Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marble in the Sand, Iraq veteran heals thru blogging

Blogging helps Iraq war vet deal with PTSD

by Carey Peña
Posted on November 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Updated Thursday, Nov 3 at 11:25 PM

PHOENIX -- When Stephen Crowley arrived in Iraq, his Commanding Officer did something unusual. He gathered Stephen and the rest of his unit -- and handed each of them a marble. He told them, Iraq is dangerous. Make it home. Don’t lose your marbles.

Stephen stuffed the marble in the top zipper pocket of his backpack and forgot all about it. He took the backpack on every mission, “oblivious”, he says, “that the marble was riding along.”

After Stephen Crowley returned to the States, he realized how much that one small marble was worth. And what his Commander really meant when he said, “Don’t lose it.”

Crowley tells us that two months ago he hit a breaking point. “Sitting in the back of a police car,” he explains, “thinking that my life was over.”

PTSD and alcohol nearly killed him

“Isn’t it amazing," we asked, "How your life has changed so much in two months?” Slowly he shook his head up and down as if he was just coming to grips with all that has happened.

Crowley’s life changed through a blog called Survival Artist.

It evolved into an essay that has now been seen by millions. It’s called “A Marble In The Sand”.

“Here it is on the top of Tony Robbins’ Twitter page,” Crowley told us as he cracked the first small smile we’d seen all afternoon, “And, he posted it on Facebook.”
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