Sunday, September 30, 2018

East Orlando Harley Davidson for Ride to Fight Suicide

A ride for life
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
September 30, 2018

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 34th anniversary. No matter how hard some years were, we had love and fed each other hope. He is the reason I have done this work for the last 36 years. I have seen the darkness but have also seen what brighter days bring.

Yesterday I went out to East Orlando Harley Davidson for Ride to Fight Suicide

All of our lives have been changed in someway by the lose of hope, but none of us are ready to give up this fight for life.

While our lives may be different, the purpose of our lives has become one of restoring hope.

Romans 8:28 King James Version (KJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Suicide is a painful thing for the families left behind. They never find the answers they are looking for. It is always with them, when the person they loved gave up on themselves. Beyond that, they gave up on the people who loved them as well.

The never ending questions of "why didn't they come to me" or "talk to me" or "let me know how much they were hurting" or "why didn't they trust me to listen to them?"

I know those feelings all too well, because it happened in my family. My husband's nephew was also a Vietnam veteran and he committed suicide 18 years ago. I have all those questions still in my head that will never be answered.

What makes it a little worse for me, is that, I knew everything he needed to hear to take back his life from PTSD. What I didn't know was how to get him to listen. I am sure that his suicide is the biggest reason I have fought so hard all these years.

I have seen what it is like when lives turn around and they live a better quality of life. I also know what it is like to want to die. I was in the hospital with a massive infection 30 years ago and my life was so hard, I was praying to have all the suffering ended. Yes, I was praying to die even though the nurse thought I was fighting to stay alive. My life was too hard but I had a reason to live and that reason was love.

Everyone involved in this suicide prevention event has been touched in one way or another by the suffering of someone else, or what they had survived in their own battles to heal.

When someone has lost everything, especially themselves, it is hard to find hope but within that dark place, who they are is still in there even though how they are is much different than hoped for. It can all change for the better and no one has to fight this alone.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is doing whatever they can to stand by the side of anyone fighting this battle to heal their lives.

Grant is riding 100,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Ride Out of the Darkness

My name is Grant and I have committed to ride 100,000 miles on my Harley Davidson Road King in 2018 to spread the word how together we can lower the Suicide rate. I'm inspired to set out on this journey because I don't want anyone to ever have to wake up to news that another friend, family member, or coworker decided to end their life. Together with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention we can take a stand and remind our loved ones that they indeed are truly loved. Now is the time!
And Dave Matthews of Never Forgotten Memorials was also out there to change the conversation.
Our purpose is giving others back hope that their lives can be so much better. That their last worst day will end because the next day they are healing. To help them to see that #TakeBackYourLife is more than a slogan but empowering the strength that got them through all the other days of their lives.

No matter what they survived, whatever caused the pain they carry, they defeated it and it is time to see what they have already overcome. 

It is your life! You decide where you want to go and with help, you can get there. Just like someone had to go out and clear the way to make the roads you drive on, others have cleared the way for the roads you live on! It is your life. Time to get in and drive it!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

PTSD Patrol: Golden oldies crankshaft

PTSD Patrol: Cranky Shafted?
PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
September 23, 2018

This is for the majority of veterans in the US. Older, but unfortunately, not as wise as you should be when it comes to PTSD.

Veterans over the age of 50, are also the majority of veterans known to be committing suicide. Yep, that long after surviving combat, the battle to stay alive is lost all too often.

Most of it is because you thought you escaped all you went through while you were busy working, raising kids and doing what everyone does. Filling up time instead of relaxing.

Faced with retirement and other life changes, no longer too busy, time catches up with you. Suddenly it is as if you were hit by a sledgehammer when nightmares, flashbacks and mood swings take over. Not knowing what is going on, it is easy to get cranky.

AutoZone Crankshaft

"Your vehicle is a smoothly operating machine, unless of course your crankshaft and camshaft have gone bad. A faulty crankshaft inhibits the pistons from rotating properly while a damaged camshaft prevents correct opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves- hindering your ability to drive altogether. The crankshaft and camshaft work together in-sync, so the valves don't contact the pistons, which are all controlled by the timing belt. Overtime, these parts become faulty from wear and tear, and inevitably need to be replaced within the lifetime of your vehicle."
If you had been hit by PTSD in younger years, then more than likely, you have already been to the VA, diagnosed and treated for PTSD. That is great because PTSD stops getting worse when you #TakeBackYourLife and fight to heal. 

If you managed to "stuff it" then you may have been under the delusion you escaped what others did not. It is a huge shocker to find out you did not, especially when you are ready for your "golden years" when you are supposed to be enjoying life.
PTSD symptoms later in life from the VA Many older Veterans find they have PTSD symptoms even 50 or more years after their wartime experience. Some symptoms of PTSD include having nightmares or feeling like you are reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, being easily startled, and loss of interest in activities. There are a number of reasons why symptoms of PTSD may increase with age:

Having retired from work may make your symptoms feel worse, because you have more time to think and fewer things to distract you from your memories. 
Having medical problems and feeling like you are not as strong as you used to be also can increase symptoms. 
You may find that bad news on the television and scenes from current wars bring back bad memories. You may have tried in the past to cope with stress by using alcohol or other substances. Then if you stop drinking late in life, without another, healthier way of coping, this can make PTSD symptoms seem worse.
PTSD symptoms can occur soon after a traumatic experience, but this is not always the case. Here are some common symptom patterns:

Some Veterans begin to have PTSD symptoms soon after they return from war. These symptoms may last until older age.
Other Veterans don't have PTSD symptoms until later in life. 
For some Veterans, PTSD symptoms can be high right after their war experience, go down over the years, and then worsen again later in life.
Even with all that, there are many things you need to learn, beginning with the biggest piece of news you need to hear. You can still heal! That's right! It does not matter how many years it has been since you got out of the military. Your life can still get so much better when you work on your life instead of working your life away.

Yesterday I went out to Rock and Brews for a car show. Love to see all the old cars I grew up with. These old cars were selected to be lovingly restored instead of ending up in a junk yard.

You can be lovingly restored too! 

Got to love the sense of humor some people have!

"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...

PTSD Patrol

PTSD Patrol
It is your life, get in and drive it