June 3, 2018
Earlier this week NPR had a heartbreaking report on female veterans and suicide.
"The suicide rate for female veterans has soared 85 percent in recent years, leading the military, VA and advocacy groups to try new ways to improve women's mental health care during and after service."That caused me to write about how it was time to put "suicide awareness groups" out of business. Most of them do not know the facts, few focus on the majority of known veterans committing suicide and even less focus on female veterans.
I thought about all the female veterans I've met over the years. Some were suffering but even with that suffering came this survivor attitude that kept them moving forward, doing all they could for others. They trained the power within them so that giving up, settling for what their life was like, was not an option.
Think about what would have happened if these women had given up.
Primer Magazine, Adam Brewton wrote about the powertrain.
Shop Talk: Understanding the Powertrain
"Your car is an integral part of your life and a large investment item. Knowing some basic information will help you better understand what needs fixing when you have to take your car to the shop, and allows you to have a chance at holding your own when your..."
"Also known as the drivetrain, this is the collection of parts that make your vehicle move. It consists of your engine, transmission or transaxle, and drive axle. Notice I said drive axle? You can have an axle that doesn’t power the vehicle, but I’ll cover that in the suspension article."
When you consider that your "vehicle" is your body, then you know, there are also many parts to what helps you move from one place to another.
When your mind (engine) is clogged by contaminates, it is easy to stay stuck right where you are. It is better to clear out the gunk and then use everything that makes up your powertrain.
First, consider why you feel stuck. If it is because you feel as if no one will understand you? A good way to fix that, is to understand yourself first!
Why did you want to serve? Why did you want to put your life on the line for a bunch of strangers? Why did you want to subject yourself to everything that goes with your job, plus all the BS you knew you'd get as a female in a mostly male profession?
You trained your body because you had it in your mind/soul that you were meant to do that job. Courage was fueled by compassion and it was the only road you wanted to be on.
Nope, nothing weak there. You endured your deployments, your missions were completed with little rest and you did not allow yourself to yield to the pain you were in, until it was done. So, nope, nothing weak there either.
You faced bullets, bombs, fires, and betrayal in a lot of cases, but contrary to popular belief, not all cases of PTSD in females were sexual in nature. Some dismiss causes by the same events males went through as "your problem" but you've already proven you were stronger than all of that.
You already proved you are a survivor! So why are you sitting there alone now thinking like a victim?
Did you know that no one has power over you other what you give them? If they are negative, telling you what is wrong with you, instead of what is strong within you, ignore them. Treat them like a bad driver! Pass them and wave bye as they fade from your rearview mirror. They are part of your past.
Out Here on My OwnSometimes I wonder where I've been,Who I am,Do I fit in.Make believein' is hard alone,Out here on my own.We're always provin' who we are,Always reachin'For that risin' starTo guide me farAnd shine me home,Out here on my own.When I'm down and feelin' blue,I close my eyes so I can be with you.Oh, baby be strong for me;Baby belong to me.Help me through.Help me need you.Until the morning sun appearsMaking lightOf all my fears,I dry the tearsI've never shown,Out here on my own.But when I'm down and feelin' blue,I close my eyes so I can be with you.Oh, baby be strong for me;Baby, belong to me.Help me through.Help me need you.Sometimes I wonder where I've been,Who I am,Do I fit in.I may not win,But I can't be thrown,Out here on my own,Out here on my own.Songwriters: Lesley Gore / Michael GoreOut Here on My Own lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
You do not have to be out there on your own considering there are over 2 million other female veterans in this country. Plus, consider the number of female police officers, firefighters, members of the National Guards, Reserves, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.
Still think you are out here on your own? You are not using your power to train yourself to heal. It is a journey and there are others who have cleared the road for you. You won't know where they will lead you to until you decide to get on the road.