We spend a lot of time thinking that we need to let go of the past. "Let it go". "Move on." "Leave it behind you." "Try not to think about it." "That's not who you are anymore." These are phrases that are well intentioned and often eventually work for broken hearts, break-ups, job losses, and … Continue reading When the Past Feels More Real Than the Present
Okay, so the words themselves mean the same thing in your mind. Fucked up. Pain. Shit. Issues. Doesn't matter what you call it, right? Who cares? What if how you think of it is keeping you stuck? No, I'm not being "a writer" here and picking on words. On the surface, it doesn't matter how you refer to the … Continue reading Combat PTSD: F***ed Up or Wounded?
From the time I was five, I have lived with a body that subjects me to pain. Severe headaches at age five, joint pain that kept me on the sofa at age nine. Then an adolescence of debilitating fatigue, sensitivity to sound and temperatures, allover muscle and joint aches, flu-like symptoms. It would last for weeks, months … Continue reading PTSD: When No One Believes Your Pain is Real
You come home from combat angry. Stupid shit sets you off. You lash out at people you care about only to see pain and fear flash through their confused eyes. Sometimes you start fights on purpose. Usually, you just react. A stupid driver makes you snap, before you know it you're in a blind rage. In … Continue reading I Came Back from Combat, Why the #@!% Am I So Angry!?!?
You came back different. Changed. You can't really describe it, but you're not yourself. Not who you used to be. You're angry. Blow up at stupid shit. Lack other emotions. Feel numb. Tired. Disinterested in stuff that used to be interesting. Tense. Sleepless. Have nightmares that scare the hell out of you. Forget shit. Can't … Continue reading PTSD, TBI, Sex and Relationships
We live in a society that has a super short attention span. Maybe it's because we're inundated by a constant stream of headlines that bullet-point and define where our attention goes, and we allow it. The stream becomes white noise; part of the daily mindscape that feeds us distraction. Maybe it's because most people have … Continue reading Dear Veteran, Why We Forget You
One of the most challenging aspects combat vets face when coming home is the gap between who they are now and who their loved ones expect them to be. Warriors say that you can't translate much of what they've been through, because there is no substitute for being there. And there is deep truth in … Continue reading Things Combat Vets Wish They Could Tell You | Part 1
If you haven't read Part 1, please do. This is part of a discussion designed to help combat vets help others understand them better. If this article resonates with you, pass it along to a loved one. Here is what I hear from vets and what they are often unable to share with others: 1.) … Continue reading Things Combat Vets Wish They Could Tell You | Part 2
There is a myth that says it is possible to come back from war and be unchanged. It's perpetuated by how we've pigeon-holed whether or not you are affected by combat by measuring whether or not you have PTSD. It's an easy-out for our culture and an almost certain condemnation to isolation and suffering for … Continue reading The Role Your Energy and Soul Play in Healing
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to know where we are in life, to have answers, to see a clear path and walk on it. Society holds that expectation over us. If you're an adult, it's pretty much a given that you're supposed to be in control of your life, right? You're supposed … Continue reading When You Don’t Have Answers
How do you see yourself? Don't let your wounds and fears and feeling stuck in this perpetual hell of the unknown take away your identity. Don't let it erase the truth that you are incredibly strong, resilient, tenacious, brave. Don't let a diagnosis replace who you are. You are not your diagnosis. You are not … Continue reading A Warrior’s Call to Courage After War
How do you talk about war? For war survivors and loving families, knowing what to say or how to say it can be overwhelming. Do you talk about the war? Do you ask what it was like? Isn’t it best if the vet shares all that stuff with you? Or should you just leave it … Continue reading Families & Vets: Talking About War