Celebrate Mental Health Month | My Struggle With PTSD & The Playlist That Gets Me Through It

Author: Angela Fernandez / Photos: Christina Choi
05.29 / Lifestyle

As some may know, May is Mental Health Awareness month, so I’m here to share my story and how I cope with PTSD and anxiety.

If you know me personally, reading this you may be thinking, “Ang, you have PTSD?!” Yes! Back in 2009, I was involved in a horrific car accident that left me in the hospital for about a week. It was on a Sunday afternoon after church, my friends picked me up to go to a graduation dinner and as we were on our way out of my neighborhood, a pickup truck crashed into us; the driver was going over the speed limit of 25 mph. I was later told that the car I was in flew in the air across the street into the entrance of our local country club. I was knocked unconscious instantly. I don’t remember anything from the accident, and have a blurred memory of the days in the hospital. The day I was discharged, I opened a bag with my personal belongings and pieced my cell phone back together just enough to see the time set on the screen--3:27 PM, the time that the accident happened. My clothing from that day was drenched in blood; so much for my favorite Levi’s shorts and fresh Hanes white t-shirt. Days after being discharged, my mother handed me a copy of the local newspaper, displaying an image that reminds me to always embrace life and thank God for being alive.

Fast forward 3 months post-accident, I was informed by my doctors that I have PTSD. I thought, “WTF, that's not me.” Nine years later, I have finally come to terms and have accepted that I truly suffer from it. Not being able to sit still during a normal car ride or even in a crowded train is something that I do not wish upon anyone. Being in NYC, you’d think I’d be ok with the convenience of the subway system. However, I’ve passed out about 5 times on a train ride to work and also have had a few breakdowns in the car that leave me crying and hyperventilating. But thankfully, I’ve learned how to calm myself down in moments like this.

We all have different methods when it comes to relaxing; mine is music. Music has become my safe haven. It is such a powerful feeling that consumes my body and mind, which in turn provides escape from the situation at hand. Those that know me on a personal level know that my choice of music ranges across the spectrum. I can enjoy a classic Tim McGraw song one minute and then press play on the trap sounds of Lil Pump. That being said, I’ve put together a playlist with the tracks that currently keep me sane in hopes to help anyone else that needs an escape. Enjoy!

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