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A year in the mental health life of a female combat veteran

23 Dec 2020

Castle Hayne, North Carolina

This is what anxiety, depression and insomnia looks like. I’ve battled anxiety my entire life and depression & insomnia since this past September. 2019-2020 was not kind to me and I’m doing my best to be where I WANT to be. Things are very slowly getting better which I’m more than ok with.

I knew anxiety and depression could coexist, but I never knew how. For me, anxiety burns me out, depression keeps my mind up. The combination of the two eventually lead to insomnia and I could be up for days. My heart goes out to all who has, currently, and may deal with both. Take care of yourself and don’t internalize everything.

Everyday is a work in progress...

30 Oct 2021

Enterprise, Alabama

I’ve come along way from where I was at this time last year. I was battling anxiety, depression, and insomnia from ALL the things. During that time I was also forced to put a “Protection from Abuse” against my biological father. As I’ve always said, everyone has a limit and I definitely found out mine.

I wouldn’t change a thing because I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. A better job position and more importan

tly, a better state of mind. I know I’m very lucky and grateful, I have people I can talk to and know no shit, I can reach out to them whenever! The support from family, friends and battle buddies was priceless. It’s always nice to know someone is making sure you’re ok.

I’ve learned to set boundaries and love who I am. I’m also extremely grateful to know, no matter how shitty a situation may be….to stick to trusting in ME.

Leaders I need for y’all to recognize a toxic environment & when someone you’ve mentored comes to you for help, live up to your rank and the position you're entrusted in. "That sucks" and "I don’t know what to tell you" are WRONG answers. This is why I’m still here, showing up for our sisters in arms, paving the way for future leaders like those did before me.

For anyone who is going through any type of family abuse please make a plan for yourself to get away. It doesn’t go away, and it doesn't get better with time.

For those dealing with PTSD, anxiety or depression, I want you to know you're not alone, you're going to make it out the other side.

I want to thank my Momma (Tammy), Zulima, Morgan, Johanna, JFC and Lauren I am forever indebted to y’all.

Jaimie Collazo is a CW3 in the Army, she has served the United States for over 16 years deployed multiple times to Afghanistan as well as a rotation to South Korea.

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