Saturday was the DEA drug take back day and for the last few years I had been encouraging Michael to participate. Sadly when Michael was diagnosed with PTSD the way the VA handled it was initially denying it and then medicating to the point of making Michael a zombie. When Michael and I first started dating it was a challenge as he was sleeping until eleven in the morning and would go to sleep at night by 8:30. The medications really knocked him out. Michael was fragile mentally as many are with PTSD and suicide was never far from his mind. A number of years before we met he had made an unsuccessful attempt at taking his life. Some days when I went to work I was unsure what I would come home to-would he be ok, would he be alive and would the demons in his head ever quiet down. He would speak of killing himself and I asked how he would do it but he would never tell me. It was very stressful but I knew even in the scary times that Michael was the one for me.
Not long after moving in with Michael I found bottles and bottles and even more bottles of medication that he stopped taking but was keeping. He always said just in case but I knew it was for the purpose of taking his life. After seeing what passed for therapy sessions with the va I strongly encouraged Mike to seek therapy in the civilian sector. Thankfully Mike had done that before and knew where he wished to go. We were truly blessed with the therapist he is seeing now. Through the guidance of the counselor and his own willingness to make changes to find peace and happiness in his life Michael is in a much better place. I think many who saw him last year will see a different man this year-one who is getting better being social, talking and just being at peace.
I’ve asked Michael over the past year if we can take the bags of prescriptions to be destroyed and finally last week he said yes. We marked out all of the personal info on the bottles and took them to the sheriffs office who has a Dropbox. Michael did not wish to put them in the Dropbox. I did so and it took me about four minutes to get all the bottles out of the bag. To my horror when I finished I found I could not close the Dropbox door much as when people stuff too many boxes into the post office box and the door won’t close. I went to go inside to tell the sheriff they may need to empty their Dropbox as I could not close the door but the front door was locked. I ended up calling them to tell them. Lots of people participated prior to my disposing of our bottles. I walked back to the car with a deep sense of relief. I asked Michael how he was doing and felt. And he said it was time and he has been focusing on living a good long happy peaceful life. I can see in his body language, his eyes and his face that he has chosen to live. It has meant the world to me and I am looking forward to however much time we are graced with together on this earth. I never realized that I always lived under the cloud of doubt on Michael’s decision about life until this past Saturday.