Thursday, August 20, 2015

If I Die, It Means I Lived

My parents generation had an excuse for not learning about PTSD and what war did to those who came home, just like all the other generations before theirs. If they committed suicide, it was a secret they covered up much like when they drank too much. The term "self medicating" had not entered into conversations simply because they passed it off as being an alcoholic.
Alcoholism: a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally.
According to the origins of that term came from 1855.

My generation was more curious and searched for answers unwilling to settle for the "sin response" like in biblical days when suffering was God's judgment for committing an abomination. We just knew there had to be more to it than what we were told. Just as veterans are learning that PTSD is not about suffering as some sort of judgment from God but more about the strength of their emotional core. They just felt it all more than others.

There is always more to life than what we are told or what is easy to see. Sometimes you just have look harder to find what has been there all along.

One of the few shows I take the time to watch is Humans. There was a quote by Max getting ready to sacrifice himself so that Leo (Colin Morgan) would have a chance to get away. Max didn't have time to fully charge up and he knew he'd never be able to get away from Professor Edwin Hobb (Danny Webb) and Leo wouldn't have a chance to escape.

As Max gets ready to jump off the bridge, he says to Leo, "If I die, it means I lived."

Here is a bit about the show in case you haven't seen it. I'm hooked!
Ivanno Jeremiah

Leo's devoted Synth approaches everything and everyone with the trusting optimism of a child -- for better or worse.
HUMANS, a bold new eight-part drama series from AMC, Channel 4 and Kudos, is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a 'Synth' - a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart.
"If I die, it means I lived" was huge for a Synth to say especially since this small group had been designed to be more human like.

Those words have stayed with me and seem even more important as each day goes by. While some folks are taking what they can out of each day, there are others doing all they can to put something into the days they live.

I have a sign hanging in my home "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" and I bought it after my husband's family was gone as well as mine. After all those deaths it seemed only natural to think that time we spend here isn't as important as what we do here.

I wanted to find the origins of those words and found this online.
"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best."
Philip James Bailey first released his magnum opus “Festus” in 1839

I believe each one of us has some kind of thing to do here. Some have clear gifts, knowing all along what they were sent here to do and everyone in their lives are there to help them do it. Others have no clue what they want to do. With that struggle going on, thinking about what they are supposed to do isn't even passing thought. They are that lost. Others are like me. I know what I am supposed to do but I don't know how much or what exactly is supposed to be accomplished by it. I go with the flow feeling like the 72 Christ sent out everyone forgets about.
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
Luke 10:1-23 New International Version (NIV)

Everyday I do what I can to fix what is broken, find what is lost and go where I am led only to discover I have to find someone else to fix stuff I can't, find that stuff that is right under my nose and then get lost getting from one place to another so even my GPS gives up.

All in all I get to spend a lot of time with a special group of folks so unlike me. After growing up surrounded by veterans in my family and then marrying into another military family, it was easy to understand how odd they really were compared to me. If I joined the military, like my Dad, it is a safe bet I'd get booted out during boot camp simply because I was a brat. I didn't want to be told what to do, didn't like authority, had very little patience, you name it. They were not like the rest of the people I knew. They still aren't and I am so glad they are the way they are.

I just don't like the fact they are suffering needlessly. I don't like how families are suffering because they don't know what to do. Above all that I hate the fact that in this day and age of instantaneous information in their hands, they fail to do what my generation did. We wanted to learn! Then we shared what we learned so others wouldn't have to spend as many hours as we did trying to figure it out. We learned for free at the local libraries in things called books we held in our hands and turned the pages instead of clicking arrows and turning up the brightness of a screen.

So how is it that the younger generation, with all their expensive gadgets, able to find anything in a second has learned so little about PTSD? Is it as some claim they are under information overload? Is it more about social media being bottlenecked by hacks giving wrong information? Is it about lazy reporters not reading the reports they are supposed to be reporting on? More to the point is, how the hell do we fix any of this?

Compared to the rest of the "normal" population with all the normal concerns, there are smaller groups looking just as human as us but their insides are a lot different. Sure, we're all capable of doing what they do but we don't do it. Those groups are military folks, veterans, members of law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders. They are not like us.

We may do something courageous or unselfish from time to time but they are willing to subject themselves to risking their lives over and over again for someone else. Doesn't matter how they are treated, mistreated, used, abused or in some cases, even hated, they still show up when they are needed. How do they do that? The stuff inside them is way more complex but we fail to notice the difference.

Military folks still show up, no matter what they have to go through as current military, even though they see the way veterans are abused by the government (Congress) failing to take care of them after screaming about how they have been suffering. (As if that even made sense to them) and we get to debate about the worth of the war instead of reason they risked their lives.  They did it for each other knowing that if they died, they lived long enough to save someone else. It was never about "me" to them it was always about "us" and what they could do for those they were with.

It is that same core belief that causes them so much pain.  To lose someone in war always leaves them wondering what more than could have done to have changed places with their buddy.  The truth is, they would have had they known ahead of time. But that was not in their power to know.

For those who understand this, they spend the rest of their lives still doing for others in remembrance of the life no longer here because before they died, they lived for someone else.

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