Updated: Dec 7, 2020
I share this heartfelt message, with permission from my amazing niece, Christina Nicole. I hope it provides inspiration to those who need it. I am so proud of her and so thankful that she never gave up HOPE.
"I spent 10 years trapped inside a windowless maze of pain and shadow, waging war with the savage darkness known as PTSD. Sunshine was elusive at best and I was viciously tormented by the lack of light. There were innumerable battles lost and my survival was never certain. I blindly sought refuge wherever I thought the darkness couldn't follow. Sprinting towards the center of the sun I was cruelly burnt.
In my subsequent retreat I tripped into an abyss and shattered in the darkness. Too many who face this invisible enemy are consumed by the unrelenting torture and lose their war.
But I'm a fighter propelled by an inexplicable, unquenchable hope. Hope allowed me to learn from brutal experience and adopt a better survival strategy.
Now I've exited that horrifying maze to walk into sunlight. There is indescribable joy in finally being able to feel the warmth of everyday life and friendship, but I remain cognizant I may find myself back on the grey-scale battlefield one day. PTSD will always be a part of my story, but it won't be the main character: hope is."