Elena Breese

Tell us about yourself. You can share as much or as little as you like. (This can include your job, your family).–

My name is Elena Breese and I am a busy mom of two amazing kids, I am a marketing director for a wealth management firm, I am a devoted wife, daughter, sister and friend, and I’m a Boston Marathon bombing survivor
living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Nearly three years ago after I was voluntarily hospitalized for my PTSD, I began journaling as a way to work through my mental challenges and document my growth. Soon I started a blog with the goal of sharing natural resources I was using to heal. I also hoped to find other victims of terror and help others who were suffering like I was. My blog www.stillbloomingme.com has helped me accomplish each of these goals and so much
more. I have readers in over 70 countries and there is hardly a week that goes by that I don’t receive a message from another victim of terror who hasn’t suffered like me. Still Blooming Me has been such a blessing in my
life and I am happy to be a voice for those living with PTSD.

June is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness month. Please feel free to share how PTSD has impacted your life

I often tell people that PTSD is a small part of my life, it’s not my life. I remember when I was officially diagnosed with PTSD and I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to live the beautiful life I had planned for myself. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Though my experience as a bombing survivor with PTSD has made certain situations in life more challenging it has also given me a different lens to view my life through. PTSD has given me the opportunity to live a more grateful, compassionate, and empathetic life. I also can’t forget to mention how living with PTSD has taught me to take better care of myself, how to be gentle with myself, and it’s taught me how to honor myself in ways I never had the capacity to do before. Having PTSD has enriched my life and I am now able to embrace it as part of my life’s story.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is struggling with PTSD, what would it be?–

I would encourage anyone who is struggling with PTSD to build a team of people who are going to care for you and see you through this time in your life. The right doctors, therapists, friends, and support team will make all of the difference. Also, I tell people all the time who reach out to me about their PTSD challenges to get curious about the ways they can treat their PTSD and resources that have helped others heal. A doctor told me early in my healing journey that I should look at my PTSD as if it were cancer. That it is very serious. Once she said that something clicked for me and it motivated me to research and try literally anything that I thought might help. I believe now that in many ways my willingness to lean in to my PTSD accelerated my healing.

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Written by
Michelle DiMuria
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Written by Michelle DiMuria

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