WAKING UP TO ANOTHER DAY WITH PTSD.

Sometime I wish I had physical wounds I could look at and tell myself “Yea, you have PTSD all right, just look at the scars.”

When I was first diagnosed with PTSD I was pretty critical about the diagnosis. I thought the diagnosis was just a convenient way for my treatment team to wash their hands of me. It seemed in my mind; by labeling me with PTSD they could resolve themselves from the responsibility of actually helping me through my problems. I did not believe I had PTSD, I had not engaged in combat, I had not been “blown up” or received any type of physical injuries. I was a chaplain, a non-combatant; I did not even carry a weapon of any kind. There was no way I could have PTSD.dejection 2 What right do I have to claim such a diagnosis when so many others have a legitimate reason for having PTSD? For years I struggled with the question “Do I actually have PTSD or am I just making all this up?” To be honest there are still times I wonder if I really have PTSD. I often feel guilty about being labeled with PTSD when there are others that truly suffer from PTSD. Sometime, I wish I had physical wounds I could look at and tell myself “yea, you have PTSD all right, just look at the scars.” What I really wish for is some traumatic story of a horrific event that I survived, so I can look back and say, “This is the event that triggered my PTSD.” But my PTSD did not come from one event alone, it came over a number of events. For me, it is like I have to string together all theses “little” events to somehow form a reasonable justification for having PTSD. I think some of the feelings come from Hollywood and the string of Iraq war movies that are coming out. There are a number of movies that tackle the issue of PTSD. Pretty much all the movies are based on the Service Member going through a horrific battle or ambush where they survived while others died. The other scenario that seems to get a lot of attention in movies is a Humvee being blown-up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). All this leads to a sense of guilt for me. I often feel as though I’m playing a game and one day the truth will come out that I never had PTSD. Then I will be exposed as a fraud, a dirt bag, and a lazy bum just trying to get one over on the government.

“Sometimes the Greatest Wound a Soldier Suffers from is the Wound No One Can See”

It is hard some days to deal with my PTSD. There are days when I want to wake up and say “It’s all a lie, I’ve been duped by all these doctors and counselors who just threw this label on me.” Sometimes, I want more than anything to tell myself “Get over it and stop acting like you have PTSD, start living your life like a normal person.” There are other days when I wake up and I tell myself, “Its all over, I no longer have PTSD, I’m cured and I have conquered it.” Then a memory creeps into my mind, I have disturbing thoughts and dreams, I hear a loud sound, I see something that reminds me of Iraq, a car speeds up behind me on the freeway, I get lost and end up on a narrow road that I don’t know where it goes. So I become hyper vigilant, I get scared; I have the urge to defend myself or run away from danger, I’m overcome with an urge to hide and disassociate myself from the world around me. When I first went through treatment for PTSD, I heard people say “I would never wish PTSD on anyone.” To be honest, I thought they were being melodramatic; they were simply seeking someone to feel sorry for them. I know better now and I understand what it means to “not wish PTSD on anyone.” Yet despite my desires and wishes that my PTSD would just go away, I still wake up each day facing another day with PTSD.  Some days I am very good at it, other days not so much.

Author: Chaplain Doll

I am a retired 21-year Army Chaplain Veteran, I am the founder of "Healing The Storm Ministry" an outreach for veterans and those suffering from PTSD. The focus of "Healing the Storm Ministry" is to help people find spiritual peace in the midst of their life's storms.

5 thoughts on “WAKING UP TO ANOTHER DAY WITH PTSD.”

  1. Kevin, I just wrote you a long note, but I somehow I lost it.
    I wasn’t done — did I accident sent it?
    If I did I will try to remember all I wrote and try again.

    Like

  2. Kevin, I just wrote you a long note, but I somehow I lost it.
    I wasn’t done — did I accidentally sent it?
    If I did I will try to remember all I wrote and try again.

    Like

  3. Kevin, I firmly believe that many more people than Military personnel suffer from PSTD and your writings help lots of people!
    Yes, war has maimed and killed so many people, but I believe that you as a Chaplain probably experienced, saw, heard, talked, consoled, counciled, held wounded, prayed for and with others that put you in as tramatic situations as damaging as any terrible visual wounds other suffered. Your wound may not be as visual to others, but your PTSD is as real as the terrible wounds others came home with and just as terrible!
    Know that prayers are sent to you everyday and you will never be looked at as a fake, scum or anything but a wonderful, caring, sensitive human being!

    Like

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