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Little Steps in Life

Heroes Remember

Little Steps in Life

I was diagnosed with depression in 2005 and then with PTSD in 2008 which it was all under the same umbrella. It’s terrible. You don’t want to go outside. You lose your life completely. I would come home from work and I would go to sleep. And then I would get up got to work, I’d come home and go to sleep. I would be working and then all of a sudden I would put something down and I can’t find it. And then you get frustrated and everything blows out of proportion. It’s terrible and, you know, like crowds you lose a lot of trust in people. You lose a lot of trust in yourself. And the military, you’re always go, go, go, go, go and then when you start feeiling this it’s oh my God I got a sense of feeling useless. And then when you get released or you’re off work because of stress that even builds up more the feelings. And I have been going to my doctor since 2008 and still battling it and it will go a long time, a long time It’s all little steps. It robs your life and then once you actually realize your problem and you start fixing it, then you start enjoying more things that you used to enjoy. Like I used to enjoy fishing, the outdoors, everything and after a while there was no fun in it anymore. I lost everything and then slowly it’s coming back. It’s a long road. People that don’t have it, I’m a big advocate for PTSD now because it’s got to get out there. And you know, it’s not just military, first responders, everything. There’s a lot of people out there that still fall under the stigma and I would have guys before I stopped working that would, “Oh here, come here, let’s talk,” and they‘d whisper and I was like, “What are you whispering for? If anybody has got a problem with it just, you know…”That’s the biggest problem.

Mr. Reist discusses being diagnosed with PTSD, something that he deals with daily.

Mike Reist

Mr. Mike Reist was born December 18, 1969 in Waterloo, Ontario. Having had a great uncle as a role model, Mike made the choice to join the Canadian Forces, only advising his family of these intentions two weeks prior to attending infantry training. Mike joined with 2 RCR, 2nd Battalion Infantry Division and held rank of warrant officer. Mike has a long record of service overseas - Cyprus 1991, Bosnia 1992,’96, ’99, Africa 2000, Afghanistan 2003, ’07 and Haiti in 2005. Mike had 27½ years of military service. Mike is very proud of his military career and is quoted as saying, “It’s the best thing that ever happened!” Upon medical release, Mike was stricken with PTSD and has become an advocate in speaking out about this condition. He is presently active with the Soldier On program and has competed in the Invictus Games in Toronto 2017 as part of Team Canada’s wheelchair rugby. Mike presently resides in Gagetown, New Brunswick with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Mike Reist
Royal Canadian Regiment
Warrant Officer

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