Oh Crap…Here we go with the PTSD!
I know so many of you think I write my Blogapy for you… but what you don’t understand is that this is for me. This is how I’m able to sometimes work through things…figure things out…get them out of my head so I can sleep again! And the fact that so many of you have gotten something out of it too…well that’s just a bonus!
And if along the way I have (ughhhh…sighhhh…says with resentment…) “inspired” you…then yeah us! I’ll figure out some day what to charge per hour…but right now you get it for free!
I am so honored…and embarrassed… and humbled by the fact the US Military has asked me…not only what I think…but to help them. I’ve been an Adviser to the P4OH program (PTSD/TBI) for awhile now…but suddenly it’s getting very real! Whoa…
Here’s what I know I want to say to so many of the soldiers and the families…I figured it out in the bathtub this morning. I do a lot of thinking in the bath…it’s the quietest place in my house and there is a lock on the door!
But, for all the soldiers, veterans, first responders…and everyone else…patients of all kinds… we’re all soldiers in some way…fighting our own battles.
But for the Military soldiers…I know when you signed up to serve…you did so with a purpose. To protect…to fight for something…or, someone who couldn’t fight for themselves. Well guess what…you think your service ended when you got home…but your battle has just begun. It’s just on a different battlefield… and now you’re the Commander. You are used to having support and instructions…coming back to a world where you have to advocate for yourself…well…there are no instructions for that.
So here’s what I can tell you this morning…You think that no one could possibly understand what you’ve been through…but you’re wrong.
PTSD happens to so many of us…but saying it is embarrassing…right. It’s weak. Well here goes…
I had a grand mal seizure in front of my 2 babies while they watched helplessly from the bathtub in 2006. I had my head shaved and had brain surgery, I woke up and was paralyzed…2 weeks later I was told I was going to die…4 weeks later my husband left and took his health insurance with him. So my amazing parents stepped up and said we are going to face this together (I had my troops…they had my back) 2 weeks later my father was killed in a car accident after dropping me and my kids off at home. All that in 90 days.
That’s my story. I own it. It’s who I am and I’m proud to stand here today…7 years later, VERY alive, A Mom, a Newlywed, President and Co-Founder of The CT Brain Tumor Alliance…which has raised over 1.5 million dollars for Brain Tumor patients and research.
I’m also a very public (sometimes too public) figure and advocate for Medical Marijuana…so much so that I’m now a voice in the industry…leading the way for R&D and metered unit dosing.
AND …last but not least…An Adviser to the military’s P4OH program…Helping all of those suffering with PTSD and/or TBI’s.
NOW………If any damn counselor had come into my hospital room 7 years ago and said…Hey…Its going to be fine…One day you’re going to have an amazing life! Smiling as she sipped her Starbucks chai tea…I think I would have punched her!
But you, Mr./Ms soldier, can’t punch me…you can only listen…read…and consider.
Its time for you to start the next chapter of your life…and that can be scary and lonely…but it can also be exciting. It’s time for you to stand up and lead. Lead yourself. Own the tragedies that you have been a part of and let them catapult you to action !
Pick something that means the world to you and focus on it…Fight for it…you are all soldiers! Be a soldier…but this time fight for something you believe in NOW…TODAY! Something that you, personally, can change. It’s so powerful. And you need to feel powerful right now…because in reality you’ve never felt more powerless.
YOU are still YOU…But a different YOU. And that’s not a bad thing. Being labeled with something like PTSD doesn’t define you…It helps you show others how to live with it…it teaches you how to lead others!
Be the “new” you. A you that has had a terrible event…one that has changed you…BUT don’t let it change you for the worse. Own it…let it be part of you and you will be stronger.
I mean please…really…I’m a 43 year old suburban chick with Brain Tumor…you all are soldiers. You probably have rock hard bodies and an attitude that won’t quit!
So if I can get here…And I’m a Wussy! You’ve got it made! It’s a tough and shitty road forward…I won’t lie…but anything worth it always is.
And don’t hate this time in your life…don’t keep saying, “I WISH I COULD JUST GET THROUGH THIS!” Then you’ve missed the lesson…you’ve missed the “school” that you needed to graduate from to move up a rank. (Look at me…using military lingo!)
This is a TRANSITION…And here’s how to start. Make friends! Surround yourself with a new platoon of supporters that will fight this battle with you. A whole army can get more done than a single soldier. (And you’ve already got me on your team!)
Talk to everyone…trust me…they want to talk to you…but they might not know how.
So I like to start off with a joke to lighten the mood…It always made people laugh and forget that I had staples in my head!
So…what will you fight for today?