February 14, 2016
There are all different types of love. A parent's love for their children and their love for their parents. There is the type of love we feel for each other deep enough we plan the rest of our lives with them. Then there is another type of love that is even stronger than that. It requires such a deep commitment to others that they are willing to sacrifice their lives so others may live on without them.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.That is something veterans knew all too well but have forgotten what else came with your commitment to everyone you were with in combat. The others were also willing to die for you. How did it become so hard for you to ask for help afterwards?
New International Version (NIV)
In combat you know there is nothing wrong with asking for help and reinforcements. When the enemy force is greater than you are, you need help to defeat it. It is the same when the enemy force you face trying to claim your life is also stronger than you are. The enemy you fight back home is PTSD.
As a doer for others you may find it almost impossible to ask for help for yourself simply because you are not looking at it the right way. While you think no less of the folks you help, somehow you got it into your own head admitting you needed help meant you were weak. After all, when you are always there for others, it should be a no-brainer to acknowledge you should really need more help because of all you give away. But you just don't see it that way.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.PTSD only happens after traumatic events. It hits you. It is not a mental illness. It is not a sign of weakness. As a matter fact, it is absolutely a sign of great strength and love for others you carry within you.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)
It is not a sign of lacking courage. You did not allow yourself to feel that deep level of pain while the others you were with were in danger. You did not think of yourself until you were back home and they were safe. Or at least you though they were safe because they didn't admit they needed help for the same reason you are not admitting it right now.
Here are some examples of courage and PTSD.
Medal of Honor Staff Sgt. Ty Carter
For U.S. Army Sergeant Kyle White, the firefight began without warning.
White's platoon left a meeting with village elders in Afghanistan after an interpreter heard suspicious chatter on an Army radio.
On the way back to their outpost, White's platoon was ambushed. Over the next few hours, White put his own life at risk to save fellow service members during the Nov. 8, 2007 attack.
White said that after the ambush, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He urged veterans suffering from the illness to get help.
Bearing both the Medal of Honor and trauma Dakota MeyerSo there you have it. There are many more with the Medal of Honor around their necks talking about PTSD openly. Nothing to be ashamed of asking for help at all. So, the next questions are really simple. Do you still love those you were willing to die for? Then why leave them instead of asking for help? Why not trust them now after you trusted then with your own life? Why would you even think of leaving them grieving because you didn't have enough faith in them to turn to them for help now?
Meyer's father said Dakota asked for new locks on the doors. "Make sure the house was locked up every night. . . . He'd always want to have one or two guns in every vehicle."
"So he always wanted a weapon close," he said, noting that for three months Meyer slept with a weapon - a pistol on his chest.
"Did you try to talk to anybody about it?" Martin asked.
"What's there to talk about?" Dakota replied.
"Get it out of your own mind and into somebody else's?"
"You know, why bother somebody else with it?" Meyer said. "It's just part of it."
Believing he had become a burden to his family, Dakota turned to the bottle. One night driving home he stopped his truck and pulled out a gun.
"I was just like, 'Now I'm done.' And I always kept my pistol in my Trailblazer. I squeeze the trigger and [was] amazed that . . .there was nothing in it."
"You put the gun to your head, and pulled the trigger?" asked Martin.
"Yeah. Click. That's the loudest click you'll ever hear."
"Do you know why there wasn't a round in that chamber?"
"You could state the obvious reason, that somebody took it out."
After the click, Meyer said, he sobered up instantly.
read more here
“PTSD does not put you in the mind set to go out and kill innocent people,” Meyer, 25, added. “The media label this shooting PTSD, but if what that man did is PTSD, then I don’t have it.”
The Marine sergeant said he worries that other service members who fought for the nation and witnessed things that still haunt them could be stigmatized if the civilian public believes PTSD makes them dangerous.
“It’s putting a stigma on all veterans,” he said. “It’s putting a label on all veterans that veterans are psychotic or mentally unstable and they're going to shoot up places. And they’re not."
Meyer said he believes the VA and military were doing as much as they can to address PTSD.
But he also said America had to do more--to stop labeling vets with PTSD as dangerous.
You loved enough to serve. Loved enough to risk your life. Now love enough to allow them to help you stay here with them.