12 April 2009

It takes the courage and strength of a warrior...

I'll admit, I was skittish about asking for help again. I'd been through a non-PTSD treatment program already, but something was still missing. While the previous treatment had helped in some ways, it hadn't got to the root of the issue-- the traumatic experience that's been messing my life up ever since the experience happened. How I felt about it. Why I felt the way I did about it. How that messed up my decision making, my responses to what other people did, and those random events in life that just seem to happen. Those are complicated things to figure out-- it took me a lifetime to get them to where they are. It has taken time to open them up, look at them, and find new ways of looking at things. Those new ways of looking at things make life better.

The sign above really says it all-- it takes a lot to step up and ask for help. I can't promise you that one phone call, or one trip to the nearest VA hospital will be what makes your life complete. Getting help will require a lot of work on your part. You'll have to finally face what's happened-- you'll have to admit it, stare it down, bitchslap it a few times, and it'll still be there.

It's not like the drive thru at Mickey D's where you can order a value meal and you're done. It's not like a class where you take the test and you're done. It's nowhere near that simple or that quick. Depending on you, and whatever you've had to deal with, it may take a while. It may take more than one approach. It may take medication. Your life may have to change a little, or it may have to change a lot. But change it must, and change it will.

I'm about to complete week 12 of a 12 week PTSD program at my local VA hospital. It's the most difficult program, the one that requires the most effort (but it's also the one that I think produces the most change). I'm sure I'll post more in the future about how things are now. Today, I'll just say that things are better. The light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train, it's sunlight.

I can't tell you when it's time to get help. I can tell you that if you're wondering if you should, then it's time. I can also tell you you're no less a soldier, sailor , airman or Marine if you ask for help. Just make the call. The people on the other end of the line can't solve all of your problems for you, but they can get you pointed in the right direction.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK, press 1 for veterans. More info on the hotline is here. It's your life. You have to start somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a veteran, though didn't see combat, unless the fact that my husband (at the time of my tour) blacked my eyes and gave me migraines to live with the rest of my days.
    I have some experience with ptsd/mh/etc.
    We need to all try to help each other.
    Thanks for your story.


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