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Old 6 May 2015, 15:48
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Get help or talk to a Brother

This is not meant to be preachy about PTSD.

Please consider we should not be part of the stigma attaching group when posting on the subject. We need to point our Brother & Sisters to help than isn't from a quack though.

This morning I reached out to a buddy and ended up talking to his wife. He's deployed, again. Been "retired" for 12 yrs and working with USG since then.

I'm not a big email person, but this is part of what I sent him after that-

I’m still sorry I didn’t make Petes funeral. I just couldn’t get on the plane. It’s now my turn to return the advice you gave me- XXXX told me you don’t sleep much and sometimes sit all night in the yard. I can tell she’s scared. You need to resign and go home to her. You owe it to her and yourself to take the ruck off and get your shit right. This would be nothing to be ashamed of. I know it’s not the money and understand the feeling that normal work carries no sense of purpose. Don't let that drive you down a hole.

I've always been proud that you considered me a mentor. In this case, I'm saying don't be like me. Don't carry around destructive shit thinking it's buried away. It's already manifesting itself. Don't let it destroy your relationship or worse. Go home. Get fixed.

I am here for you if you need anything.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All of us need to look around and see who is within our reach and offer a hand. If we don't do it, no one will.
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Old 6 May 2015, 15:51
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Strong work SB. Best to your friend and his family.
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Old 6 May 2015, 17:21
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Strong work SB. Best to your friend and his family.
Nice...Hope he can hear what you are saying!
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Old 6 May 2015, 17:34
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Great post. It was great for you to tell him its ok to walk away because he probably wouldn't have given himself permission. Hope he listens and has the big conversation with himself.
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Old 6 May 2015, 19:15
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If it hadn't been for some of the BTDT's on this very board reaching out to me, one of whom put me up on his couch for what turned into almost two months, and others here ensuring I had something going on when everything in my life went to absolute shit, completely out of my control, I'm not sure I'd be here.

The biggest killer I've seen for guys who decided to pull the trigger is that their life became meaningless. Whatever role they had that gave them an identity was robbed, somehow, and they found themselves sitting on the sidelines, watching the show go on without them, and it literally drove them to the end.

SOF guys, IME, are the most intense, prideful, driven people on the planet - they didn't end up serving in those units by accident but by design. Taking that mindset, extrapolating all the good and bad that comes with it, and then reducing it to some mundane existence makes us want to jump off a building.

Great post, SB.
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Old 6 May 2015, 20:41
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Originally Posted by MixedLoad View Post

The biggest killer I've seen for guys who decided to pull the trigger is that their life became meaningless. Whatever role they had that gave them an identity was robbed, somehow, and they found themselves sitting on the sidelines, watching the show go on without them, and it literally drove them to the end.

SOF guys, IME, are the most intense, prideful, driven people on the planet - they didn't end up serving in those units by accident but by design. Taking that mindset, extrapolating all the good and bad that comes with it, and then reducing it to some mundane existence makes us want to jump off a building.

Great post, SB.
Damn..you nailed it to the wall ML! While I never did a formal pipeline, I do have my time supporting the pointy end of the spear. Point being, it has been one hell of a ride. I continuously find myself saying I can't keep doing this stuff forever. Over 12 years of mil/USG work, between training and deployments, I've been away from my family for almost 72 months. It hurts and takes a toll...

So, point being, gents (and ladies), while service is highly honorable, (I can stay it all day long but it still has yet to sink in) there comes a time when we gotta' take off the boots for good.

Lots of good wisdom in this thread. Thanks all for sharing.
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Old 6 May 2015, 21:53
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I know shame plays a big part. Shame in looking weak, needing help or anything. Ego, pride or whatever keep us from asking for a hand or even opening to the one we love.

It's one thing to suffer while thinking its something that can be sorted out by yourself. It's another to end up driving someone you love away because you were ashamed or prideful and didn't open up to them.

Burning through empty relationships, burying the pain of the death of a daughter, unfairly marrying someone you didn't love just because it seemed like time and telling them "I love you" when it was a lie, while disguising all of it under a veneer of confidence was my technique. It wasn't until I met someone who made me feel ok to be "weak" or open up about buried pain and trauma that I began to realize what a mess I'd made of many things. Stupidly when I began to have some issues that a good Dr says are a manifestation of the life we all choose, I reverted to my old technique of thinking I could fix it myself and possibly further ruined something that was close to perfect.

If you're in a simliar situation take heed. Get some help. Talk to your Brothers. When I finally did, I quickly got told I was a dumbass and where to get help. Tell the one you love so they can help too. To do otherwise could cheat you out of happiness. Lying to them isn't the answer. You're not protecting them or yourself no matter what that little voice says.

While not pretty, I hope others can learn from it. My hand is extended to anyone who needs something to on grab onto.
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Old 6 May 2015, 22:01
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Originally Posted by Silverbullet View Post
I know shame plays a big part. Shame in looking weak, needing help or anything. Ego, pride or whatever keep us from asking for a hand or even opening to the one we love.

It's one thing to suffer while thinking its something that can be sorted out by yourself. It's another to end up driving someone you love away because you were ashamed or prideful and didn't open up to them.

Burning through empty relationships, burying the pain of the death of a daughter, unfairly marrying someone you didn't love just because it seemed like time and telling them "I love you" when it was a lie while disguising all of it under a veneer of confidence was my technique. It wasn't until I met someone who made me feel ok to be "weak" or open up about buried pain and trauma that I began to realize what a mess I'd made of many things. Stupidly when I began to have some issues that a good dr says are a manifestation of the life we all choose, I reverted to my old technique of thinking I could fix it myself and possibly further ruined something that was close to perfect.

If you're in a simliar situation take heed. Get some help. Tell the one you love so they can help too. To do otherwise could cheat you out of happiness. Lying to them isn't the answer. You're not protecting them or yourself no matter what that little voice says.

While not pretty, I hope others can learn from it. My hand is extended to anyone who needs something to on grab onto.
Totally spot on.

My wife is everything to me, thank God that she accepts my many faults.

Great post!
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Old 7 May 2015, 09:38
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I know shame plays a big part. Shame in looking weak, needing help or anything. Ego, pride or whatever keep us from asking for a hand or even opening to the one we love.

It's one thing to suffer while thinking its something that can be sorted out by yourself.
BTDT on that whole part.I really hope someone we all know reads this thread.
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Old 6 May 2015, 19:37
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All of us need to look around and see who is within our reach and offer a hand. If we don't do it, no one will.
Yes. . .^^THIS^^

I accept that PTSD is a label that is necessary for a diagnosis and the support that comes with that.
In the trenches or on the street, the label doesn't matter.
Nor is it necessary to attach a label to someone who could use your (our/my) help.

Good on you for reaching out SB!
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Old 6 May 2015, 19:55
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Great post SB thank you for doing that.
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Old 7 May 2015, 00:51
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SB, you totally nailed it.

Thanks.

It is totally ingrained in me to be self-sufficient and to not ask for help. Stupid pride.
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Old 7 May 2015, 08:52
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Outstanding thread.

I'll take a leap and state that you're (we're) the only one that can help. Civvies in clean offices, with pretty diplomas on their walls have nothing in common with us, and therefore no credibility.

But you/we do. And your communication, even if at first rejected, I believe is the key -- just don't patronize or sugarcoat -- that guy needs what we used to all get daily.

I'd also add that like all medicine, it only works when the RX is completely taken. If you stop being there too early, you may not have done enough. So don't stop. If you're tired, that isn't anything to be embarrassed about -- get more of us to help you. This isn't a lone burden of yours, anymore than it is the guy in pain.

Thanks SB....
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Old 7 May 2015, 08:56
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Outstanding thread.

I'll take a leap and state that you're (we're) the only one that can help. Civvies in clean offices, with pretty diplomas on their walls have nothing in common with us, and therefore no credibility.

But you/we do. And your communication, even if at first rejected, I believe is the key -- just don't patronize or sugarcoat -- that guy needs what we used to all get daily.

I'd also add that like all medicine, it only works when the RX is completely taken. If you stop being there too early, you may not have done enough. So don't stop. If you're tired, that isn't anything to be embarrassed about -- get more of us to help you. This isn't a lone burden of yours, anymore than it is the guy in pain.

Thanks SB....
Nice summation, great post!
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Old 7 May 2015, 09:22
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Good work, my friend.

I talk to a shrink every week, just to get a sanity check and to make sure that I am not harming my loved ones. It is not their fault that I have baggage.

Humility is a big part of this, I think. We all spent years thinking, "I got it, I got this, I can do this," and we can delude ourselves, thinking we got it, when really, we do not. That definitely happened to me.

My door is always open. Any time.
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Old 7 May 2015, 09:49
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Are there any particular resources - other than generic VA or employee assistance programs - that others would recommend someone reach out to?
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Old 7 May 2015, 10:02
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Are there any particular resources - other than generic VA or employee assistance programs - that others would recommend someone reach out to?
I could point you to the definition of PTSD written for DSM-III, but I don't think that is what you are seeking.
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Old 7 May 2015, 10:16
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I'll ask someone to post a list.

PTSD seems to be a broadly defined category which adds to the confusion. My suggestion is that anyone who has suffered any type of head trauma or the effects of a blast get checked for TBI.

Another thing I learned is that talking with dudes on the phone or here is great, the face to face interaction is more important. A couple yrs ago I moved to a place that on first glance would seems to be filled with vets, but isn't. Even where I work, the few vets aren't really from a background like mine. (I have two SF dudes on my team who are remote so that doesn't help)
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Old 8 May 2015, 00:29
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I'll ask someone to post a list.

PTSD seems to be a broadly defined category which adds to the confusion. My suggestion is that anyone who has suffered any type of head trauma or the effects of a blast get checked for TBI.

Another thing I learned is that talking with dudes on the phone or here is great, the face to face interaction is more important. A couple yrs ago I moved to a place that on first glance would seems to be filled with vets, but isn't. Even where I work, the few vets aren't really from a background like mine. (I have two SF dudes on my team who are remote so that doesn't help)
I will second the idea re having a TBI checked out.

In 2006, our number came up outside Najaf while running PSD. Large IED, destroyed armored suburban, medevac to Balad and two days in trauma.

I recovered but with serious memory problems, permanent high freq loss in one ear, loss of about a third of my sense of smell, and more seriously, a change in my personality.

I initially blew it off when people would say things like I seemed "different" etc

I continued to "drive on" and went on to different USG work and four more deployments.

Finally, I realized as SB said, eventually I have to go home.

It cost me a lot personally. But I finally got things turned around now and am solid. I didn't have anyone to intervene. It would have helped.
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Old 30 December 2015, 14:51
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This is one of the best threads I have seen in my 5+ years on this site. SB - my already high respect for you has increased immensely. I was consistently wrecking my life and relationships up until 2008 when I finally realized much of what has been spoken in this thread. Has made such a difference. Fucking awesome.

[QUOTE=Silverbullet;1058473415] My suggestion is that anyone who has suffered any type of head trauma or the effects of a blast get checked for TBI. [QUOTE]

Yes!!! My TWO TBI's were found only when I had an MRI of my brain during a cancer appointment. They found two different residual brain bruises on my brain stem. Finally understood why I couldn't smell, taste, couldn't control upward eye movement, etc. Also understood a big part of the reason I was so fucked up, half retarded, and mean.

Knowing, understanding, and employing healthy compensatory measures are so important.
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