Friday, May 17, 2019

I am ready to fight the enemy of PTSD.

Tomorrow Watch Fire starts burning hope

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 17, 2019

What started out as an opportunity to go and film this, plus the Watch Fire, ended up being much more than I planned on. Tomorrow I will be speaking at a ceremony to honor members of the Armed Forces. 

All week I have been trying to figure out what I should talk about. With 37 years crammed into my brain, there were too many topics to choose from.

I decided the one topic that does not get enough attention are military/veteran families.
Suicides keep increasing even though it is the hot topic of the decade. While it seems as if everyone is trying to change the outcome, the facts prove that they have gotten it wrong. 

I'll have to start out with the bad news. Suicide Awareness will not prevent them from happening. We have a decade of data to prove that.

Current military numbers are at a ten year high, including member of Special Forces. While the number of known veterans committing suicide have remained in the 20s since 1999, the percentage has gone up.
All this proves that raising awareness does not prevent them in the military community or in the civilian population.

Suicides are at the highest rate in decades, CDC report shows
According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017. Put another way, the suicide rate was 14 people in every 100,000 — up 33 percent from 10.5 people per 100,000 in 1999.

The suicide rate is at a 50-year peak, according to the AP. The new data shows that there were 2,000 more deaths from suicide last year than in 2016, the year when suicide became the second-leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 10 and 34 and the fourth-leading cause for middle-aged Americans.
The thing is, it is also up in the veterans community, current military, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders.

For civilians, most of them were dealing with some kind of mental health issue, and it was the same for those who respond to everyone else. The one thing that everyone had in common was, the simple fact they lost hope that one more day would make a difference in their life to make living worth it. They lost hope because we failed to give it back to them.

When you consider that PTSD plays a huge part in all of this, that should be the place where we begin to change the outcome.

As long as the people in charge of making the decisions and funding "efforts" keep asking the same questions to the same people, they will continue to support what has proven to have failed.

If we are going to change the outcome, we need to change what we put into it. The best place for that to begin is in our own homes.

Part of what I do is track news and government reports from around the country, as well as internationally. Over the last decade, it has gotten worse while raising awareness about numbers has prevented healing awareness from reaching those in need of hearing it.

Point Man understood this back in 1984 when they established Out Post for veterans and Home Fronts for families. We are on the front lines and that is where healing begins. So how did a Seattle Police Officer figure all this out way back then? Simple, he came back from Vietnam and knew what he needed, so it was an easy thing for him to understand other veterans. 

It was understood that veteran belong with veterans, in small groups, much like the units they served in to receive true peer support. 

Families needed it too!

We know them better than anyone else and that is why it grieves me so much to hear a family member say that they did not know how much pain someone they loved was feeling or what to do to help them.

We need to be made aware of the power families do have to change the outcome, especially for those who serve others.

The event tomorrow is in Tarpon Springs Florida. Thinking about what the topic should be, I was reminded of the Spartan women and what their job was. 

When the warriors were out fighting battles, it was the job of the Spartan women to take care of their families, crops and livestock. It was also their job to defend the homeland from invaders.

They were highly educated and trained to do battle with any enemy coming to their home front.

We need to be ready to fight this battle when they come home to us. Prepare our minds to get into gear while telling our emotions to take a nap when necessary. To know when to take something personally and when it is coming from a place of pain instead of anger.

We need to be able to wisely pick our battles with those we love, as well as when it is time to walk away and chill out.

We need to know when we need to just listen, and when it is time to communicate what they need to hear.

We need to see them though the eyes of our hearts that fell in love with them...and know that all the qualities they had, are all still there.

We need to prepare for battle the same way they prepared to fight the nations battles on other shores as well as within our communities as responders.

We need to be like minded but the only way to become ready to fight for those we love, is to stop listening to what failed long enough so we can start to hear what worked for other families.
I am Spartan
I am ready to fight the enemy of PTSD.
I will defend my home front from any and all invaders.
I will learn what I need to understand.
I will train for what I need to do.
I will ask for support as willingly as I offer it to others.
I am Spartan and my greatest power lives for those I love.
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

There will be more of what needs to be heard but necessary if we really want to change the outcome, we have to change what we are putting into it!

If you want to know how you can learn the easier way what this battle is like and how to win it, you can read part of my life here.

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