I have been thinking about my own PTSD/ mental health problems a lot recently. I have finally accepted them (maybe still working on this) as part of me and recognizing the effects they have on my life. They are uncontrollable, these moments when past trauma arrises in thought. I used to dismay these feelings shrugging them away in avoidance. I still do sometimes depending on the moment and asking, do I have the energy or capacity to endure this at the time?
What sucks is the accepting help and accepting I need help. I don’t want help, I want to do it on my own. I hate asking for financial, mental, physical, help. It just tears me apart when I start thinking about it, and all I can do to stop that pain is to breathe and try to find the gratitude and push through. Sometimes I need to ask for help with finding gratitude!
In accordance with this acceptance, I have been working on paperwork to receive the treatment and therapy, along with yoga and meditation, that I know I need.
For any veterans reading this, the VA process is daunting and frustrating. I have been denied of possibly the worst of my issues. This has me thinking and wondering what to do next. So I counseled my therapist, and many other veteran friends and mental health advisors. Each person has given me different advice which has been a surprise.
I have also recently written my congressman because I heard the politicians were proud of their 91% satisfactory at the VA. Its BS and why not tell the world, I mean I am right now with this post.
One said to get a lawyer, another yogi Marine says I need to stop avoiding these memories and insert myself into a PTSD program. Another fellow yogi and therapist told me that I am wise enough to realize that fighting through the past is not the way to peace of mind.
The worst one is always, “you just need to let it go” or “Just let it out”. Typically if I hear this, I want to punch you right in the face!
I agree with the yogic perspective the most, not wanting to expose myself to retraumatization as I fear this the most. Why shake and disturb the peaceful monkey on purpose?
These past memories have affected me enough. So why would I give them a second opportunity to do more damage?
Talking to my therapist more the other day, I said that if it was horrible enough to cause me this much distress than it would surly cause other people to distress if I went around talking about it. These are terrible things that no one needs to hear. She said well maybe only tell people who you think are worthy of knowing.
As I reflect on all of this I have realized I must follow all of this advice. There is never only one solution to a difficult situation. I must call a lawyer and a VSO to help me with the paperwork. I must be more proactive in working through the past now that I have a clear thought I should be able to do so confidently. I must not fear what I have already experienced. Following the yogic way, I must be compassionate towards these past experiences. It will take a lifetime for me to tell someone worthy enough of hearing all the details that are imprinted in my hippocampus.