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PTSD: Can you Manage it? - Part 3

October 7, 2018

 

Hello again.

 

We are back to answering the question:

 

 

In the previous blog post we walked through the steps of finding something to believe in beyond ourselves. There is hope of a team we may choose to join one day (or become more involved with if they already exist). Wonderful news! A beautiful moment to celebrate :).

What happens when things change? How do we not relapse *when* life throws a curve ball? We know it will, so here’s my secret to how I moved forward during devastation.

I was part of a team I loved, we were changing lives and growing in our mission then one day it was all taken away. No one was killed like in combat, and that’s what I kept telling myself. Everyone is alive, we will all move on, why do I feel complete devastation?

 

Part of me feared relapsing and that was unsettling. I was starting to like the feeling of hope again. Working on a team I trusted felt good. Now it was gone. 

 

Instead of staying stuck, or worse, relapsing, I decided to keep moving forward. It wasn’t easy, in fact, my husband called me out on my melancholy state within weeks. He asked a question that forever changed our lives, “When did you stop dreaming?” After blow, after blow, after devastating blow I’d stopped dreaming about our future. I was on the brink of a serious relapse. 

 

So, I made a choice.

 

Either continue moving

forward or stay stuck. 

 

When we choose to believe in something outside ourselves the foundation can be rocked. Either our company is closed, a client is unhappy, an event doesn’t go as planned, friendships end, marriages are *hard* work, our kids have ups and downs, family health concerns…the list goes on and on of life’s twists and turns. Whatever the situation, it rocks our belief. The way we pick ourselves up and continue moving forward is by strategizing who we will partner with next. 

 

This was a big step in my reintegration process since becoming a member of the civilian world was really difficult for me. I don’t think you have to suffer from PTSD to have a hard transition into civilian life. So, if you know someone who struggles taking off the uniform, this next part of the blog could be useful for their transition.

 

How to find a strategic alliance after the world knocks you around:

 

1. What type of leader/boss do you want to work for/with? Is there are a particular set of core values or moral compass they live by? What kind of customers do they serve? How are they making an impact in the world? Do they care for their employees? Is there room for growth?

 

2. Is the company full of people smarter than you? For me it was important to grow and learn. I discovered that when I was challenged my brain stayed active and solution oriented, rather than stuck in repeating a negative series of flashbacks and “shoulda woulda coulda’s.”

 

3. For me the mission, vision and values of the company was more important than the industry. I could learn the industry when aligned with the right team.

When I joined the military I signed up for a mission, a purpose, a way of life. Discovering that again was one way I managed my PTSD. 

 

If you’d like to catch up on the series, please check out the 2 previous blog posts.

 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you. In next two weeks I’ll share some of my insights on living with PTSD and navigating the world around us.

 

This blog is run by volunteer bloggers. The American PTSD Association takes no responsibilities for the contents of the posts. If you are interested in sharing your story with our community please reach us at contact@aptsda.org

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