Life of Pi –PTSD

January 15, 2013

I am in the middle of reading the book, “Life of Pi” which recently has been made into an Academy Awards movie which has been nominated for “Best Picture”.  This book really has nothing to do with PTSD unless you know how to look for it.   About a third of the way through the book there is a quote that says, “You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.”

This is not a new idea and the theme can be found over and over again in books, magazine articles and movies and television too.  Life is random and you don’t get to choose what your life will be or how it will turn out.  No matter how much you want to be in control and be the master of your own fate, there are curves that will be thrown at you, that you must either take for a strike out or try to learn how to deal with the curve so that, at the very, least you can foul tip it, so that you can live on for another chance to take a swing.

This PTSD/ that you feel is a curve, for sure.  One that you didn’t bargain for when you signed up for the military or other professions or circumstances that you didn’t expect.  I have a friend who is a carpenter by trade that within the last few days has accidentally cut off three of his fingers.  I was very shook up when I heard the news.  That morning he got up as usual and carried on his day as usual.  Then this accident changed his life forever.  He never asked for it nor expected it.  It just was his curve.   Now it is he that has to adjust to a changed World.

I felt this curve when I first got back from Vietnamand in reality it was.  I no longer fit in with what I thought was going to be “Home Sweet Home”.  I knew something was different and I think others saw it in me too.  So I was alone, trying to figure it out with no one that I knew who could mentor me or counsel me on what I needed to do to fit back in.  I couldn’t shake the feelings that I kept re-experiencing.  I didn’t like the feeling and I didn’t want to pretend anymore that everything was “OK”.  This is when I started to keep my journal.  I attacked this PTSD problem with a vengence and wrote something every day into my journal.  Sometimes it was just a few words and at other times I spent a great deal of time on it.

I’ve looked back and I see that this was a God-send to me.  It was like therapy which I knew nothing about.  As my wife has said, “Psychology is the talk therapy”  I wasn’t talking to a Professional stranger (Therapist) but to myself who was both my best friend and my most critical ally.  I could fool others but I could not and would not fool myself.  Opening up my sealed doors of feelings was a freeing experience and gave me courage to explore more deeply my fears and doubts and to deal with them, finally.

This Military PTSD Forum Blog is a substitute for that journal.  The difference is, it does not belong to me solely.   Everyone is welcome who struggles with the same PTSD issues.  PTSD is the same for all of us only our specific life experiences change.  This is a safe haven for you to say whatever you feel you need to say.  No one will censure your thoughts or try to psychoanalyze you.  Say as little as you like or as much, come here as often as you choose to post.  I promise that everything is still free with no hidden costs.  My only goal is to help you find your voice and to start the healing process. If I can make some difference then I’m a happy camper.