Sunday, March 9, 2014

This is harder than I thought! (PTSD)

SO, I thought being able to write about PTSD was going to be so easy and that in doing so I could help someone else living with it or with someone trying to beat it.  The issue I'm encountering is that PTSD, as with many illnesses, cuts to the very core of our belief systems.  It is much harder to put into words what we are feeling and experiencing because it may just disprove something we took as "law" until this very moment.

Today, as I learned from my growing Rodan+Fields business, I am taking 20 seconds of courage to try and explain for myself and anyone reading what this experience is like.  Please share your stories and thoughts about this journey as you read.  This journey solidifies that it not only takes a village to raise children, but to survive life and all its many challenges.

My warrior was diagnosed with PTSD years ago, it was something we lived with as a family and he dealt with thru emotional walls and anger to deter anyone from getting too close to him emotionally, including his family. This is one of many common coping mechanisms for veterans and often why so many suffering make the news in not so gallant stories, thankfully we did not travel that path to the same end.  His method of dealing was adequate to function, but not healthy on many levels.  Just over 40 days ago, his method reached its shelf life and his mind and body rejected it in all forms.  My once vivacious husband was scared, confused, and desperate.  If you have ever seen someone react out of pure desperation, it is frightening from all angles.  The helpless feeling that he must have felt and that I absolutely felt was something that puts everything in slow motion.

He wondered and prayed…..

How and Why did my mind betray me?
How do I stop these thoughts in his head that are racing with no plan to slow down?
How do I make it all stop?
Why am I thinking these horrible thoughts?
Why do I feel so desperate?
Why do I feel so sad?
Why can I find no joy in my family?
What did I see?
What did I do?
Why me?

There were certainly no answers in the first few days, only questions that resulted in more questions.  The stress to him was unbearable at times and maddening at others when he refused to consider the methods of help that the VA offered.  The stress to my kids is horrible, and the only "bright light" is that I tell myself that watching their hero heal and grow strong again will serve them well in their adult years, but how do you explain that to a 16, 9, and 3 year old?

My last thought that is yet to be answered fully, How do I keep myself strong and sane through this process?  I, logically, know the answer is to stay rested, eat right, talk to my AMAZING network of friends and family and I also know that is a challenge for me.

And so the answers we've settled on for now is to take one day at a time!
Making the Change one day at a time with our God given village of support - thank you!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

New Series - PTSD: Loving, Living, and Leaving

How in the hell did 3 months zoom by since my last post?!?!  Wow!  To celebrate my return to the blogosphere, we're starting today with a new and happier look for Make the Change!  What do you think?

This week we are starting a series of posts called "PTSD: Loving, Living, and Leaving".  This is a method for me to cope and to help others living with the situation cope with the range of emotions and experiences involved with PTSD and the impact it has on the world around us.

PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It is common in military service members, police officers, firefighters, 911 and emergency medical personnel, survivors of disasters, accidents, terrorists activity, and victims of rape. (this list is not all inclusive) You likely know more people than you realize that are walking around with memories and experiences that are difficult to understand and process.  The more frequent someone is exposed to trauma, the more at risk they are for suffering from severe forms of PTSD.

My goal for this series is to share my research along with real stories and experiences so that others can seek help, learn to manage and cope with their experiences, and live a full life.  PTSD does not define a person, but it can overwhelm and consume them and the people around them for a lifetime when it goes untreated.  There is hope and help!

The name, "PTSD: Loving, Living, and Leaving", comes from the need to understand how to love and live with yourself if you suffer from PTSD and how to love someone living with PTSD.  The last part is about leaving the "baggage" behind after you learn to deal with it and lastly, for family members and friends, to learn how to leave a bad situation or environment if someone with PTSD escalates and refuses to get the help they need.

If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD - Please seek help, even when you don't think you need it!  The research and methods to seek help have grown immensely in the last 10 years, especially for military veterans.  Whether you choose traditional medicine, alternative medicine, or a combination of the two - there is help and no shame in seeking it.

If you have a story that you want to share (anonymously and/or cathartically) or a theme that you'd like me to research and include in the on going series, please shoot me a note at

Together we can Make the Change!!