Ive been coming to this site on and off for a couple of years, but this is my first post. Lot of knowledgeable and great people here. Thank you to all the old timers and those with experience for everything you contribute here. You do a lot for people, even though it may not be evident.
Im a 36 year old 100 P&T VA for combat related PTSD, TBI and other service connected issues. Former active duty 11B B4, fought with the 101st in OIF. Left active in 2009 as I was having issues. No one was helping me, didnt understand what was wrong with me, and of course the culture of "if youre not bleeding or missing a limb, dont go to sick call", ect. So I left, joined the reserves where Ive been ever since. That door is about to close as well, as I just cant do it anymore. I did my best to try and still contribute to my nation, feel some sense of worth and continue to serve, but my issues are too great and I have to step away. Even though the Army has changed a lot, I still feel a great sense of loss of over this. But, I have a family now and must do what is best for them. That alone is difficult for me. Those of you who have the same issues as me may understand, PTSD and TBI are what I call a "perfect storm of bull____". Our hardware and software are both busted and feed off each other in ways that I myself cannot even begin to describe. Damn near ruined my life and just trying to get through the average day takes everything Ive got. I used to be a mostly-normal, fun-loving, smart and well-adjusted guy and I was good at my job. Anyway, this ain't a therapy session, but Im sure a lot of you can understand where Im coming from.
My latest battle is with SSDI. Denied. Appeal denied. Now Im onto the hearing phase. Hearing is set for April 5th. I have a lawyer firm I sort of just picked out of a hat. They arent even in my locale, Im in the Northwest, they are Philadelphia or something. They are supposed to be representing me. I have a hearing in April and I havent even talked to a real lawyer yet. Im worried and scared about this whole process. It has made me extremely anxious, among other things. Its causing a lot of extra stress. Im trying to find answers on how to maximize my chances of success.
What Ive gleaned so far is of course, get all VA records. I still attend treatment every month (i would go more but Its a 4 hour round trip just to see them every month). Im sure its going to be harder to get SSDI because of my age too. Not to mention, the VA does not seem the best at keeping records. Most all of my treatment has been with the standard-issue social worker therapist type and of course, the docs/nurses who prescribe me my meds.
My head is swimming. I am having a hard time making sense of all this. Im scared and I could really use some guidance. I dont trust these lawyer people to do their best for me. Im hoping there is not something critical I am missing. Im not good at describing my symptoms, reflecting on my life.... let alone in court in front of a judge. Sorry such a long post, sort of hard to collect my thoughts. Thanks for any input and advice.