Combat PTSD Wounded Times
August 20, 2017
Accept the things you cannot change does not mean that you have to surrender to them. It just means you cannot undo what has already been done. You cannot change what was done to you anymore than you can change what you have done in your life.
You cannot change the thing that caused you to have PTSD.
You cannot change thoughts you had about PTSD, what it is, what it does and why it controls every part of you.
Change the things you can begins with you taking control of this moment on. It means taking back your life instead of letting PTSD control your days.
Learn from others who have managed to gain the wisdom to know there is something worth, not just living for, but worthy of ever effort you can give to the rest of your life.
Stop thinking that you are a victim of anything. Remember what you survived and know that you were stronger than "it" was. Remember, you are still here, therefor, you are a survivor. No one is unchanged afterwards. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Do you allow it to continue to be a threat to your life or do you take your life back into your own control?
There is no cure for PTSD but there are ways to put it out of your misery.
Stop thinking you are stuck suffering. Decades of research and others successfully undoing the harm PTSD inflicts have offered proof of better things to come.
Understand that there is no earthly reason you survived and there is nothing within you that has changed. The "you" you always knew is still there but it is trapped behind the pain "it" caused you. All the good feelings you used to have are still there but your mind has built a wall between you and those emotions.
You have the ability to breakdown that wall, let the sting of bad memories out so there is room for good feelings to awaken within you.
If you believe you should have done something differently, look at it logically. Often people believe they would have, should have done something differently, but never manage to honestly look at the question "could have" they have done it.
Often we believe we could have done something about what happened. The truth is, we are not super-human, nor do we the power to be clairvoyant. Most of the veterans haunted by things they would have done differently, caused the greatest harm to them. It allowed guilt to take over where hope should have lived.
When recounting the stories, they are asked what they would have done differently, but when they actually think of the possibility of being actually able to do it, they discover it was just what they wish they could have done, not what they could have change.
Stop thinking that you are weak. The truth is actually the opposite. PTSD lives within your emotional core. The stronger that core is, the more you feel. Good feelings, compassion, love, the ability to forgive and the courage to act on those emotions, caused you to put your life in danger for the sake of others. Bad feelings live in the same place and there is a constant war going on inside of you between the two sides of you.
It is easier to be angry and react with it than it is to take the time to take control of the situation. It is easier to hate than it is to forgive. It is easier to push people out of your life than it is to do the work to make them want to stay.
I believe most of the time, what is wrong with you, is all caused by what is right within you.
Stop lying to yourself. Stop telling yourself you deserve to suffer. Don't forget that for some reason, you lived through "it" and there is a second chance to live this extra time using the gifts you have within you.
The "Serenity Prayer" is one I grew up with after my Dad, a Korean War veteran, joined AA.
The prayer has appeared in many versions. Niebuhr's versions of the prayer were always printed as a single prose sentence; printings that set out the prayer as three lines of verse modify the author's original version. The most well-known form is a late version, as it includes a reference to grace not found before 1951:
- God, give me grace to accept with serenity
- the things that cannot be changed,
- Courage to change the things
- which should be changed,
- and the Wisdom to distinguish
- the one from the other.
- Living one day at a time,
- Enjoying one moment at a time,
- Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
- Taking, as Jesus did,
- This sinful world as it is,
- Not as I would have it,
- Trusting that You will make all things right,
- If I surrender to Your will,
- So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
- And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
What others think of you does not do as much harm as what you think about yourself. Change how you see yourself, focus on what is good and let that guide you.
You are not a burden to those who love you but you can make their lives difficult, just as healing can make their lives better. That I know because my Dad tried to make our lives better and my Husband has made my life so much better with him in it. We've been married for 33 years and he continues to do whatever it takes to make me glad I stayed.
He cannot undo the harm caused but has spent the rest of his days doing what he can to undo the outcome. You can gain the wisdom to know the difference and "live a reasonably happy life" from this moment on too.