anxiety and dreams Articles

When Your Disability Involves Your Brain

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

I have a soft, mushy spot in my heart for dogs, military vets and and people with mental illnesses and brain injuries. So, when I went to the AOL home page to retrieve my email and saw a photo of a young man with his arm around a dog and this headline -  “Airline Staff Allegedly Abused Veteran” – I had to click.

Jim Stanek and his service dog Sarge

In the story, Jim Stanek, a disabled vet who served three tours in Iraq and now has PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) describes how he and his service dog Sarge were treated by United Airlines.

It is one of those flight-gone-bad stories that makes you want to escort the boards of directors at all the major airlines onto a plane, seat them in coach, close the doors, disable the bathrooms and leave them on the tarmac for eight hours with only peanuts, pretzels and water.

Stanek was trying to get back to his home in New Mexico after a fundraising event for Paws for Stripes, an organization he co-founded which provides service dogs for vets with PTSD and TBI. He got stuck in Dulles International Airport for a couple of frustrating days – flights cancelled, re-scheduled, cancelled, re-scheduled and on and on. It sounds like the kind of experience that would have driven the Dalai Lama to cursing.


Dear Mail Carrier: Please Bring Me My Meds…Quick

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

I screwed up. I am blessed to have an amazing prescription drug plan. I send in my prescriptions for $60, I get a three-month supply. Doesn’t matter which drug or how much it really costs. I pay just $60. So, why do I wait until I am nearly out of my meds to mail in the refills?

This time I waited so long that I have run out of one of my meds. Today is my third day without it. I called the prescription service and they said they sent it four days ago. Hopefully, it will come today. Still, I am going to see my nurse practitioner first thing on Monday morning.

I have never been this reckless before with my medications. I always – ALWAYS – take them as prescribed and I feel good, even great, most of the time. I’m waiting for withdrawal to kick in. Last night I had an incredibly vivid and terrible dream. I was in a building – seemed like a hotel – and it was stormed by some guys who were going from room-to-room shooting people. Everyone was trying to hide. I was under a table covered with a long tablecloth. Another woman was with me. The shooter pulled back the tablecloth and killed her but did not see me. I woke up with my mouth hanging open, feeling like I had been in such a deep sleep for so long that I could not move. And now I am feeling a little manicky. I’m not bouncing off the walls but, man, do I have some great ideas!


Hoping for a Happy Ending
Check out Christine's book!
Hope for a Happy Ending: A Journalist's
Story of Depression, Bipolar and Alcoholism
Christine Stapleton

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