost 60 kilograms. 

The first time, I attended Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at Belmont Hospital.  

The second time, I received one on one support from my psychiatrist, in rooms. 

The first time, I ate a lot of apple scrolls and sat on the couch. 

The second time, I walked the streets. 

The first time, my psychiatrist told me this would be my life forever, but I would find a way to live with PTSD. And I did. 

The second time, my psychiatrist told me that I could get better, it would take time, but it could be done. And it was.  

Each time, my experience of PTSD was different. 

Each time, the support of my family, friends and great health professionals was vital. 

I don’t have all the answers for you. Everyone’s experience of PTSD is different. 

Hope, though, is universal.  

Take hope. 

Take care. 

Randall Smith
Co-founder & Director
Churchill Education

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