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The day I lost my soul

Community Member

6 years ago today an event occurred that changed my life forever.

I went to work, and 18hours later when I finally walked out of that place I was never the same again.

Looking about at the person I was before it, and who I am today....I can only describe it as losing my soul, the guy I used to be ceased to exist.

I've lost so much, my home, my life, my drive and any sense of happiness or enjoyment in the short journey of life.

I'm resigned to the fact that I'm never coming back, no treatment, medication or self will can ever remove this pain I live with daily.

Everyone I know tells me that they believe in me, they believe I'm still inside and they believe that I can overcome this.

But they're wrong, the person I used to be could of overcome those things, im not that person anymore.

No one seems to understand, it's like my mind and soul left my body that day...but my body kept living.

There's no better life in the future, just more days of pain and suffering. I didn't ask for this to happen to me, im not a religious person but I find myself asking god did I do something in another life to deserve this punishment.

For someone whose job was to lock evil up to protect the innocent, I am now a prisoner inside my own mind. Yet, there is no key for this door and no one can hear me screaming to be let out.

I look forward to the day I see that light shine through the darkness and im finally at peace

I'm not at risk, it's just a very hard day for me.

148 Replies 148

Dear Guest 7403,

We’re so grateful to have you reach out to our community this morning and are so sorry to hear everything you have going on at the moment. Times like this can definitely get overwhelming . We hope that you find our forums to be a safe and supportive space to talk through your thoughts and feelings. Our community is here for you.

We hope you know that there is always help available to you, whether it's from our professional mental health counsellors Beyond Blue (available 24/7/365 on 1300 22 4636) or our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).
Keep checking back in with us whenever you feel up to it. 

Jazz and Blues
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Guest_7403.

Thank you for sharing your story on the forums. I'm so sorry to hear of your battle over so many years. I, too, have experienced times where I have felt as if things can never improve and anger at the injustice of the situation. Whilst your experience 6 years ago is unique to you, your reaction has been felt by so many of us, leaving us to ask, "why me?" The unfairness tastes bitter.

I'm glad to hear that you still have hope for a light through the darkness despite your bad day today. These very hard days are when we need extra support, as Sophie_M highlights.

We, as a community, see your struggle and we hear you. You are not alone in these experiences and it is wonderful to see you reaching out when you need to.

Perhaps, today, you can focus on being aware of the present moment. Take time to focus on what is around you. What can you see? What smells surround you? Are there birds chirping in the distance? Focus on your breathing. In and out. In and out.

I have found these techniques to be useful in breaking the cycle of thoughts that go round and round in my head at times.

I wish you the best and hope that you have a reprieve from these feelings soon. Keep in touch on the forums to let us know how you are travelling and please rely on the services above if needed.

Community Champion
Community Champion


You mentioned a key in your story, or there was no key. When things were at their worst for me I was chatting with another person, someone who had been where I was. Anyhow, I had mentioned to him about a locked door and unable to find the key. For me the key was to the door that brought me back to life. I might have made it out that door but there are other challenges. Perhaps if you don't mind my saying... They key you are looking for does exist and is well hidden at the moment. Does that possibility exist? Perhaps the lock can be changed?

I will keep this reply short. I am interested in your story. And would like to chat more with you.

Peace to you, Tim

I don't believe there is a key or fix to this for me, I know who I was and im not that person anymore. Guess what I'm trying to say is that I know my mind and I know it is not possible for me to recover.

My psych told me that this illness has happened to me because of who I am or was as a person prior to this.

I'm a natural protector, and I put myself in harms way countless times in that hell hole so that my friends and colleagues were safe.

I took the brunt of it, always me...solely standing infront ready to confront what others feared, so that they didn't have to go through it.

My darling ex wife worked there, witnessed many incidents I was in, encouraged me to be the one to do what was needed to protect others, sent me down into the fire pit when the violence was imminent.

And when my mind finally broke, instead of helping me she walked out for another man, took my daughter and used my illness to justify me not seeing my young daughter and drove the dagger home.

All these people I shielded and protected so that they could go home to their families safely, and here I sit completely alone and abandoned without a family because I couldn't do it anymore.

Things I've seen and done no one should have to do as part of their job.

Nothing but violence and fear, what a horrible world we live in.

I was a good selfless person....now I sit here cursed to suffer an eternity of painful memories and I trust no one.

Hi Guest_7403,

I'm really sorry to hear that you're feeling this way about yourself. The job you were in certainly sounded very taxing to your mental health, and I can't imagine what you've seen and been thru during your entire career in that position. And in amidst the brutal reality of your job, others have taken you for granted, making you feel isolated and alone during your times of need. Sometimes people forget, how fragile human beings are. Whether we're a psychiatrist who are trained to deal with these mental situations to help others, or a soldier serving for their country. We're all equal human beings with the same fragile mental health.

We may feel that we're broken at times, that we're unfixable no matter how much we want to be fixed. But instead of fixing the unfixable, we can learn to accept it and show ourselves some compassion. We can learn from our past encounters and experiences, and accept that it has happened and keep on going on with life. No matter how much we want to go back to who we were in the past, it is an impossible task. It's like, pushing yourself up against a strong river current, and eventually you'll get tired and drown from the task. But instead of going against the river current, let yourself go and go with the flow of the river. Be in the present moment, and seek out the person whom you want to be now instead of the past.

Hoping for the best for you my friend, and I'm always happy to chat with you more here. You're not alone.


I'm trying to go with the flow, trying to let it all go.

Each night I tell myself this is my last night of drinking, tomorrow I wake up...go to the gym, go for a walk and change my mindset to positive.

But when I wake, I can barely move and I'm lethargic.

Or it goes the opposite way and I wake and I am so angry that my mind has awoken to negativity again.

I can go weeks of doing well, at times months...but when the wheels fall off again it makes it so much harder to try again, as it takes so much effort to carry myself through life trying that I can't keep up and when that exhaustion takes over, those dam walls come crashing down and every bit of good or positivity is washed away....and im left feeling....why did I put myself through that? Why did I force myself to work? Why did I try this and burn myself out.

Everyone on here, friends, family, GPs, psychs all say the same things, keep trying, it'll get better, find what works for you etc

Its simply not true, I've been like this 6 years, nothing has made an impact, nothing has changed for me...it feels more hopeless than at the start. My life is worse now than 3 years ago.

I'm an intelligent person, I've read all the therapies, tried multiple things, studied psychology to understand the mind...and all my readings, research and self assessment lead me to one conclusion....

There is no cure, there is no effective treatment. And the people who are guiding you on what to do have no livid experience of what you've been through or what other trauma victims have been through.

Its so easy for people to say just do cbt, dbt, emdr, mindfulness, change your mindset, exercise etc...and when these things have no effect....they tell you to keep trying, or that you weren't committed enough etc

I'd like to see them run for their lives in riots, or physically fight people, or watch someone set their cell on fire while inside...watch that person get dragged out dead. Let them experience what it's like to fight someone, to wrestle them to the ground, to feel yourself losing and not being physically strong enough to restrain them.

Then come back to me when they're mind is gone and they can no longer function or live a happy life....and tell me how easy it should be to fix themselves. It can't be done.

Hi Guest_7403,

Thank you for sharing more, and my apologies as well if my previous post may have offended you in any way. Your feelings are just as valid as everyone else's, that feeling of hopelessness when all that you've tried with fixing yourself just ends back to the same results that you did not hope for. I'm really sorry to hear about that.

If you don't mind me asking, as I'd like to understand more. The three 'why' questions that you posted.

1. Why did I put myself through that?

2. Why did I force myself to work?

3. Why did I try this and burn myself out?

Would you care to share what your thoughts were when those questions rolls through your head? I understand it may seem pointless, since the experience that you've gone through has only ever happened to you, and I would never be able to live through what you have in order to give you answers and fixes which you seek. But I hope to get a better understanding of your story through listening.


I mean that I try do these things, try to get myself going when I can't, returning to work not because I'm ready but because I can't afford to live and will lose my home and car etc

And the pressure of forcing myself to do these things builds and builds until I implode....and I stop going to work, I push everyone away, I sabotage relationships and I torment myself for being broken.

So I wonder why I do these things to myself and come out worse off and trying to pick up more broken pieces.

One of my worst incidents, I was first one at the cell...I won't detail it....but was a matter of life and death by my actions....I did everything by the book....I remember screaming for this prisoner to come towards me for safety...screaming his name....and I looked back to watch two officers standing 30feet away just watching and not coming to my aide or the prisoners aide.

After it I was so angry at this officer, asked him why he didn't come to help....he responded I'm not risking my life for some crook...and im like what about me what about my life!!

This event destroyed me further, that officer has gone on to a big promotion, has this stunningly beautiful fiancee with a child on the way......

And then me....I did what was expected of me...and what do I get? Complex PTSD and a broken home....

I don't understand why this happened to me...why does the person who doesn't do their job have a happy life....and mine is completely destroyed.....its soul destroying

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Guest_7403..

I just read your thread here and must admit it brought me to tears..I am so deeply sorry for what you’ve been through..It seems to me that the people doing good, helping others in your case saving other people...are the people who struggle with having a very hard life..

Complex PTSD..I can relate to..as I also struggle with it..but mine is from DV..nothing as hard as you’ve lived through...My long time abuser, “husband” passed away nearly 8 years ago...it was after he passed away..That I also said these words.....My soul has been broken..and I’ll never be okay....I’m still not okay, when something triggers me...but until a trigger sets me back, I can manage mostly okay....

I don’t know what to say to you, dear Guest_7403..except that I do care and wished with everything that I have..that I could help you, in some way...You have a beautiful heart, your words tells me that... Guest _7403, Please believe me when I say...that your soul isn’t lost, it’s their inside of you...After 8 years my soul is very slowly but gentle healing......You’re probably sick of hearing this....Please try very hard to believe in yourself. ..because we do...l

My kindest thoughts with my care dear Guest_7403....and if it’s okay a gentle reassuring hug..