My name is Lauren Ehlers (Smith). I am a veteran and a gold star wife, a resident of Robertson Co. TN. I served honorably and faithfully for 5 years in the United States Army as a combat medic. I suffer from a myriad of medical issues, mostly very mild. However, I do have severe PTSD and Narcolepsy as my main and most debilitating issues. For years after my discharge ( an early one due to the witnessing of my husband Sgt.Joshua J Ehlers , death by suicide, something that happens sadly on average 22 times a day with veterans) I wandered about this earth in a haze, self medicating with whatever I was able to get a hold of. I suffered a horrible life draining episode lost in the depths of the awful addiction epidemic our nation faces. Finally, sick of waking up to just find something to numb the pain and forget the day that shattered my existence I found salvation and recovery. While in treatment with the VA, especially in the case of my narcolepsy, I walked a deadly and tempting line. Stimulants and amphetamines are the primary treatment of narcolepsy. I heard a friend of mine talking about kratom. I initially brushed it off until one day out of desperation I tried it. I am so glad that I did.
I havent functioned this well since prior to my husbands death. My PTSD no longer triggered by the jittery amphetamine and stimulant therapy. I am actually trying to better myself with the hopes of coming off of disability and returning to school. I want to be productive. I want to excell. I want to be more than a shell of who I used to be. I'm going in public. I'm making friends. I even put a job application in. My mood is steady, my energy is level. I feel like I'm thriving instead of just surviving. As a veteran, as an addict in recovery, as an American, please help keep this wonderful resource available.
Thank you for your time.