Good morning, I’m in Clarence NY. Today is March 6, 2019 and I will be hiking on Route 5 between Clarence NY and Batavia NY heading east. It’s 9 degrees today but the wind has died down. The wind has caused us a tremendous amount of time and energy. At times the wind blew upwards of 30 to 40 miles per hour and many times it blew right in our face.
Yesterday I spoke to a packed house of 400 hundred people in North Tonawanda NY. I spoke of my journey and of my trauma alluding to the fact that I have a mental disorder.
“My name is Frank Romeo and I am a PTSD survivor”, I began my lecture.
Admitting that you have something wrong, especially psychological problems, is always the first step. The stigma surrounding mental health in this country is not helping our veterans or anyone else for that matter. As I spoke my mind raced ahead in several directions. I thought about the pain surrounding PTSD, my pain, and the feeling of helplessness, I thought about the feeling of suicide and reliving others of the burden of taking care of me, and I thought about an endless life of continuous struggle.
I need to focus on the task at hand I thought as I returned to continue speaking as I moved into the next phase of my journey.
They hear my words as I face them and look into their eyes. I always know they hear me but are they listening?