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August 17, 2011

When I came back from Vietnam, as I’ve said in prior blogs, I was disoriented.  I’ve often said to my wife that I am glad that we had not met during this time because I don’t believe we would have ever become a couple.  Hell, I didn’t even like me. My Army days were gone and I had no job.  Many of my friends in Military Intelligence went on to join the FBI, CIA, Secret Service etc.  I could have considered this option more fully but honestly, for me, the military or even government service, was not my path.   The bad part was I didn’t have a clue of what my path would be.  I had no prospects and I was back living at home.  College was over three years ago and my training in the service did not lead me to my next career since, excet for the few I mentioned, there isn’t a great calling for spies etc. I couldn’t find my nitch and I was sinking deeper and deeper into a funk and I saw no way out.  The one saving grace that I had was I knew something was wrong and my experience up to and since that time was that I was the only one that could get me out.  I started trying to write lists of things that would put the skids on the downward spiral and start reversing myself back. One of the earliest things I remember on that list was I needed to get to  the dark bile, that I was carrying, and get it out somehow.  I started writing down some of the things that were haunting  me.  I was still a poor boy and couldn’t pay for therapy nor did I really know what therapy was all about or that therapy might be the key to feeling better.  None of my close friends had served.  My family was certainly available but I didn’t want to bare myself to them either, so I wrote to myself.  I didn’t know what PTSD was since I didn’t report my feelings to anyone while still in the military nor had I  been aware of PTSD going on because there were no labels, at least none that I was aware of.  We were all in Vietnam doing our duty and we were all in the same boat.  None of us wanted to burden others with our problems, we all had them. The girl that I had been dating up until my leaving for Vietnam had written me a “Dear John” while I was away so this was an addition potential listening post source gone.  Since I was still trying to find my way back in civian life and  having really been out of the loop not for only my year in Vietnam but an additional 2 years that had been spent stationed in different locations around the Country.  I was on my own to deal with things that I was feeling.  To be perfectly blunt, if you are reading this, you are too.  You can either decide to move on and get help or you can stay stuck.  It is all up to you. I have already started my journey. From my experience, prolonging a problem is far worse than dealing with it.  There is a saying, “The first money lost is the best money lost”  So what does this have to do with what I am talking about?  It means that if you are in a business deal that is going South, the quicker you can get out of it the better.  Cut your losses is another way to say it.  PTSD, if you are suffering with it, I promise you, it will not magically go away.  You will need to face your pain and start dealing with it. The sooner you take this first step the quicker you are going to start seeing relief. I will promise you further that if you do start doing this, there is a light at the end of your tunnel that you will see getting brighter and brighter as you lighten your burden. We are open 24 hours a  day 365 days a year.  We do not censure or criticize what you write.  The light of day is the best disinfectant.  Post your blog with us.