Sunday, May 27, 2018

PTSD Patrol Empowerment Zone Memorial Day

Leaving Pain Behind You
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 27, 2018 
Commuter: Drives down same road without change.
Sightseer: Just looking at what others found.
Adventurer: Drives down new road to see where it goes.
Pioneer: Makes the roads everyone else takes.
What type of driver are you? Do you look forward to the next part of your journey, or do you constantly look in the rear view mirror?

If you escaped death in the service of others, why wonder where it is now? Why think that the others were worth saving, but you are not? Why look at things through the darkness surrounding you as if there is all there is?

It depends on where your light source is.

These pictures were taken at Glen Haven Memorial Park, at the same time, with the same camera and the same settings. 

There are things we see, then, there are things we just imagine. You may imagine that the pain you feel right now is all there is. Do you want to see things with a different light source?

Then look at the reasons you were willing to die for others to find the reason to live for yourself.

Time to leave the cemetery in the rear view mirror and take back your life from the pain you feel right now.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

PTSD Patrol:Where did you leave your keys?

Lost key ring
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 20, 2018

You are ready to go on a journey. You gather up everything you need. Ready to head out the door, you discover your keys are not where you thought they were. Frantically, you search the clothes you had on the day before. You look all over, and then as your heart begins to race, you look again.

When you do not find them, you start to wonder if you left them someplace else. Well, considering you got back home with them, they have to be where you are, but must be hiding.

Sooner or later, you decide it is best to retrace your steps. Best place for that to start is at the your car.

You soon discover your keys are still in the ignition.

It is the same as with your life. All too often, we forget to turn the key and turn our imagination on.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
If you spent your time risking your life for others, that desire had to have come from somewhere. Right? After all, it is not "normal" for humans to rush toward danger instead of running from it. It is not what the majority of the other humans do. It is what the people we call heroes do.

Thinking about what it takes to do that, you should also understand that other than courage and a fast thinking brain, you are also equipped with what it takes to heal from doing it.

This weeks empowerment message comes from OEF-OIF veteran helicopter pilot Bob Roebuck served seven full tours. He spent time showing me around to see the huge vehicles at Spikes Tactical  earlier this week. 

As big and tough as these vehicles are, they will not go anywhere unless the driver finds the keys~

 Keep in mind that Bob is over 6 feet tall!

Among other helicopters, he flew Apaches.

How Stuff Works explains Apaches them like this.
The Apache helicopter is a revolutionary development in the history of war. It is essentially a flying tank -- a helicopter designed to survive heavy attack and inflict massive damage. It can zero in on specific targets, day or night, even in terrible weather. As you might expect, it is a terrifying machine to ground forces.

In this article, we'll look at the Apache's amazing flight systems, weapons systems, sensor systems and armor systems. Individually, these components are remarkable pieces of technology. Combined together, they make up an unbelievable fighting machine -- the most lethal helicopter ever created.
Knowing how much courage that took to fly these helicopters for that long, you have a better idea of how important it was for him to share his experiences. Why? Because just like in combat, Bob is watching out for the men and women he calls family!

Part Two

If you have not found your keys yet, they right where you left them. Isn't it time to find them for the drive of your life? You won't heal PTSD just sitting in the driver's seat. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Let them know to #TakeBackYourLife

Let them know to #TakeBackYourLife
Combat PTSD and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 13, 2018

Judging just the outcome, it is obvious that those who risk their lives, in the military, law enforcement, as firefighters and emergency responders, have not really mattered. How could anyone pretend they matter when the one simple thing that could help them want to live, is ignored? The one simple message they have been getting has been shared millions of times but that message has been death, not about reasons to stay here.

I was furious earlier when a "friend" on Facebook has joined forces with a group I consider the enemy. They are famous for quoting a number without knowing what was truth and what was a headline.

This is the message I left.

 (clarified now that my temper has cooled down)
I have started to "unfriend" people who have not paid attention to the work I do, and have done for 36 years! Spreading a rumor on a number has only reinforced the fact these veterans believe they do not matter. If they did not even matter enough for you to read the damn reports, then they really don't matter. If you do nothing for the majority of the veterans committing suicide, the known ones anyway, then you are a fake. 65% are over the age of 50, so tell me how anyone is supposed to believe you actually care if you ignore them?

If you support or push the "22 a day" or even "20 a day" groups of people running around the country, you are part of the problem and that, that makes you no friend of mine.

I had this designed because a plow clears the road so others can move forward. In this case, it is the crap that others have put in the way that leaves veterans trapped~ So if you get out of the way of them being able to heal, let me know. Otherwise, stay out of my lane!
They want to make it easy and fun for them? They want to make money off them? For what? Pretending they give a shit? If their "job" depends on veterans committing suicide then hell, why bother to do anything to change the outcome?

We are talking about men and women who valued life so much, they were willing to die to save someone else. Even if they died for just one other person, they would have considered them worth it. These same people cannot find a reason to save their own!

How can they when all they hear is a message that is nothing more than a slogan of a dead end? I am so sick and tired or all these people screaming about what they are doing when the ones needing to be saved suffer silently!

I ask you, what are you doing to make a difference? What are you doing to put the "awareness" groups out of business? That can only happen one of two ways. Veterans stop killing themselves or the donations stop going to them and start going to groups actually doing the work for ALL VETERANS to stay alive. Either way, veterans win and all these groups get out of the way!

Did it ever once dawn on any of them that a lot of veterans end up risking their lives as responders?

This is about firefighters committing suicide. You know, the ones who rush into burning buildings when everyone else is running away. The same ones who have to get through the traffic jam you complain about so they can recover bodies and save the survivors who inconvenienced you.

Firefighters from around the area gathered for the Elgin Area Firefighters’ Memorial Service at the Elgin Fire Barn No. 5 Museum on Saturday. 
(Gloria Casas / Courier-News)
“In 2017, there were 103 documented firefighter suicides in America, whereas there were 93 line-of-duty deaths,” Schilling said. “This statistic is staggering. The fire service and firefighters alike are known for their resilience in the face of adversity. The fire service is known for problem recognition and determining solutions to save lives. I ask you, ‘What if you can make a difference? If not you, then who?’”
This is about police officers committing suicide. You know, the ones being attacked all over social media for responding to save lives, including the ones who blame all of them for what a few do. 

Officer Grijalva reportedly took his own life while off duty. He had been with the department for three years. Prior to that, he served in the United States Marine Corps. The family says they believed Officer Grijalva was displaying signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They say they informed the police department about the PTSD, that the officer had threatened suicide, and that they'd found a handwritten suicide note before his death, but the department "did nothing."
If you want to help clear the crap out of their way, then join the road crew!

Go to PTSD Patrol where this post is and leave your email so that we can get this out of their way!

PTSD Patrol: Time to check your tires

Four tires move your forward
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 13, 2018 

My friend Rev. Karen Estes has a message about how all of us need help along the way. One tire won't get you anywhere and you need three more. In other words, if we get help with what we need, then we get to move forward!

When you are stuck because of PTSD, you may think you do not want to burden anyone else. Those same people would have died for you, but you don't want to bother them? The same people you would have died for, yet you cannot bring yourself to ask them to help you heal?

How is that right? What does that actually say to them when you did not trust them enough with what is going on with you, yet you trusted them with your life in combat?

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18 New International Version (NIV)
The second tire is the buddy, or helper to stand by your side. 

The third tire is a group as a support system. A team to help you. In this message, that group is a church, but when you think of your unit, that is also a support system, "to help bare your burdens" just like you would do for them.

The forth tire is God. He will never lose air or let His interest in you go flat. He is there to "carry you" when you cannot do it for yourself. There when others fail you because they are only human too.

Want to get on the road to healing? Check your tires! 

Karen was kind enough to send out what she said and here is part of it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018
The Need for a Support System
Musings of the Preacherlady

A dear friend who is a Chaplain and PTSD Advocate asked me to record a video to uplift, and encourage veterans. The series uses driving a car as the analogy. Here is what I came up with:

The Need for a Support System

A car needs four tires. If one gets flat or is removed, then the car can’t go. One tire by itself can be OK as a swing or something, but it won’t get you anywhere… OK, so I am NOT a mechanic. I know that, so I am smart enough to know when the car is having problems that I need to take it to someone who knows what they are doing. When our spiritual life is out of whack, we need to do that, too. If my car analogy is a bit of a stretch forgive me, my area is spiritual.

In today’s society there is an undercurrent that you must be self-sufficient. You need to “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Independence is everything. In fact, in Psychology the notion of being “co-dependent” is supposed to be a really bad thing. That undercurrent has made many people believe that they have to face their problems on their own and if they don’t then something must be wrong with them. I believe this goes against the very fiber of our being. We were created to be in community.

In Genesis 2:18 it says, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” (NRSV) Most people interpret this as husband and wife, which is part of it. The Hebrew is much broader. The word “man” is Adama, which is the word for humanity.

So, Adam means human. So, it can be translated, “It is not good for a human being to be alone.” We were made to be in relationship. No one can make it entirely on their own. So, my first tire is find someone to be your “helper.” You need to find someone who you trust to walk with you through life’s journey; someone who will not abuse or take advantage of your vulnerability. This person can be a spouse, a best friend, a co-worker, a sibling, but needs to be someone who will always be on your side even when you don’t want to hear it.
read more here

Sunday, May 6, 2018

PTSD Patrol: Does your radiator cool your engine enough?

Crying keeps your engine cool!
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 6, 2018

We have all heard the saying "men don't cry" but that must have originated from a man who couldn't do it. Think of what he was like. He must have been one nasty individual.

Imagine not being able to cope with strong emotions. Then again, imagine what it must have been like to not be able to release that negative power. His engine must have overheated all the time.

Radiators A radiator is an integral part of your car’s engine coolant system. Its primary task is to keep the engine cool — if the radiator were to malfunction, the pistons would seize up, destroying the engine. In effect, the radiator along with the rest of the cooling system is your personal insurance against a devastating repair bill.
If you have PTSD after doing your job, then there are things you need to know beyond what you imagine.

You may think that others like you do not need to cry. After all, you are so courageous that you were willing to die for the sake of someone else. Right? Why were you willing to do that? Is it because you did not care about any of them?

Would it help to know that one of the most courageous men to walk this earth cried? 

He was feeling such empathy for someone else, he could not control his emotions and he wept.

I am sure by now you know where I am going with this. That man was Jesus. When He was in the garden, knowing His days on earth were coming to an end, He had such and inner struggle going on that when He did not weep, the emotional pressure was so great that his sweat came out as drops of blood.
42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22)
His engine overheated. Now, sure, you can dismiss all of this but then you'd have to dismiss the fact that Jesus knew all along who He was and what He was supposed to do. He also knew when it would happen. 

All His time on earth was spent doing things for others out of love. Some say it did not end well for Him, but they are missing the point that it ended the exact way it was supposed to. Think of how brave He was and then think of how even He cried for someone else.

Jesus could have dismissed the sister of Lazarus, knowing He would restore her brother to the living, but He was overpowered by the love she had for him.

Is there anything that is blocking your engine? Is there any reason you are allowing your engine to heat up instead of cooling off so the rest of your journey goes on?

Bad feelings need to be released so that good can come in again. Unscrew the cap and let the water flow!

Ecclesiastes 3 King James Version (KJV)
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I could have edited this video because of a mistake I made, but why pretend I am perfect? In the video I am talking about what is in Ecclesiastes, but I must have had the Birds song on my brain. It turns out that the way this was originally written, it is perfect. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. Stop letting your engine overheat and cool it down.

"Can you imagine how I feel today?"

PTSD Patrol Kathie Costos June 15, 2021 "Can you imagine how I feel today?" is a question no one would have to ask if they talk...

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It is your life, get in and drive it