I just finished reading this book about PTSD called, “What’s Your Superpower?: Living and Coping with PTSD” by Bob Wagner. Usually I fly through a book, devouring all its bits much like I eat french fries but this was more like a fine steak dinner that you savor each part. I had a lot of emotional reactions and cried a lot while reading. I was triggered a couple times but I really loved how the author did not mince his words and got right down to the heart of what it is like to live with PTSD on a daily basis. He describes it perfectly and in a way I just want to shout it to the rooftops that is you have PTSD this book is VERY validating and if you love someone with PTSD, it is a book for you too. I’ll be directing people to this book a lot like I do the other resources that have helped me in my ongoing journey.
It really helps me to read books by people with the actual disease instead of some educated person’s theory on it. Its comforting and heartbreaking that I am not alone in what I go through every day. I’m very thankful that he was able to open up like he did. I also learned that 28 people that have been diagnosed with PTSD commit suicide EVERY DAY! That’s a horribly large number and to think that is just the ones with a diagnosis and just the ones that are classified a suicide. I understand why though. PTSD tried to kill me and continues to through its bitch-ass hat in the ring every few months.
This book also helped me to see the behavior caused by PTSD and what is actually part of my personality. There are assignments in the book for PTSD sufferers and I enjoyed them although some are still in progress in my mind as well as my journals. I had already started working further defining my symptoms vs what is just me and my dorky weirdoness. Reading Bob Wagner’s book further helped to bring that home that my identity is not my disease and visa versa.
If you can not tell, I highly recommend this book and it is work owning digitally to refer back to again and again. It is a story of strength and understanding. The author still struggles with PTSD and overcomes it every day to live his life. This book made me realize that I do the same and inspired me to keep going. My disease has been trying to kill me again as I go into this new phase of healing. It is lying to me and taking things from me like sleep and time. It makes me feel crazy but what is really happening is that I’m fighting.
This book also addresses the stigma that comes along with mental illness as well as the many stupid things that people say to you if you do happen to have a mental illness and they find out. Reading this I began to realize what a fucking underdog that I really am: sex worker, female, abuse survivor, mentally ill. This doesn’t make me feel bad anymore though. I don’t hold near the amount of shame that I used to about anything I listed above. I hope to one day write a book from my perspective as well. There are some big plans that I decided not to wait to do when I feel better. Here’s the thing: I might not feel better, my disease might kill me, I might get hit by a bus tomorrow. I have started to progress toward my dreams if only one small step per day. This book is one more tool in my arsenal against PTSD and living my life. As it says in the book though: Living another day is one for the win column.