One of the hardest things with living with PTSD is always reliving the past, always comparing the future to the past and always trying to figure out how your going to get past that part of your life. The moment leading up to and the moments after always are fresh in your mind, but the situation that plagues you the most is what keeps you from moving forward.
One of the things I learned and held onto in the Army was that everyday and everything you do should always be moving forward, never standing still, always progressing in a forward motion. Mainly that was infantry skills, but I have learned to use that in my own life and when things are moving forward than life isn’t progressing. This has helped with my PTSD and issues I have faced. Always move forward and never accept the status quo. Never be completely comfortable with the now and always looking forward to tomorrow.
PTSD is real, its not some made up disorder that someone made up to label soldiers, its everywhere, everyone goes through it and its dependent on the person on how it affects you. Mine has pushed me even more to better myself, gave me reason to be alive and has pushed me to live my life and not just stand still and watch the rest of the world move on. There are moments that I find myself, back in Iraq, reliving days that were good, days that were bad, sleepless nights, seeing my fellow soldiers, receiving news of losing a soldier. Those moments will never go away. Those memories will never get any better and I now live with a medical condition that reminds me of it everyday.
But there comes a time, that I hope many will get there, that something changes. Your world changes because of someone or something that makes those memories just a little more bearable and just a little less real. Mine has been someone and it has changed my outlook on life and outlook to my future. I don’t worry about my medical condition as much, but know that its serious and I need to figure out why. Someone that softens the memories and makes me realize that God protected me all those days to be here in this moment with this person to bring life into someone else. Not only the person, but a new job where I get to help Service Members and get to show off being a Veteran, the feeling of satisfaction when a Veteran calls to say thanks for the Tickets or how proud a Veteran is to be the hero of the game.
There isn’t enough words that I can express for how the last few months have been. I find myself at peace most days and I am happy and content right where I am, but still looking towards the future. I say to those that have PTSD, never give up and never give in. Reach out for help, your wounds are deep, but not so deep they can’t be cured. You survived for a reason and its time to live it. Be more than PTSD, don’t let it label you, its another war we have to fight and as Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors, its a war we can defeat. Its the hardest combat we will ever face, but we aren’t alone, are battles are right here waiting to help.