It took me years to admit that I had a problem.
I cut ties to people that cared. Drank too much. Distanced myself from as many people as I could, just so I couldn’t see the care in their eyes. It took someone seeing past the bullshit to get to me, the real me. Not the one that was a good time at the bar. Not the me that could crack a joke and bring sarcastic word play into a sharped skin-flaying edge. They could see the me that ghosted when people got too close. The me that hurt. The me that counted the exits in a room. The me that sat so I could see people approach. The me that had panic flowing through my veins into the closed fists shoved into my pockets.
That one person helped me help myself. I went to the VA, but that was not my answer. I got into private therapy instead.
And now I have more good days than bad. Those bad days don’t hold a candle to the ones I had back then. I can still function and I don’t need to pull away from the people that love me.
I identified my triggers, the smells, the sounds, the places that set me off. I avoid them or I prepare myself.
Adapt and overcome.
You can be that person. The one that helps or the one that gets help. Seek if you need it. Help if you can.