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

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

So, if you want to call me a witch

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 20, 2023

There was a lifetime joke in my family about me being a witch. We lived near Salem MA, and visited there several times a year. My oldest brother gave me my first baby broom. When my daughter was young as soon as she discovered we were going to Salem for the day she'd smile and say that we were going to visit my relatives. Well, she had to be reminded if they were my relatives, they were her's too!

This may seem strange considering I not only went to church, I was involved in it, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and served on a charity board. Later in life, I was an Administrator of Christian Education and then ended up becoming a Chaplain. So how did this "witch of the family" end up doing all that? Easy! The spiritual power I was born with.
 

Season of the Witch: Mind-Body-Spirit Books

Publishers Weekly
By Lynn Garrett
Aug 02, 2019

Witchcraft is one of the hot trends in the mind-body-spirit category
“Mystical Wellness”

Mental and physical health is under siege in the modern world, and preserving and enhancing wellness has become a central cultural quest. In Wellness Witch: Healing Potions, Soothing Spells, and Empowering Rituals for Magical Self-Care (Running Press, Sept.), author Nikki Van De Car offers rituals, spells, and recipes for healing remedies—tinctures, tonics, mantras, and meditations—that aim to unite body and spirit for what she calls “mystical wellness.” “Everyone’s connection to their own spirituality is different, and my goal here is to invite readers to investigate what feels right to them,” she writes. “Whether it’s hearkening back to the herb witch practices of our ancestors, or calling on their own intuition to create something entirely new, there is something deeply powerful—even magical—in making something yourself, for yourself. For me, wellness magic isn’t just something you do, it’s a way of life.” Van De Car is the author of Practical Magic and Magical Places. (learn more here)
It may be hard to understand for some readers but when you consider how people once viewed those using their gifts of the spirit to help humanity while asking for nothing in return have been recorded throughout history. If you know anything from the bible, consider the following examples of what you will not hear repeated in church, yet is there for you to find.
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. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
You only hear about the 12. Not the others. When they returned, this is what was reported.
Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Acts 1:15-16 lists their numbers at even more.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.
And there you see there were far more than just 12 with Him. You also see that the Holy Spirit was active in what Judas did.

And in John 4:24 you see why we know that when you hear anyone say "In God's Image, it is the spirit that lives within all of us and not our bodies.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Each of us has gifts within us that we were born with. I suggest you read all of 1 Corinthians 12 for the rest of this.
7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
One thing that keeps popping up lately is when some religious Christians condemn those whom they call witches. What they ignore is the reality that the only ones being condemned in the Scriptures are harming others and not helping them heal. Those condemning people using their spiritual gifts to help others are either uninformed or living in fear of such goodness.

Many of those accused of witchcraft in Salem and around the world were using their spiritual gifts to heal and were hated by others. We see that happening today. We all need to heal our minds if we have #PTSD. We also need to heal our bodies since our minds affect our bodies. The thing we need to heal most of all is our spirituality. That is what makes us who we are. Being able to turn to a healer is a wonderful thing. Being told they are evil and banned by scriptures is BS!

As for the word witch, I am not offended by it. After all, Jesus was accused of serving Beelzebub by the Pharisees. They wanted Him dead. That fact shows that Jesus was not religious since the religion He was born into wanted Him dead. He prayed and preached outside with the people and gave away what He had to give without asking for anything in return. He did not interrogate anyone. He didn't ask for payment. He didn't even ask the Roman Centurion to renounce the gods he worshiped or to walk away from serving in the Roman army.

This is also why most of the people I helped over the years said they were spiritual but not religious. We are able to contact God directly. That reassurance also came from Jesus when He taught the people to pray to their Father wherever they were.

So, if you want to call me a witch, I suggest Ekklesia witch. It means "called out" and became the "church assembly" but not the way you may think. It was a gathering. Where did Jesus gather the people? Outside~

Kathie Costos
Author of The Scribe Of Salem, The Visionary Of Salem, and the 13th Minister Of Salem where you can open your eyes to what has been there all along.


Friday, September 8, 2023

Become an unashamed survivor with PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 8, 2023
It is a shame that you get blamed for what it did to you. Isn't it time for you to become unashamed of being a survivor of whatever caused #PTSD? It happened to you. You survived it. There is no shame in that. 

People will blame you for the way you've changed because they don't understand why you changed. Most of the time, survivors have no clue and cannot begin to help the people around them understand. Fear kind of removes the ability to say the words that you need help and are not doing anything on purpose other than trying to get over what happened. We all want to go back to the way we were before but we need to remind ourselves that whatever we survive in life changes us. No matter what happens to us, good or bad, we change on a daily basis. Even after you end up with PTSD, you are changing on a daily basis too. The thing is, either it is taking control over you or you are taking control over it.

Forget all about the doom and gloom that people say. It leaves you trapped in suffering in silence. There have been many times when you may have been around other people talking about what they think about PTSD. Bet it was all negative, like it isn't real, or even worse, those with it were too weak to handle stuff that happens in life. Spending time listening to them is wasted time. It's much better to spend that time learning what you can about what is causing you so much sadness and then listen to others who did heal.

Forget about investing money in groups claiming to raise awareness that veterans are committing suicide, no matter what number they use. No one needs to be reminded of people not finding the help they need to heal but you do need to be inspired by those that did heal. It's a lot better to find something that works for you. Isn't it?

There are a lot of good groups and sites out there. Make The Connection is from the Veterans Administration and is awesome. Anyone can gain information and inspiration from their videos. If you are not a veteran, you can still hear what others went through and how their lives got better. All you have to do is stop thinking that what they say is only for veterans. PTSD is PTSD no matter what caused it. There are videos from military sexual assault survivors too. 

The cause of PTSD is different but the way to heal is universal. You can #takebackyourlife and #defeatptsd. Plus don't forget that it was already lost when you survived the cause of it in the first place.

You don't have to sign in anywhere and videos have the click ability to watch them on YouTube if you want. This will give you an idea of what is available.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Horror Films as a Reimagined Space for Healing, and books too

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 17, 2023



I was searching for a way to prove a point to someone about my Ministers Of The Mystery series when I found this article. Horror Films as a Reimagined Space for Healing on Neuroscience News. It supports my view that #PTSD is a lot like a horror movie. We don't choose to buy a ticket to view it because it is just too damn expensive. Paying a price for surviving until we begin to heal can cost us everything we have. The thing I tried to show in the books is that we don't have to pay the fee for life.

From the day we survive we can begin to heal but we waste a lot of time waiting to "get over it" and then searching for the wrong ways to cope with the changes in us that we don't understand. I swear they should give every trauma survivor a class on healing so that we don't needlessly struggle.

Most of us don't even know the basics but don't feel bad about that since I knew more than most as a researcher without being able to acknowledge as a survivor of multiple events, I was also a member of this club no one wants to belong to. When I finally reached out to a couple of psychologists I know about what was going on, they said it sounded like I had a rare form of it. Now that made a lot of sense to me because I never could understand how I could understand others with PTSD so easily. We were all fighting the demons.

That's why I wrote the books. The article summarized the books perfectly and was written before I wrote them. I had no idea I was on the right track. Head smack moment for me because in an effort to prove a point to someone else, I proved a point to myself. 
But her story doesn’t stop there – in some ways, a whole new life, overshadowed by trauma, has only just begun, Ohio State University graduate student Morgan Podraza posits in an article published in the journal Horror Studies.

This was addressing the movie Halloween but it could have been about one of the main characters in the series. Grace Falls was fighting PTSD in The Scribe Of Salem but while some will just assume she had it from being an Orlando FL motorcycle police officer, it is not until the third book, 13th Minister Of Salem, does the reader discover it began many years before she comes back into Chris's life. 

“The way this film specifically deals with cycles of trauma and their connection to the experiences of survivors was really important to me because I think it is indicative of how we talk about trauma and survivors of trauma even today, and ways that people are spoken about negatively – their trauma is not acknowledged or they’re not given an opportunity for healing,” Podraza said.

Cycles of trauma are exactly what they go through, all the characters. They were all judged by others that did not understand and then helped by those who did.

Podraza cites scholarship in her article noting that survival of trauma itself is a crisis, that moving forward with life after a traumatizing event is also traumatic. The Laurie Strode character shows how this might look: Her obsession with protecting herself and others is tethered to her survival, and her outlook on life – a life saved by her own hand – remains grim because she’s convinced she is subject to a continuing threat.

And that last part was the point I was trying to prove.  The horror movie is not one we can walk away from as if it never happened. The thing is, our lives do not have to be one horror movie after another. We get to see love stories, victories, and yes, even comedies. As we heal leaving the horror movie no longer leaves us checking the back seat of our car to make sure the threat didn't follow us out. Yes, I did that after I saw the first Nightmare On Elm Street.

Authors struggle to weave their stories into something that will cause readers to enjoy or learn from them. The following just made me cry because this review is beyond what I hoped for. (Linkedin
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Penned by Kathie Costos, 13th Minister Of Salem is a work in the supernatural horror, suspense, and gothic drama subgenres, forming the third installment in the Ministers Of The Mystery series. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to its dark content and adult situations. In this profoundly intriguing continuation of the series, we find ourselves back with Chris as word of his achievements and talents has spread, but this only leads to more trouble for our hero. Trying to get married would be hard enough without the constant death threats from the cult of the now-defeated Haman Cain, let alone the Master’s warning that his end-time is drawing near.

Kathie Costos brings us back into the world of gothic suspense, deep drama, and a chilling thriller with a bang in this third installment in the series. I found myself deeply involved in Chris’s psychological storyline. We see the painfully realistic damage that his adventures, battles, and triumphs have left him with over the events of the first two novels. I felt his pain, isolation, and pressure deep in my soul; such is the efficacy of Costos’s intimate narrative, thought, and speech portrayal. The darkest elements of the work are also well-handled to avoid being gratuitous but remain chilling to the core. I recommend 13th Minister Of Salem to fans of the existing series as another accomplished paranormal chiller to devour.

You can find the books wherever you love to buy them from in eBook or paperback 

Sunday, July 23, 2023

What is the worst thing you can say to someone after they survived

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 23, 2023

What is the worst thing you can say to someone after they survived something horrible? God only sends us what we can handle. Did it ever enter into their mind that they just told you God caused it to happen to You? What's even worse is that they just told you they think you must have done something to deserve it. Did they think it would help you to hear that?

The problem is, they didn't think at all. They didn't think of how God works miracles all the time and the fact you survived whatever you did is a miracle itself escapes their thoughts. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!

Don't turn away from God because people are stupid. Don't turn away from Him because in their twisted thoughts, their faulty prayers have no clear basis in facts. Don't turn away from Him because someone else thinks you were judged. 

There is evil in this world and terrible things happen to good people all the time but those things were not sent by God. The help that came was sent by God because He does no evil. Satan does. Hateful people do. Selfish people do. Good people come rushing to help someone they care about just as they help strangers they are sent to help.

It is time we stopped allowing people to cause us to regret we survived and let them cause more misery when we should be listening to people to help us heal.

Sorry for this short post but considering what I've heard way too many times, it is a good time to remind other survivors we should never regret what we survived and always be grateful that good people came to reassure us that God is watching over us, instead of doing bad stuff to us!

#PTSD was no judgment from God but His mercy sent us healing!

Here is a reminder of that from a long time ago. No one thought God did anything other than send good people to help a homeless veteran heal and a Marine finally find out his long lost father was loved!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

suffering out here and dying when we could all be healing together

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 28, 2023

In 2007, I put up a post asking why the press wasn't on suicide watch.
To say I was terrified as to what I saw coming is an understatement. Now the day after #PTSD Awareness Day, 2023 seems as if this nightmare will never end. Why? Because almost every news report and post online focused on veterans with PTSD. Not the current military members. Not any of the other survivors struggling with PTSD and led to believe that what is going on with them can't be PTSD because "only veterans have it." Right now I'm wondering why the press isn't on real PTSD Awareness that can make a difference for all of us.

Back then, I didn't know that I had PTSD because I never read anything about someone like me. I am just a civilian but survived over ten events that have been known to cause PTSD beginning at the age of 5. While my life is rare, surviving is also rare, especially with how many times I did.

I never fully understood why I was so connected to the veterans and families I helped for over 40 years now. I assumed it was because of my Vietnam veteran husband. I knew what nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, and paranoia were because I had gone through them many times. I also knew what panic attacks were and how they set off everything else. I knew what it was like to have them all pass and what returning to my "normal" life was like.

I can't tell you how angry I am that I spent all those years helping others heal but had to figure out how to heal on my own, feeling as alone as I did because the media never reported on other people like me.

So now, after all these years, with the rate of PTSD among Americans going up, along with suicides, I am asking still wondering how reporters still haven't figured out that there is a hell of a lot more people suffering out here and dying when we could all be healing together. The causes may all be different but the way to heal is side by side with someone else helping us so we can do the same for others.


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

#PTSD Awareness is when all survivors with it matter

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 14, 2023

The headline on this is, New initiative for those who struggle with PTSD but there isn't anything "new" about it. Ask anyone involved in helping survivors survive surviving and they'll tell you how long we've known what works. The other thing is, it says it is open to everyone but think about how many non-veteran people will reach out for help from them.
A new initiative called The Suicide and Trauma Reduction Initiative for Veterans also known as Strive is now making an impact not just for veterans but for anyone with PTSD.

"Its open to anybody anyone whose experienced a traumatic event that they think they have PTSD can possibly benefit frim a treatment like this and that's really what strive stands for is provide treatment to those who need it and continue to refine and make those treatments better through research." says clinical director of the STRIVE program.

This one is a good article.

Post-traumatic growth—how to flourish after a PTSD diagnosis

by Laura Kelley, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
June 12, 2023
No caring person would wish post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—or the likely terrifying event that led to it—on anyone. But for those people who develop the mental health condition and find treatment, the skills and lessons they learn can improve their lives in unexpected ways.
PTSD and traumatic events often have long recovery periods. Talk about the growth that can come with treatment.

To be clear, many individuals with PTSD experience considerable distress as well as impairments across domains of their life—whether in relationships, work or school—but this does not tell the whole story. Recovery from PTSD is possible. For individuals who have recovered from PTSD, there is frequently a period of sizeable psychological growth. This growth can take many forms, including a greater appreciation for life, an increased focus on values-based living, a broadening of perspectives and an acquisition of new skills to better deal with day-to-day stressors as well as other traumatic events that may arise.
read more here