I am sharing my story in hopes that it is a healing process for myself but also to let anyone else who has gone through what I have that they are not alone.
I met Sean on March 17, 2008 three days after he returned from a 15 month deployment to Iraq. We had talked online for a bout a month thanks to a dating website. We were both new to the area and wanted to meet people. I last heard from him before he left Kuwait and said that he would call me. I honestly did not expect to hear from him and on that Monday my phone rang and it was him. We met for dinner and I knew I loved him before we were finished eating. After that we spent everyday together. He met my son from a previous relationship and fit so well. Sean did not sleep in bed he slept on the couch, I thought it was just a readjustment period and it was not unusual. He enjoyed drinking and having fun again thought nothing of it. But after time the drinking became excessive on the weekends and he would I think flashback to things. He was starting to have nightmares and woke up covered in sweat. Four months after being home he had a night of drinking and a poor decision to do cocaine to numb the pain and forget everything that happened in Iraq. The following day a drug test was done on the unit and he failed along with 14 others. Within a month all 14 were discharged from the Army and Sean was even more lost then before. We moved back to where I was originally from and he started work but he did not ever seem happy. He started going to the Vet center for therapy and then would stop and then go again just to stop again. The last five and a half years have been a very turbulent time. Sean just wanted to numb feeling everything and forget Iraq and unfortunately drugs and alcohol were his companions in that. He would go days without sleeping and what little sleep he did get had horrible nightmares, he had never slept in bed with me always on the couch. Trying to go and do anything to get out of the house was a fight.
The pinnacle of our battle with addiction and PTSD came on August 23, 2013 when I found Sean unresponsive and blue in the bathroom. I had to perform CPR for what seemed like forever I got him back. Immediately after this he went to an inpatient VA facility to help in PTSD and addiction.
Since he has been gone I have been struggling with my own emotions about everything. It has been difficult and I go to a support group that has been amazing. It has been a struggle because I have not worked since February because Sean was admitted for a serious infection and he was the caregiver for our 2 year old. So I had to care for both of them. We are fighting to get his benefits and that is just a joke how difficult they make that process. This will be our third time.
I have been reading book after book to learn all that I can and that seems to help. I just know that Sean’s demons will always be a struggle to overcome but he finally has the mindset of living a healthy life. I am also hopeful that we both can learn to be healthy and establish a stable environment for our family.
Proud of my Hero
Submitted By: Alisha