Friday, December 6, 2013

SWAT Officer Overcoming the Nightmare of Traumatic Stress

"I don't like going to sleep. I'm afraid of what is going to happen once I fall asleep. I don't like what I'm thinking, I don't like my dreams, I haven't liked one of my dreams in 15 years."

On Steve Gordon's first day as a SWAT officer, he was involved in one of the longest and bloodiest shootouts in American police history. Since then he has been on over 1500 SWAT missions.

"In my profession you have to see a lot of death and despair. You have to see those victims of crime. You have to deal with, you know, the families. You have to listen to the screaming parents and it's not something you can just walk away from. And then the problems come. Isolation, substance abuse, shunning others, not trusting anybody. I know more people that have committed suicide than have actually been killed by bad people. Maybe they were dealing with the same things I've had to deal with. No one gives them the solutions to the problems they're having."

In January 2013, Steve learned Transcendental Meditation, along with a group of veterans and first-responders.

"To watch a guy that looked like he was the walking dead to a week later actually see some kind of life in their eyes, to watch them change in front of my eyes, that's what really sold me on it. And then as we did it more and more I felt a calmness. I was transforming with them. That's when I realized it worked. I'm just getting what I always wanted, and that's seeing people get better. If I can help somebody go through the experience that I had, then I want to be there for them. You want to give yourself a gift? Do this. Try to help yourself for a while. Don't poison yourself with alcohol or drugs or thoughts of suicide, just give yourself this one gift. A lot of guys and women are hurting themselves over what they've seen and what they've done and they're not seeing a way out. They're seeing the world black and white and this program can put color in it for them."

For more information please visit David Lynch Foundation