PTSD comes in waves for me, reminsicent of the ocean I love so much. There are days when the demons aren't so strong and I feel really good, then there are days where the waves are a bit rough and rocky. If you live with PTSD or live with someone who has it, you know this all too well. This impacts everything you do everyday. Sometimes you feel like talking and sometimes you don't, so if you've found my writing to be a bit more sparse this summer it's not because I haven't thought about you coming to read, it's that there were some things to work through. The blessing in this is that each time I work through something I have more and more to share with you about what I know. I am more than fortunate to have a consistent flow of teachers that show up on the scene when the student is ready for the lesson. The veterans of Operation Beachhead have become those teachers to me, just as the troops I have loved so much at Fort Dix. There have been some interesting lessons in facing my own triggers and learning how to navigate triggers that I thought were no longer triggers. Meditation doesn't cure us, but it can be an effective tool and learning how to roll with the waves, instead of trying to swim against the current because I will tell you the current usually wins. It's much easier to tread lightly and bob until the storm passes. It served its' purpose well and with that footing is regained.
I don't often post quotes or pictures like the one above, that seems to be a very "Facebook" thing to do, but I like this quote. I have long said that feeling sorry for people doesn't help them, it holds them down. We must reach out our hand and allow others to grab our hand back and stand on their own. This is how we heal. Our troops of today signed up to be a part of this life that presents danger, sacrifice, and moral conflict. They know the risks and yet they sign up for it anyway. They may struggle when they return home, but we mustn't feel sorry for them. We have to empower them to use the same strength, insight, skill, and heart that made them a warrior, to allow them the opportunity to prove they too can overcome the challenges at home. Those with PTSD may feel sorry for themselves at times, but it is unwise to feed that by feeling sorry for them in return. Empower us, empower each other, and help us to see the light in ourselves again, even if we at first resist. Resistance is the nature of PTSD, encourage us to move through it, not sink into it.
If you have not visited the Peaceful Warriors website homepage, please take a moment to do so. I would like to give back to the Operation Beachhead organization because of the great work they are doing for veterans, active duty, and civilians with disabilities, but also as a way to say thank you for their kindness and inclusion of me. Just like being at Fort Dix, I was asked again what unit I served with....I always smile and say, "Oh no, not me. I'm just a civilian." This is usually followed up with well, "You're a warrior if I've ever seen one." My heart is always humbled by these guys. So please check out the homepage to find out how you can help me give back to Operation Beachhead and help them to continue their great work on behalf of veterans and civilians with disabilities.