Most if not all of you may not remember me; I used to be an active member on this site a while ago, but then terminated my account due to personal reasons, but watched from the cheap seats till a few months ago.
I was reading an introduction post from Ezmoney and he wrote that he has "Two boys who are prior service, one who really never came back from Ramadi, one who doesn't talk about Tikrit. They struggle with life".
After reading that sentence, I felt compelled to create a post for our Veterans, their families or anyone who struggles with PTSD, but my message is mostly for veterans on this forum.
Veterans: Please STOP struggling and thinking that you are alone.
My last deployment in the Army pretty much changed my life in ways that I was not even aware. Shortly after getting out, my X gave birth to our only child, which should have been one of the most amazing days of my life, but I was only physically in the delivery room and not emotionally there; my mind was still deployed. It took a hand full of years for the ****e to hit the fan for me and when it did, I had no idea what was going on with my emotions or brain. It was one of the toughest journeys I have been through in my life, but I would not have been able to get through it had it not been for a few fellow veterans who had also struggled with the things they experience while on deployments. These guys were Vietnam vets and were much older than me, but not only did it not matter that they were older, it also did not matter that we were from two different conflicts, their struggles were the same as mine.
I met those old Vietnam farts while attending a VA PTSD group. I opted to not go though the intensive PTSD programs due to my mistrust of the VA and because I would have to set allot of time aside for the program which I could not due to finances, childcare and scheduling. Had it not been for those veterans welcoming me in to their group, I may not be here today writing this post. Although I know I am not 100%, I am at the very least able to function, have a much better understanding of what can trigger the crappy memories (and other issues), and have gotten a part of myself back, which I did not have when I met them. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, things are way better than before. For me and for many veterans I have met through the years, seeking help can be difficult, but it sure makes a big difference in the the quality of life I now have as well as the relationship I now have with my kiddo and others.
We currently have about 22 veterans who commit suicide EVERY DAY in the US
If you are a veteran and are struggling or if you know of a veteran that is, please help yourself/them and connect with an organization that can help you/them.
Below are a few resources that can help.
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
Each state should have veterans county service officers who represent individual counties or areas, they can help guide veterans or their family members to community resources that are specific to veterans.
Need help finding a job? Each state has what is called a DVOP in employment offices (Workforce offices), not only can they help veterans connect with jobs, but they can also help veterans connect with other resources within their communities.
If you are in Texas, then you can call TexVet (512-341-4924 ) during normal business hours and they will provide you with contact information for what ever resources you are in need of anywhere in Texas. http://www.texvet.com/
Below are a few examples of things veterans with PTSD may do without realizing that they may need some help:
Distancing yourself/themselves from friends, family or general society.
Inability to go to sleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
Hyper vigilant, always super alert and unable to just relax even when doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.
Don't see yourself being alive months or years from now.
Substance abuse issues such as alcohol, drugs or even food.
Cant enjoy simple things such as a football game or other social events because you are to busy scanning for threats.
Go grocery shopping late at night so as to avoid people or lines.
Can't enjoy activities that you once enjoyed.
Have had thoughts of ending your life.
Have a hard time remembering things.
Feel that your buddies who did not come back should have lived and you should have been in their place.
I realize this is a long post, but please seek help or help a veteran you know who is struggling get the help they need.