Tuesday, January 23, 2018

PTSD? Need a tow?

PTSD: Sometimes you need a tow truck
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
January 23, 2018

When you breakdown on the road, you try to figure out what went wrong. Out of gas? Overheated? Dead battery? Flat tires?If you can't fix it yourself, you make a phone call to get help. If you don't, then you will be stuck there until someone comes along to try to help you get out of where you are.

What if the person coming doesn't know anything more than you do? Your still stuck where you are.

So, you make the call to someone you know will fix your problem, or at least give you a tow. They may tell you that you'll have to wait a while, but you know they'll show up.

When they come, a sense of relief takes place of dread. You hope they find something simple and can fix it right away. The longer it takes them to figure it out, the more you get worried about what they'll find.

You smile when you find out it wasn't as bad as you thought. A battery cable was not making the right connection. Put back on tightly, you are good to go again. You get back into your car, start it up and your help leaves. No problem since you think you don't need help anymore. 

To get out of the breakdown lane, you need to proceed with caution. You can't just take off and fly down the road. What is behind you? What is on the side of you? What is ahead of you? Is it safe to move forward? What speed should you be in?

Strange how that works the same way with PTSD. Something went wrong. It was the one too many times you were in a place where something terrible happened. After about 30 days, if what you've been going through hasn't weakened, or even better, left you almost the same as you were, then you need to get help.

It means the event was too much for your engine (mind) to handle. When you breakdown, trying to figure out what to do next, can lead to a lot more problems.

You'll try anything to stop feeling the pain and having bad thoughts pop in and out between your regular thoughts. Sometimes you just want to stop feeling the pain, so you get numb with drugs, alcohol, playing games online, or doing other things that would be out of character for you.

The stuff you used to enjoy, you have no interest in doing at all. People may say that you are acting like a jerk or "not yourself" lately, and they are more right than they know.

Sometimes, you are really not "yourself" because surviving something that could have killed you, changes you. No one really escapes the "IT" the same way they were before.

You end up stuck on the side of the road while everyone else is passing you.  

So, do you pick up the phone and ask for help or just sit there waiting for it to suddenly show up? How long do you wait? Do you keep waiting until it gets dark and no one can see you?

Is it OK to ask for help when your car is broken? Then why isn't it OK to ask for help when you breakdown? Sometimes all you need is a quick fix, or a jump start. Sometimes you need a tow and taken to where they can give you tests to figure out what you need to get back on the road.

One way or another, it is always better to ask for help than take your chances on the side of the road.

It doesn't matter how tough or how big you are, there is always a way to get you to where you need to go.

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