Showing posts with label healing PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healing PTSD. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

Can voices in your head be a good thing?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 20, 2024

Everyone has voices in their heads. Sometimes they can come to life as we remember things people we love said to us. Unfortunately, the voices can also come from memories of terrible things people said. When you have #PTSD those voices can become the loudest ones we hear. How do we drown them out with the ones we need to hear?
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” ― Thomas Aquinas
As an author, I don't just hear the voices of people I know. I create the voices of people I wish I knew. They said the things I needed to hear when I was falling apart. My painful memories are poured into them as they confide in someone they trust. Instead of having their pain dismissed, they are comforted the way I wish I was back when the pain was often too much for me. The hope I write about comes from memories of strangers coming to help me, not just heal, but thrive.

One of my best friends told me the night before one of most memorable conversations he was suicidal. I could hear hope in his voice, so I didn't panic but I felt great sadness for him. I asked him why he didn't call me. He said he didn't need to because I was the voice in his head. That is how powerful it is to have a good voice in your head especially when a bad voice is shouting.
“Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out of our hearts.” ― Thomas Aquinas

We tend to push people away from us when we need them the most. Do we fear they will judge us as being weak or fear they may believe we deserve suffering? Is it safer for us to hide our pain as we can wait it out and magically go back to the way we were before, or is it because we fear we are beyond being helped? While Aquinas was correct, the fact is, it doesn't have to drive compassion out of hearts unless we turn it into a contest.

If we think our suffering is so much greater than someone else we may not feel compassion for them. If we notice how much we have in common, we realize the words that would comfort us and dare speak them to comfort someone else. We may never hear those words spoken to us before they come out of our mouths, but we hear them when we say them, thereby comforting us in return.

Writing The Ministers Of The Mystery series was healing for me because I wrote all the things I wished I had heard someone say to me. Above that, I shared the suffering I feared to share with people I know. As you read The Scribe Of Salem, The Visionary Of Salem, and the 13th Minister Of Salem, you'll find yourself surrounded by friends you wish you had, hear what you wish you had heard, and find power in what you can do for others. You'll find out why you may have felt God wasn't interested in your suffering and then find your way back to Him directly by your spirit.

When you finish reading them, I hope they inspire you to deliver the voices of hope others need to hear and become the good voice in their heads too.


Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Mental Health Awareness Free eBooks

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 7, 2024

May is Mental Health Awareness Month but for us, it is every month. Every month we can become more aware of the power we have within ourselves to Take Back Our Lives from #PTSD and heal. While mental health is not just about PTSD, the only way to join this club is to become a survivor. That's the point we keep missing. There is no reason to feel ashamed of what surviving did to us. No shame in not understanding what it was doing to us or not knowing what it was doing to someone we love. Why? Because no one we knew told us.
Last year I wrote The Scribe Of Salem, The Visionary Of Salem, and 13th Minister Of Salem to change the conversation. The central character turned his suffering into a contest he didn't want to win. It took the efforts of two close veteran friends to open his eyes to the fact that PTSD strikes survivors of all types of life-threatening events. They understood what it took for them to become happier. Everyone else in the books had demons to fight but did not have to fight them alone. They were determined to help Chris as much as they could. In truth, the honest way to put it is life-changing events. It changes your life because you no longer live with daily normality. You are living with becoming a survivor. 

Most people will automatically assume the conversation beginning with the term PTSD will be about veterans. The truth is it happens to millions of people surviving many other events.  It happens to men, women, and children. If they feel ashamed of what surviving did to them, they won't talk about it until we change the conversation and let them know we care about them. 

The other thing most people never hear about are the scriptures they will not hear in church. Because they hold the power to bring people closer to God and discover the spiritual power they were created with, people will realize they don't need someone else to get in the middle. The spiritual battle is one of our most important ones, yet too often is ignored. 

The characters in the books helped him fight against what he was becoming so he could become what he was meant to be. He lost hope. They restored it. He loved God so much that he wanted to become a priest. Then he regarded God as "that He’s a vindictive son of a bitch playing around with people’s lives and making us suffer for fun." Surviving was some sort of punishment. Despite all of his pain, he still cared about being able to help his friends and others. He couldn't see how much compassion he held onto. 

A secret society took action to help him heal. One of them was a woman many called a witch but she was so much more. She opened his eyes and taught him to understand that he was sent to change the conversation from suffering in silence to sharing healing.
I hear your voice on the wind
And I hear you call out my name
"Listen my child," you say to me
"I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call and I'll set you free"
I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice, I will remain
The Voice Celtic Women

All the characters had their own past struggles and suffered until someone else came to help them heal. They dedicate their lives to doing the same for others. 

The books are supernatural in nature and spiritual because that's what PTSD is. Our events are the horrible parts of our story. Our nightmares are our horror movies. A battle of good vs evil because our spirits filled with all that is good within us, are being treated by the memories of the bad that happened to us. We believe the darkness is all there is because no one showed us the light we can live in again, was there all along. Who we were, what made us "us," is all still there but trapped behind hopelessness.

That is why the ebooks are free for May. It is time for you to see there is so much more possible in your life than you could ever dream of.


Manik Chaturmutha for Readers' Favorite
In The Scribe of Salem: Ministers of the Mystery by Kathie Costos, readers are introduced to Chris Papadopoulos, who has witnessed his fair share of tragedies in life. As a newspaper correspondent, he has traveled the world, including the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. His life fell apart while working there. Back in America, Chris tries to survive as he suffers from trauma. He despises changes since most of them have made his life worse. However, one night at the Bishop Hotel bar in Salem, Chris gets an opportunity to turn his life around. A minister is waiting to help him in New Hampshire, and all he has to do is agree to meet her.
This book goes into great detail about topics not brought to light due to the stigma associated with them. It refers to the Salem witch trials in North America and how people were brutally tortured and executed based on hearsay and gossip. The Scribe of Salem explores themes like PTSD and domestic violence against men in marriage along with the stigma attached to it. It discusses meeting the right people, healing, the light and the darkness, addiction, and mental health. The book emphasizes how important it is to help people recover after trauma in their lives. Kathie Costos also explores feelings of hopelessness and the power within all of us to help one another achieve our life purpose. The book is recommended for those with an interest in mental health.
K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Kathie Costos weaves an engrossing and spine-tingling tale that beautifully blends dark fantasy, gothic fiction, and supernatural horror to deliver the best of all these genres combined. This is an area of history that I’ve read a lot about and enjoyed exploring. I loved the perspective that Costos takes with the idea of secrets, gossip, whispers, and the written word being more dangerous than any otherworldly monster could ever be. The writing style is sharp and focused on the moment at hand, moving quickly through different scenes with swift dialogue that helps keep the pace. Overall, The Scribe of Salem is a work filled right to the brim with intrigue, emotional depth, and historical horror, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series holds in store.
Cloie Belle Daffon for Readers' Favorite
The first book in the Ministers of the Mystery Series is mysterious, unique, and spiritual. Kathie Costos’ The Scribe of Salem took me on an emotional, healing journey. The characters each have had their struggles. They have all reached a low point in their lives that made them think of giving up but a fateful encounter changes their hearts and minds. I was drawn in by the characters’ struggles and stayed to see how their stories would turn out. None of their journeys have been easy but the characters persevered and pushed through. I greatly admired the strength it took for them to face another day and to continue hoping against adversity. It is hope that allows them to listen for their salvation and see a brighter day. I learned a powerful and unforgettable lesson about faith and hope and the important role it plays when it comes to reclaiming one’s life again. Good job!
Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
The Scribe of Salem by Kathie Costos is a great start to a new series. It’s an intriguing story, blending fantasy and supernatural horror as it delves deep into the Salem Witch Trials. Plenty of novels are based on the Witch Trials, but none are quite like this. It goes into great, descriptive detail about the horrors faced in those times and touches on other themes, such as domestic violence and PTSD. It’s also about having faith, not just in God, but in yourself and the power of friendship. It is a story of horror but also a story of pain, compassion, and healing, a gripping tale that will draw you into its tight clutches. It’s clear that Kathie Costos has done her research, and her characters are realistic people, easy to identify with, and infinitely likable. This wonderful story would make a great movie, and I highly recommend this author. I am looking forward to reading book two.
Monique Snyman for BookTrib
Kathie Costos was able to craft a wonderful, realistic — albeit terrifying — story that is both memorable and unputdownable. The Scribe of Salem will leave readers wanting more as soon as you close the book. Fortunately, two more titles are planned in the series, which means lovers of the dark and macabre can rest easily … More is on the way, rejoice!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

I can't believe how much this hurts

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 26, 2024

Sometimes I hear something that takes me back to the worst times of my life. Don't Tell Me song by Disturbed is one of them.
I close my eyes and still hear the screams
That would tear apart our world
I keep reliving everything
I can't believe how much this hurts
Disturbed - Don't Tell Me (feat. Ann Wilson) [Official Music Video]

Most marriages are hard. It isn't easy adjusting to being a couple. It is even harder to live together. My husband and I married 40 years ago this year. We've been together for 42 years. I guess that proves #PTSD doesn't have to end a love story.

I remember when I had to learn about it at the library by reading clinical books and flipping through a dictionary to understand what the words meant. The younger generation finds the answers no matter where they are or if they are still wearing their pajamas. We can too now but we should understand that had it not been for seniors like us, they wouldn't know much at all. I learned from the experts. I learned from others when I got my first computer in the 90's. The ability to connect to people around the world was like a miracle. Even today I am astonished by how many other people are looking for answers as much as they are searching for hope.  

I remember when I was shocked to discover how much it hurt to see PTSD take over our lives. I had no clue what it was or why any of it was happening. I am still grateful my Dad was a Korean War veteran and knew what it was from another name, Shell Shock. When I asked him what it meant, all he could tell me was that it had to do with war. Then he told me to go to the library. Little did he know that's what started the quest. Over 40 years later, I am still learning.

The thing is, no matter what generation you are in, you can learn enough about it to find hope that it can get better. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with it from wars or dangerous jobs or as a survivor of other events. All that matters is that you love them enough to seek a way to understand them, instead of judging them. Guessing why they changed will cause you to jump to all kinds of conclusions. Most of the time you end up believing it is more about how they feel about you, than how they feel about themselves. If you misunderstand the changes, it will only get worse until you discover how much power both of you have to change it all for the better.

Then you'll be saying I can't believe how much stronger you are!

Sunday, March 24, 2024

I successfully failed!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 23, 2024

I successfully failed!


When it feels as if your life has gotten so crappy, there is nothing good left to see, it makes it suck all the more. I was stuck dwelling on all the things I failed with. All my mistakes, misfortunes, and support of the wrong people rusted away hope. If you search about rusted metal, you'll find most results are focused on how to remove the rust. Some are about creating rust on metal because they like the look of it.

I looked at what my life was like, and went over all the things I felt were failures. The biggest one was when I was successful in helping people learn about PTSD and now it feels as if I failed. How many people I helped stopped mattering when I was reading about more and more suffering instead of healing. I felt like a failure because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't make enough of a difference to make a difference in their lives. Not being given a chance to help them ate my spirit like rust. Then I read old emails to remind me that while I failed to change the world, I managed to change it for those who gave me a chance to help them.

I felt better. Then I took a different look at other things to view failures with wide-open eyes. It turns out that some failures were actually successes to be proud of.

I failed to blame other people.
I failed to judge others instead of what they did.
I failed to hate anyone.
I failed to give up easily.
I failed to give up all hope.
I failed to stop finding reasons to laugh.
I failed to stop finding reasons to love.

You see where I'm going with this. When I looked at failures differently, I felt better about myself and what my life has turned into. I realized I can only control what I do because I cannot control anyone else. We are all accountable to ourselves. No one can control others and we shouldn't attempt to do the impossible. We can encourage, comfort, support, and show compassion, or we can beat down, hurt, push away, and hate. That last part will turn against us filled us with resentment. The first part will fill us with a power that can overcome whatever negativity we carry.

Most of us dwell on what happened to us when someone or something wrong happened. That isn't helpful. It is harmful like rust. Try to focus more on when people came to help you when you needed help the most. Let those memories feed your spirit. No matter what you see in your own life, there is always a different way to view it. I like the view from here.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

let them feed your power to be happier

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 9, 2024

When something bad happens, we wonder why it happened to us, especially if it involved the actions of another person. It is one of those things there is never a clear answer to, we sure to manage to come up with many reasons to help us make sense of it. We never wonder why good people showed up to help us afterward.

When I heard, "2 officers, 1 first responder killed responding to domestic violence call in Minnesota; shooter also dead" on NBC News, I couldn't let it go. At first, I thought it was because I survived my first husband trying to kill me. After all, police officers showed up. I was grateful they did but honestly, I was more focused on why the man I married turned into some evil monster. Over the years I began to wonder why the police officers showed up knowing every call was a risk they were willing to take.

This is from the article above.
"Our police officers and our fire paramedics, they come to work every day. They do it willingly. They know that they might have to give up their life for their partners, for someone else. They know they have to give up their life sometimes, and they do it anyways," Schwartz said. "And you cannot understand it unless you’re in the profession."
And now I wonder why compassionate people show up when it is so much easier to be evil.

Some of you may be focusing on the reports of police officers doing bad things. We lump every other officer into that group without realizing it was only a few out of many. Unfair to the rest of them but we do it. We never wonder why being judged because of the actions of others doesn't keep the good ones from showing up to help us.

It isn't just police officers we do that with. Its everyone. I want to stop wondering what makes people evil. It's harder to be good and that's what I want to know about them.

I have good reason to be depressed and despondent right now. My husband's life is on the line because some people with jobs that are supposed to care about patients don't really care about them. I could focus on them and be filled with resentment. I choose to focus on all the good people doing all they can to help my husband. I choose to do this because I refuse to let the bad ones hold that power over me. 

It isn't easy. The easy way is to yield to bad thoughts but that isn't beneficial. It eats away hope from my soul. If I allow that to happen the bad ones win. Imagine if I gave up. I haven't given up on anything and am not about to do it now. I have too many reminders that there are more good people in this world than ones filled with all the negative forces seeking to take power away from others along with hope.

Life is hard enough at times, even with a good attitude about it. Take away hope, judge others by what others do, and you'll be miserable.

Choose to focus on what others do for you despite what others do to you. Realize that they hold more positive power for you than those who seek to harm you.

Too many people harm those with #PTSD out of ignorance. Sadly, some simply enjoy the damage they can inflict. We can focus on them, surrender what little joy we have left, or we can see them for what they truly are, and walk away. Don't give your power over to them. Too many good people are waiting to help you become happier because when they do, they are filled with gratefulness they were able to. Seek them, appreciate them, and let them feed your power to be happier. 


Monday, February 5, 2024

“honey-do dude” of Waveland

US widower and veteran fights grief and PTSD by offering home repairs – for free 

The Guardian
Ramon Antonio Vargas
Sun 4 Feb 2024
“That’s when stuff comes back to you,” Chauvin remarked to CBS.
Danny Chauvin, 76, the ‘honey-do dude’ of Mississippi, fixes doors and unclogs drains to protect his mental health after his wife died.
A retired US military veteran is coping with grief from his wife’s death and post-traumatic stress from fighting in the Vietnam war by providing daily handyman services to people in his community – for free.

Danny Chauvin is the so-called “honey-do dude” of Waveland, Mississippi, according to a CBS Evening News profile of him published Friday. He told the news program that one of his favorite parts of his marriage to his wife had been the small, mostly repair and building tasks she would ask him to complete around the house, which Americans colloquially refer to as “honey-do” jobs.

Chauvin, 76, lost that part of his life when his wife of 53 years, Patricia, died in November 2022 after being sick with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other health issues, Mississippi’s Sun Herald newspaper reported. In the subsequent quiet of his home, Chauvin realized he was not only struggling with his grief as a widower, he also was struggling to manage the depression and post-traumatic stress he had been treated for after serving with the US army in Vietnam.
read more here

Friday, January 12, 2024

PTSD why do nothing when you can do something today to heal?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 12, 2023



Last year there were headlines like this one from Fortune. "The mental health crisis is decimating America’s workforce–but we only have enough therapists for 7% of the population"

It had this warning.
What we’re facing
Mental illness is skyrocketing. Last year alone, 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of mental illness. The situation looks nothing like it did even three years ago.

Every employee engagement survey you see reports mental health as the number one issue in organizations. And yet, utilization of mental health benefits is extremely low, with the average utilization rate by employees hovering around 2%.
People like me have been pushing how getting therapy for #PTSD works for decades. We know it does but no matter how many people we can get to admit they need help, it does no good when the help they need isn't there.

I wasn't going to write this. To tell you the truth, I need therapy but can't get it. It isn't because of the shortage right now. I've been involved in a health crisis with my husband needing 24-7 care from me since last year. I couldn't leave him alone and getting him out of the house for anything other than doctor's appointments has been impossible. It has left me drained physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as spiritually. Writing has gotten harder and harder to do. What became impossible was offering spiritual help to others with PTSD. That has been devastating.

Until our lives are more stable and I can make appointments with a therapist to take care of myself, I can do nothing but wait or do what I can to help myself for now. Writing has always been therapeutic for me, but instead of working on the 4th book for the series I published last year, I can only research by binge-watching shows like Supernatural and Grimm. The book is stuck in my brain and I gave up trying to put it into words. It happened before after someone I loved died of COVID and I couldn't get past the grief. I went into therapy and then wrote the three books published last year. I know it can help me again but for now, I do what I can when I can until hope starts to fill me again.

I still have a deep spiritual connection to God, which helps beyond words. It keeps me from wanting to give up on whatever hope I have left within me.

As for you, what can you do now until you can find a therapist? Find places where you belong! Google videos on PTSD and begin to watch ones from people who were suffering to learn how their healing journey began. Find hope there.

TEDTalks has some pretty good ones like this.
If you are a spiritual person, talk to God or whatever high power you believe in.  Find a support group that focuses on what caused your PTSD. Whatever you find comforting online is better than doing nothing when you can be doing something to help you right now until you can find a therapist to help you heal more than you can imagine.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Choices for 2024

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 1, 2024

Some people see the word "choice" and they think about politics because this is an election year. Sorry to disappoint you but it isn't. I don't have the time or the energy to get involved with that discussion. I have too many other things to deal with right now. Truth be told the way I feel right now, I am the last person that should be discussing what I think about all the nonsense people say. This is about choices we make for ourselves and the people we love, especially if you have #PTSD.
Why January 1 Starts the New Year
January 1 starts the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar in use today. In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history when the Julian calendar took effect (thanks to Julius Caesar’s reforms). Today’s Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII to correct some slight inaccuracies but continues to start the year in January.

The month of “January” is named for Janus, the ancient Roman god. Often depicted as having two faces—one looking forward and one looking back—Janus was the god of beginnings and endings, doors and gates, passageways and transitions.
Did you catch that? Two-faced Roman god with one face looking backward and the other looking forward. How many of us did the same today? I know I did. Last year sucked for me and my family. It drained me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It hit when I was supposed to celebrate publishing three books, but I could not get out for book signings or interviews. As the year went on, there was less and less of what I was able to do for others and less I had to give. I was drained. I still am. I have no regrets because of the choices I made to do what I could for someone I love and forget about what I wanted to do for myself. It was the right choices for the right reasons. It was an easy choice to make but hard at the same time.

We all make choices between what we want for ourselves and what we want for others. If the decision we make is based on what is loving, kind, and unselfish, then it is the right one and while it may be difficult, it is hardly ever followed by regrets. If we decide something based on what is selfish, hateful, or based on getting revenge, it is usually followed by regrets that cannot be undone.

If you have PTSD, you have the added component to all of what everyone else goes through. All too often we have the added turmoil of wanting to go back to the way things were before, even though we are smart enough to know none of us can go back to that time in our life. We've changed. The people in our life see the change but they don't understand it. We expect them to know us well enough to know we're in trouble and need help. What we have a hard time accepting is that they don't have a clue what we're going through because no one explained it to them. We sure as hell didn't because it is all foreign territory to us too. No one gave us an instruction manual on going from "normal" to survivor.

We either make the choice to pull them closer to us by opening up and letting them know we need help, or we push them away so they won't see our pain. We don't want them to feel sorry for us or worry them. As if that works. It doesn't. So we either hide our pain the best we can or we disconnect from them and walk away.

Sometimes, sadly, we reach the point where we think about what a burden we are to them. We see their confusion, anger, and frustration. The arguments we start cause them pain and their reaction causes us pain too because most of the time, we're going through the same emotional rollercoaster. We don't know what to do. Then we decide to not be a burden to them anymore. We decided to end the pain we're causing, one way or another. 

On the flip side, the two-faced god is looking forward, toward hope. So what if we decide to end feeling like a burden to the people we love by doing all we can to not just heal the wounds PTSD caused but help them heal too? The more you know about what's going on with you, and to you, the more you discover you have plenty of reasons to look ahead with hope. Finding a way to heal yourself, will make those you love a lot happier. Being able to explain it to them, helps them stop blaming themselves as well as stop blaming you.

Don't make the wrong decision because you think it is the only one you can make. Open your eyes and know you have options that can make life a whole lot happier!


What you do for love will make this year happier and a new begining.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Hero with PTSD wonders if he did enough

Army Veteran Who Disarmed the Club Q Mass Shooter Opens Up About PTSD: 'Did I Do Enough?'

PEOPLE
By Sean Neumann
Published on December 14, 2023
“There's a guilt,” Fierro explained to Hall, as the two discussed #PTSD and its impact on their lives. (Hall was wounded during the war in Ukraine while working for Fox News.)
Rich Fierro, the Army veteran who helped disarm a mass shooter who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado last year, is speaking out about the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms he’s been managing in the year since the shooting that killed five people and injured 17 others.

In a new interview with Fox News war reporter Benjamin Hall on his Searching for Heroes podcast, Fierro, 46, recounts the harrowing night of Nov. 19, 2022, when a gunman entered Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., and opened fire and how it has impacted both his and his family’s life.

The victims included his daughter’s longtime boyfriend Raymond Green Vance, who died in the attack, as well as bartenders Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston, as well as Kelly Loving and Ashley Paugh.

Fierro, who along with fellow patron Thomas James helped subdue the gunman and pinned him down for roughly six minutes until police arrived, has been regarded as a hero for his immediate response to the massacre. But Fierro has also spoken out over the past year, most recently on Hall’s podcast, about his lingering sense that despite his heroism, he didn't do enough.
read more here

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’

Stigma around PTSD still exists despite ‘shock’ around Ontario police officer’s death

Global News
By Dave Woodard and Don Mitchel 
Posted November 28, 2023
His death opened doors for his immediate family who used the episode to speak openly about his demons and reminded first responders they don’t stand alone in the stigma surrounding mental health.
A first responder from Alberta is making his way across Canada on foot. Now in Nova Scotia, he's hoping to encourage others suffering from PTSD to open up about their struggle. Shelley Steeves reports. – Jul 14, 2023
In a five-part series titled First Responders in Crisis, Global News is looking at some of the issues that continue to loom around mental health and first responders. We’ll explore what’s being done to help first responders and what has changed over the decade.

December will mark 10 years since a well-regarded Hamilton Police investigator took his own life inside Central Station, putting a spotlight on first responders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the job.

Family and friends of the late Staff-Sgt. Ian Matthews expressed surprise in the days following the Dec. 17, 2013, episode, including Const. Andrew Leng, who was a neighbour.

“He lived two doors down from me, and I watched his kids grow up with mine,” Leng recalled. “So I knew him as more than just a police officer, I knew him as a neighbour … as a person. When he took his life, yeah, it completely shocked me.”
learn more here

Friday, November 3, 2023

"Local groups unite for PTSD awareness event"

Local groups unite for PTSD awareness event

The Joplin Globe
Roger Nomer
November 3, 2023
As people remember veterans and their service at this time of year, several local organizations are holding a post-traumatic stress disorder awareness event. They say PTSD is an issue not just for veterans.

“PTSD is a community issue, and that’s why we made this a community event,” said Ted Donaldson, director of Compass Quest Veterans Advocacy Group. “We want to present information to people so that if they encounter someone who is struggling, they know where to refer them.”

The event’s core is the 2023 movie “Mending the Line.” It’s about an Afghanistan veteran with PTSD who uses fly-fishing as a form of therapy. Donaldson reached out to Holly Crane, co-owner of Bookhouse Cinema, for help getting the movie shown at the Joplin theater.

The PTSD awareness event will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Bookhouse Cinema, 715 Langston Hughes-Broadway in Joplin. It will start with a social time, and food will be available at Bookhouse. There will be a PTSD discussion panel with representatives from the Missouri Veterans Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other participating groups.
read more here

I consider this a step in the right direction. Reminding veterans they are still only human, and others end up with #PTSD too, is fantastic. It also helps the rest of us know we are not forgotten.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Maybe they should consider what worked to prevent military suicides?

Marine Corps Had Highest Active-Duty Suicide Rate of Any Service in 2022, Latest Data Shows

Military.com
By Drew F. Lawrence
31 Oct 2023
"What we can do is ensure that Marines know that it is OK to ask for help, it does not injure your career," Gen. Eric Smith, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said during the Military Reporters and Editors conference in Washington, D.C., last week when asked about the increased rate.
Recruits hike with ammo cans during a night movement and supply event during the Crucible aboard Marine Corps Depot Parris Island, Oct 3, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali)
The Marine Corps appeared to be struggling with suicide more than any other service branch over the past year, according to an annual Pentagon report on suicide data released last week.

It had the highest rate of active-duty suicides among all of the military services in 2022. The report, which measured the rates per 100,000 service members to account for the varying sizes of the different military branches, also reported that the Marine Corps had its highest suicide rate since 2011.
read the rest of this here

What can they do? Are they seriously asking the same question after all these years? Yes, and that is exactly how we ended up in the military community and the civilian world too. Just to remind you nothing civilians receive for mental health would be there had it not been for Vietnam veterans coming back, suffering, and fighting to get help to heal what they survived. They didn't do it just for their generation but for all generations. It is doubtful they even considered how much their efforts would help every survivor of traumatic events around the world, but they did it.

But here we are with leaders still asking, "What can we do?" Maybe they should consider what worked that was forgotten about? 

I remember when I first got into all of this over 4 decades ago. I heard the same logic back then from several veterans. They talked about what they went through and then reminded me of the things I survived. I figured there was hope for every survivor if they could understand how human they were to the point where they could connect to someone after what they survived. That's how you can tell them it's OK to not be OK and ask for help. That's how you connect them to other humans after trauma and we can help each other heal no matter what caused our pain. The other remarkable thing about veterans and members of the military is that they have it within them to risk their lives to save others. Safe bet they would be willing to help us heal and in the process, help themselves heal as well. After all, that's what heroes do!

If not, then we'll see what we've been seeing since 2012 when the average yearly suicide rate was around 500 a year.
Department of Defense Suicide Report

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Find what works for you and feeds your soul

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 30, 2023

Writers talk about writing, or so the title says, but this video is so much more than that. They talk about their struggles in their own lives. For Anne Rice, it was a struggle with faith as a Catholic growing up, with an alcoholic mother saying it was more like a thirst in her blood than anything else. That struggle turned to writing about vampires and she was married to an atheist artist. Her life brought her back to the faith she had and she is writing more about the supernatural power of God in her life. 

All of these writers used their own struggles to feed what they created. Lucky for us, they do it brilliantly!
Enjoy a look back at "Sunday Morning" conversations with some of the most popular writers of our time, including John Blackstone's 2006 profile of Anne Rice; Martha Teichner's 2017 interview with Louise Penny; Anthony Mason's 1999 visit to the home of Umberto Eco; Rita Braver's 2006 conversation with Neil Simon; and Jane Pauley's 2021 interview with Stephen King.

All of us struggle with faith because it is a journey. Some arrive at a point where they no longer question it. For most people, we question everything, and what we discover says more about ourselves than anyone else. I struggled with faith because I reached the point in my life when I noticed that all denominations of Christianity claim their beliefs are the only right ones. Each has its own set of rules made by man, but if you read the Bible, none of their rules were established by the One who started it, Jesus.

I walked away from religion but did not walk away from my spiritual connection to God and Jesus. I try to follow what the Holy Spirit leads me to, instead of what other humans try to drag me into. Had I listened to them I would have turned against what I knew was right for me. I'd be miserable trying to live that way. I'd be miserable trying to "fit in" with how their rules wanted "members" to conform to, especially if it was something that Jesus never said should be done.

After surviving what caused your #PTSD there is a spiritual struggle going on inside you. Let healing that part of you become as vital as healing your mind and body. When you do, you will see more complete healing that will get you through what cannot be totally healed. Part of that is being able to forgive yourself and others for what was said and done based on little or no understanding of what was happening to you. It may be easier to forgive others than it is to forgive yourself. I know I had a hard time doing that but if I managed to understand I was forgiven, it made it easier to forgive myself.

When you watched the video, did you see how they talked about faith as a part of themselves instead of something that is simply a topic? That's because they are deeply, and spiritually connected to it. No other human influence needs to be involved in something so personal. No other human needs to be in between you and the One that Created you.

The best thing is, that there are no limits on how many times you can change your mind, explore other options, and grow what is already inside of you. Find what works for you and feeds your soul. Well, unless it's like in Anne Rice's vampire books.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Harnessing Major Life Transitions for Healing

Guest Post by Dorothy Watson



Image via Pexels

Harnessing Major Life Transitions for Healing: Tips for Those Dealing with PTSD

Major life transitions often arrive uninvited, disrupting our comfort zones and challenging our coping mechanisms. Yet, it is precisely during these transformative periods that we have a golden opportunity to rewrite our scripts. For those dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), these transitions can serve as pivotal moments to implement healthy, positive habits. This article from Wounded Times aims to instill hope and resilience by offering actionable tips for harnessing life changes for healing.

1. Embrace Flexibility

Life transitions require adaptability. Whether you're moving to a new city, going through a breakup, or starting a new job, being flexible can be your greatest asset. An open mindset allows you to navigate the murky waters of change, turning potential setbacks into opportunities for growth, particularly important when dealing with the complexities of PTSD.

2. Practice Self-Reflection

Understanding oneself is crucial in managing PTSD. Engage in self-reflection to identify triggers, emotional patterns, and coping strategies. Journals, meditation, or even conversations with trusted individuals can help you gain self-awareness, allowing you to better control your reactions and decisions during transitional periods.

3. Start Small

Adopting an incremental approach is often the most effective way to cultivate positive habits, especially when the aim is to make long-lasting changes. Instead of setting overwhelming, monumental tasks for yourself, it's far more manageable to start with smaller, achievable goals. Simple actions like taking a short daily walk or engaging in deep-breathing exercises can be powerful initial steps. Over time, these small victories accumulate and pave the way for more substantial, meaningful progress in your personal development journey.

4. Manage Caffeine Intake

For those dealing with PTSD, caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and other symptoms. Consider alternative options if you find it hard to let go of your daily cup of joe. Caffeine Gurus, a resourceful website, provides ample information on caffeine-free alternatives that can still provide the pick-me-up you might need.

5. Consider Career Changes

A job can either be a source of stress or an avenue for fulfillment. If your current career isn't serving your mental health needs, consider making a change. A well-crafted resume is indispensable in this quest, and saving it as a PDF can enhance its professional appeal. For guidance on how to create a PDF file online, numerous tools are available that offer PDF conversion, compression, and editing. With the right tools at your disposal, you can not only make a smooth career transition but also contribute positively to your overall mental health.

6. Seek Support

The journey towards healing is seldom a solitary one, making it important to actively seek out support systems tailored to your needs. Professionals like therapists or counselors, as well as support groups, can offer targeted strategies and coping mechanisms that are essential in navigating mental health challenges. These resources not only provide specialized advice but also offer a community of individuals who can relate to your struggles. The emotional support garnered from a community can be invaluable, serving as a constant reminder that you're not alone in your journey. By connecting with these support networks, you bolster your resilience and equip yourself with the tools needed for lasting well-being.

7. Entrepreneurship and Independence

For some, the path to mental well-being lies in autonomy. Starting your own business can provide a sense of control and accomplishment, often therapeutic for those managing PTSD. Forming an LLC is an advisable step for business ownership, offering legal protections and separating your personal assets from those of the business. Working with a formation company can make this process quick and easy.

For those grappling with PTSD, major life transitions can be both intimidating and empowering. By embracing flexibility, practicing self-reflection, starting with small yet impactful changes, managing caffeine intake, pondering career shifts, seeking external support, and even exploring entrepreneurship, you are setting the stage for healing and growth. Harness these transitions as unique opportunities to rewrite your narrative and step into a healthier, more positive version of yourself.

For tips and resources to help families heal PTSD, visit Wounded Times today!

Best,

Dorothy Watson