NewYears IED

Thursday, May 15, 2014

PTS--Not a Disorder, a Depletion.


You'd be hard pressed to find a fighting culture more badass than the Spartans.

At birth, babies were tested for strength and were killed if they failed.

Boys were taken from their mothers at 7 and received battle buddies at 12.

They had to kill to prove manhood.

Trained day and night in arguably the most vicious type of warfare imaginable.

"Come home with your shield or on it". Never surrender.

Well, even the mighty Spartans surrendered at the Battle of Sphacteria in 425 B.C.

Why did they surrender if their entire culture was designed to keep such a thing from happening?

They became depleted. They got stuck on an Island with no hope of victory, and the Athenians wore'em down.

What killed me when I came home was the lack of sleep and constant pain, which sucked the life outa me.

Little problems can get pretty friggin huge when you are depleted.

It was a bathroom remodel that screwed me. I was getting my bathroom renovated and I was without a toilet for two weeks.

Not a problem I told myself at the time, I pissed in bottles for months in Iraq, nothing to it. Not this time.

I couldn't handle it. I was dating my wife at the time and things that didn't seem like a big deal would unhinge me.

I think back and laugh now because I must have been a sight. Crying and hyperventilating on the floor of the kitchen after a bad moment.

I remember there being a point when things would just spiral out of control. I couldn't hold.

There are a lot of people who have never been to war, but have MDs who are trying to help us vets.

They are describing PTSD as this or that, promising miracle cures and deciding whether one joe has it or another.

I'll tell you, I don't pay to much attention to that stuff anymore because I kinda get it.

In war you got your battle buddies. Your pissing in a bottle or dealing with mud butt from the water, who cares, you got your team.

You are seeing bodies in alleys, guys are dying from invisible IEDS.....but you got your unit. You can hold.

But what about when you get home. You got your family and people who love you, but they don't know about this stuff.

You are cut off from your support. You are on an island....and your enemy....

for me it was my thoughts and emotions,

for the Spartans it was the Athenians....... are closing in.


Your warrior training tells you to hold, to be strong, that you can handle it......but then a moment......then you can't.

You gotta face your demons your shame and your weakness and ahhhhhhh can you feel it.....can you feel the shame well up......

No you scream....I AM SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE THIS.....I LASTED THE WAR. I GOT BLOWN UP. I SURVIVED.

WHY IS THE GOD DAMN BATHROOM KICKING MY ASS?

Hahaha. Hey civilian Doctor--what do you know about that?
Initially, it was yoga that gave me better control. Now don't get all "I'm not fucking taking Yoga" on me and listen..

It wasn't yoga, but the breathing that yoga emphasized that helped.

Now anyone who has been listening knows that I have been going to a class at the VA in Washington D.C.

The class is called mindfulness meditation and it's free for vets every Thursday.

Now how do you think the ability to focus and guide your mind with your breath could impact that moment....

...you know that moment right before you lose your shit?

Well for me it helps me see it coming...

...and in the mean time the practice fortifies me with the knowledge that I am creating an internal resource.

A resource that is easily practiced and always relaxing.
I had a bit of a break down last night, nothing like before...

But there were two moments that stand out.

The one where I felt like I was losing it

And the one where I caught my thoughts and pulled it together.

I loved reading about the Spartans before the war....

Now, I'm not so infatuated. They didn't evolve as a culture and all their training wasn't worth a shit on that island.

I think the hardest part about being a warrior is recognizing when your training no longer helps you.

Fortunately, courage is our strong suit, so if you got the guts....

And want some training that will help you....

Follow Me.

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