Robert Simpson is contributing the veteran’s experience with PTSD and his efforts to help himself heal. This is his second contribution to this series. BONNIE
THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE
by Robert Simpson
I want to review an old question sheet I had posted once before, with maybe a few new questions. This can be answered by the Soldier, the Veteran or their families. Now you have to be truthful when answering because as the old saying goes, “THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.”
Do you feel alone? Do you feel that you have a problem? Do you sleep well? Do you have the recurring nightmares of your tour, IE a battle or someone you knew getting killed or wounded, even your own wounding? Do you get flashbacks while awake? Do you find that you cannot talk about it? Do you drink or use drugs a lot? Are you angry and don’t know why? Do you feel numb about everything in life? Do you feel useless or hopeless? Do you feel like no one understands you or what you’ve gone through? Does life easily overwhelm you? Do you find that your short-term memory is bad, but you cannot forget the tour, the incident? Do you find yourself shaking when you recall an incident? Do you feel that “No one cares?” Do you feel your family don’t understand or care? Do you feel you failed or let the others down? Do you feel like you should not be here or that you are better off dead? Are you tired or find that your mind will not stop? Have you tried to talk about it with someone? Do you want help? Do you know how and where to find that help?
Where to begin? Well that question at first stumps us all and fear causes us to delay asking someone. But let’s explore this together. Step one: you need to speak to someone you trust; a friend who has served is a good start, because they can relate better than most. Also you can talk to your Wife, Husband, Boyfriend or Girlfriend, Priest, Doctor, a Parent, Those still serving – hey who better then Sarge? He is a good place to start; then there is also your LT, the Padre. They all know how to get you some help. Back in the day it was suck it up and drink more beer if you’re having trouble handling it. Nowadays there is so much help out there. But you’ve got to suck it up and use your mouth to ask. Scary, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. The sooner you get help, the sooner you begin to come to grips with this wound. Wound? Yes, Wound. You are wounded. You wouldn’t stand there bleeding, would you? NO! You’d see the medic, which is another good place to ask for help.
Remember the best thing to get you help is your mouth. Without using that no one knows that you need help. It is such a brave first step, which will save your life in the long run. I am telling you that you are NOT WEAK by asking for help. If fact, you are showing great strength.I am going to list a couple of phone numbers: Veterans Affairs Canada 1-866-522-2122 USA Veterans Affairs 1-800-827-1000.
These numbers are life savers. They are the start of getting much needed help. Of course if things are bad please go to the ER at your local hospital, talk to a health Professional or call 911. The most important thing is to talk to someone. I would encourage family and friends, if you think that your love one is suffering from PTSD, to reach out to them even through you may not understand what’s going on. If they are thinking of ending it all, then call 911 and get them that help! Talking is so important so I’m saying to the Soldier, the Veteran, and their families … Let’s talk.
LEST WE FORGET