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.
I’m not sure anyone would want to listen to that much pain and violence. Hearing it only makes everyone cry out loud in anguish.
Additionally, This may never fix anything and I could remain in this state for my entire life. I don’t know and the fact is that no one knows. Look at every warrior who has gone through war, how many are screaming to be heard telling their traumas…. Think about it, why would be talking about it, it’s not going to get easier. There is no certainty that if we do it will create peace and healing. Some say it has, however, I think they might have just tricked their own mind. How long will that last if they did? Are they now desensitized and are experiencing emotional stress? What memory did they push away or down to reveal the one they are freed from?
There is no solid data here to pursued me logically.
We think that life, as we move through it, becomes easier and more joyful as it goes on. The fact is that life will always be hard if you are on a journey to find something that you feel is lost or broken. Or maybe you have never felt it and you are trying to figure out even what it is that you need.
I am here to tell you that life is only easy in the end when it is no more. I am not imploring you to go and end it but quite the opposite in fact. Here we are at the whim of destiny, the universe, the divine, whatever you feel you need to call it to believe it. These experiences are not bad nor good, there is no right or wrong, this is simply just nature. In nature, something acts and everything else reacts to it. The universe is in constant reaction to itself moving in all directions in what looks like perfect nonsense.
Nothing is lost, nothing is broken
We are no different nor is anything from anything. Everything is equally part of the universe, destined to live and die in its own time. Even the sun will one day exhaust its energy and die. As powerful as it is, it will take us all with it. We are but simple humans on a small planet in the middle of space with absolutely no control over anything. It’s no surprise we are all living in fear constantly. Running every time we think something might hit us or gets to close. However, we don't have to if we accept this as the truth. Realizing this we can be free from the fear of death to this human form.
For life to be easy we can view it all in this way and realize that we have all that we need and more times the millions! Our human wealth in this age is grand and yet we seek more of it. This lust for purpose and fame is the reason for life being difficult. Why do we desire this fame, what fruits do we wish to gain from it?
Concluding these ramblings of thought and understanding. I urge you to live your life realizing that you have everything you need. However, if you desire something you shouldn’t take it away from someone or something else. You should recognize that you must give it to receive it. Remember you have everything you already need and more, so share your abundance of wealth and happiness to the world!
Hear me talk more about PTSD in this video podcast with Men’s Health Unscripted:
To read and explore my commentary on the different verses from the Bhagavad Gita
click this link: https://www.veteranyogi.com/post/a-philosophical-guide-for-warriors