Facebook has several PTSD groups that are worth joining. This one is military background. Where ever they write soldier, I read survivor, war is abuse or abuse is war, in general I adapt what they wrote for returning military to my circumstances of being raised in america’s war zone called an abusive neighborhood. Click on the PTSD Break the Silence, if you have Facebook, check out their group to see if their information is helpful to you too. I appreciate knowing I am not alone. Yes, my counselor likened my home life and neighbor to being raised in a war zone.
WHAT TO DO WITH WHAT YOU BROUGHT HOME
1. Fully recognize your strengths and abilities for coping with trauma, tragedy, and homecoming. If you got through all that you’ve been through, you can endure this too. How much you suffer will depend upon your willingness to cope actively with the hand you’ve been dealt.
2. Active coping is an ongoing process and not an automatic cure for what ails. This means developing both an awareness and acceptance of how trauma has impacted your life and taking action to resolve the feelings and behaviors that accompany trauma. Coping calls for a mind set, an attitude, and habit patterns that must be fortified.
3. This does not mean that memories, images, and feelings will magically disappear. They will always be with you in one form or another. The goal is to diminish the intensity of emotions and to learn effective means of managing reactions, symptoms, and distressing memories and images. This is a long-term process referred to as healing. Believing in your own abilities and resources to accomplish these tasks and to accept this as a personal journey is the first step. Many have used the Exercise “Be Still and Know” to break the endless loop of thought with success. It’s private, confidential, simple and non-intrusive. you can find it here by clicking blue http://www.patriotoutreach.org/
listen online at http://copingstrategiescd.com/…/cdqual…/02_exercise_128K.mp3
4. This road to recovery and overcoming the overwhelming calls for resilience; the ability to adapt to trauma, hardship, adversity, tragedy, loss, grief, anger, and the entire burden of wartime experiences and their far-reaching impact. This path is not free from distress, but one must work through in order to get through.
5. There will be sorrow and some level of misery along this route, but that is the reality of what you have encountered. Do not fear facing these feelings, as this is the only possibility for moving past them. There are times when you may need to put them aside in order to persist in functioning in your daily routines and in order to recharge and renew. There are also times when it becomes wise to rely upon the backing and encouragement of your loved ones and most trusted friends. A critical factor in resilience is the ability to generate and maintain supportive interpersonal relationships.
6. Rely on the most important person in this equation as well: yourself. In order to have endured the trauma of war, know that you already possess outstanding survivorship skills that very clearly indicate that nothing you confront in life will be insurmountable or unendurable.
7. Those traits that are closely connected with resilience are the following:
A. the ability to make future plans and to be goal-directed in carrying them out
B. belief in yourself, your capabilities, your strengths, and your assets
C. the ability to communicate feelings and thoughts openly
D. skills in problem-solving
E. the ability to cope effectively with intense emotions and behaviors triggered by them
8. Know that your reactions to your experiences are normal reactions to abnormal life experiences. War is certainly an extraordinary series of life events. Whatever your experiences, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Permit yourself to be validated for this. Never overlook the fact that these events are undeniably something to about which to shed tears either.
9. Take time for self-care by attending to your needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you find enjoyable. Exercise regularly; a primary means for de-escalating from stress and distress of any kind. Know that you are worthy of suffering less and finding joys in life once again. Discovering healthy ways of taking time for yourself forges a more durable degree of resilience and the capacity to tolerate whatever befalls you.
10. Be solution-focused. Look back on how you have coped with hardships previously. Count on yourself to build new strategies and skills for coping successfully for all the todays and tomorrows to come.
11. Create routines that allow you to feel grounded once again. Look back on those customary, tried and true activities that worked for you in the past. Include loved ones and friends when appropriate. Engage in them regularly. Find a safe place in what is familiar and pleasurable.
12. Talk it out. Do this often. Find a listening ear with a trusted family member or fellow Soldier. Devote time to finding those particular support systems that are most effective and beneficial for you. Have the courage to confront that which is most agonizing to bear and to locate the appropriate mental health professional when the need or desire arises. Never walk alone with these burdens.