Roll Out PTSD Veterans Helping Veterans
My name is Brian. My story begins as I was getting out of the Army after being injured in Iraq. I was prescribed pain medication and found myself addicted to them. Day after day needing the pain medication became an obsession. My life was taken over by pills. That was my singular focus for seven long years. During these years I periodically got treatment and had a few spurts of sobriety. These successes never lasted long and I found myself right back where I started. Looking back, I know these lapses were in part due to suffering from and not treating, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. In the spring of 2020, as Covid began, my addiction and mental illness started spiraling more and more out of control. It got so bad that I attempted to commit suicide on April 30, 2020, and was admitted into a psych ward.
During my time at the hospital and speaking with my doctors I came to the conclusion that if I did not get help for my mental health, I would never be able to get clean of my drug addiction. That’s when things got put into Motion. I was accepted into a long-term inpatient treatment program at my local VA hospital which specialized in treatment and recovery with a focus on mental health illnesses. At first, I had a chip on my shoulder and thought this would never work. I was originally dismissive of the treatment but also knew that giving up and returning to my previous life wasn’t an option. So, I buckled down and did everything I was told. I listened to the men around me that have had substantial time sober and began trying what they said worked for them. After six months in treatment, I found that Narcotics Anonymous (NA) didn’t seem to be working for me so, I tried Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and things started to turn around. I found a sponsor that I trusted fully and started working on the 12 steps. With each passing day, I started becoming more alive and feeling like I had a good handle on things. That’s when I reached out to Michael Ledford, a buddy that I served with in the military, with Roll Out PTSD.
I had been following his journey on social media and explained to him what was going on in my life. I then asked him if I could join him in Puerto Rico and help out. He agreed and I began saving and getting things in order to move. On November 20, 2021, I left the VA hospital after doing 18 months of inpatient care and treatment. I spent a week with my family and on the day after Thanksgiving, I took a flight to Puerto Rico. Once arriving we spent the first couple of days just getting me accustomed to the island. He showed me around and we stayed busy. We went from relaxing on beaches to hiking in the rainforest to scuba diving around the reefs enjoying big adventures and small. At this point, I was still trying to find myself and my voice. As time went on the people around us and my loved ones would tell me how much I had been changing. I was much happier and they noticed that I had a smile on my face every time they saw me. I started opening up more and pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I started doing things that made me nervous or uncomfortable because I didn’t want to look back and regret not trying them. I didn’t want to live with fear ruling my decisions. I’m thankful for the life I have now. I’m thankful for the VA for helping me get sober and helping me get my mental health issues under control. But I’m also just as thankful for Mike and Roll Out PTSD for teaching me how to live again, how to trust people, and how to be thankful for my life again!
Healing In Nature For Veterans
Comradery | Brotherhood | United We Stand.
Veterans Working Together To Heal With A Purpose. Going Back Into Our Elements To Help The Weak.