Sunday, November 25, 2018

Adjustment of your vehicle


PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 25, 2018

I had to get new tires for my car. In the process, they put the car on a machine to do an alignment. 


Alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels. It is not an adjustment of the tires or wheels themselves. The key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires which affects how they make contact with the road.
That got me thinking about how veterans can do an alignment of their lives. They can adjust the angles and make different contacts with other veterans on the road.

Right now the most powerful tool to prevent suicides if not being used. Too many have just jumped on the "suicide awareness" stunts while veterans are left wondering where hope is.

What is going on? We see so many groups talking about veterans killing themselves, but the outcome is more suffering and less healing.

Do these people really care? That is clear for most involved that they do. The problem is, they did not care enough to know what to do to change the outcome.

The answer was already inside of them. 

First, here is something inspiring about a veteran.
Boot Campaign Hero Ambassador and executive director for 22Kill Jake Schick didn't let his 2004 combat injury end his happiness. His love story and dedication to ending veteran suicide is nothing short of inspiring.
His story itself is empowering because he talks about not giving up, looking to the future with his family. 

This is where his story went wrong.
"It has been a passion of my since I got the phone call one of my brother's took his own life. So I jumped right in."  22Kill Executive Director Jacob Schick
It is easy to see he does have a passion for this "brothers" and wanted to do something to help them. But the problem is, jumping in is what caused the results we see, instead of learning what was needed to change the outcome from suicide into healing.

I am glad I found this video from Jake Schick because there is real power in his story. Watch it and skip the part about "raising awareness."

So, how do these groups do a realignment? How do they make the journey safer and smoother for veterans looking for hope?

They stop doing the stunts and "having fun" with parties. They take a serious look at what the results have been and change how they approach the only kind of awareness veterans need to have. That they can heal!

PTSD should not have the power to define them. They need to know that power is within their reach and they can realign the everything!

To all the groups out there, if you want to really prevent veterans from committing suicide, then stop just jumping in to do something and start doing the right thing!

There is nothing more powerful than talking to them about how you did it, how you discovered you could #TakeBackYourLife.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Time For Every Gear You Use

Motion requires different gears

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 18, 2018

The wheels turn, turn, turn and we move forward. Sometimes the road is smooth. Other times, it is a bumpy road we must travel on to get where we want to go.

There are times when we are alone on the road, but the passengers in our minds keep us company.

Sometimes the sun is shining and we can enjoy the drive. Sometimes it is snowing. The roads are dangerous to be on.

Sometimes we are the only ones on the road. Other times we are stuck in traffic.

What all of us must deal with, is, there are no guarantees any trip will be an easy one to take. 
To everything, there is a gear, that makes your wheels turn, turn, turn 
And a time to every purpose, under your hood 
A time to be move forward, a time to park 
A time to stay, a time to travel 
A time to reverse, a time for neutral 
A time to joy ride, a time to stop 
To everything, there is a gear. that makes your wheels turn, turn, turn.
There is a time to grieve, remember what is lost and then a time to remember with fondness. A time to cry and release the pain you feel. That makes room for a time to feel joy again.

No matter where you want to go in life, you pack everything into what you carry the rest of your life. How you switch gears depends on what you are willing to unpack, let go of, and what you need to carry with you.

When someone says "get over it" they are trying to tell you to move past it, but you hear forget about it all instead.

Sammy Davis, received the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam. A few years ago, we were at an event at the Orlando Nam Knights. I've known Sammy and his wife Dixie for a very long time. I asked him if he wanted to add to a PSA he did for veterans dealing with PTSD. This is what he had to say about "getting over it" and it is a message everyone needs to hear.

The real lyrics
Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
The Byrds
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late
Songwriters: Peter Seeger
Turn! Turn! Turn! 
(To Everything There Is a Season) lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

"Then I am still and wait here in the silence"

Dawn of aVeterans Day

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 11, 2018

Before dawn yesterday, I went out to Apopka to walk along the path of the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall. I wanted to see the darkness turn to the light of day.

Much like when you drive surrounded by darkness, you can light your way by turning on your headlights, you can do that with your life as well.

The darkness can feel overwhelming at times and it can be hard to see what is around you.

Just like when you were in combat, you had your brothers and sisters with you and they are still around you now. Every experience you had with them remains in your soul. Lean on the memories when you saw kindness, compassion, shared laughter and secrets.

Now what is around you are people who love you and want you to be happy. You have people waiting to help you believe you are not sitting in darkness by yourself and they want to show you how to get back into the light of day.
When dawn breaks darkness, it does not just happen to begin a day. It happens to begin a chance to start with a different way to go. Just like turning on the lights of your vehicle to see better, you have a chance to see your life better. #CombatPTSD and #TakeBackYourLife

This is Veterans Day, so here is a little history lesson on who all of us should thank for what is available today for us after surviving traumatic events.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

UCF fighting PTSD right by your side!

UCF Restores Hope

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 8, 2018

With the news today about a shooting involving a veteran, people started to talk about it, and veterans, started to withdraw.

While it is rare for a veteran to be involved in something like this, the fact it was a veteran this time, has managed to be in almost every headline.

I felt there was a sense of urgency to put this up today instead of waiting for Sunday.

Yesterday I went out to UCF and interviewed Deborah C. Beidel of UCF Restores. They are doing fantastic work on helping veterans and first responders heal. Heal? Yes! 

PTSD is not something to be afraid of and it is not worth gaining power over your life.

If you understand what it is, why you have it, then you take away power from it. When you fight back, you take away more power from it and gain it for yourself.

Listen do what Dr. Beidel has to say and then, start to #CombatPTSD so you can #TakeBackYourLife.

"And one day, she discovered that she was fierce, ad strong, and full of fire. And that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears."

From UCF Restores

Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D, ABPP

Dr. Beidel is Trustee Chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology and Medical Education and the Executive Director of UCF RESTORES. Dr. Beidel received her Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her internship and post-doctoral clinical research fellowship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh.

She was a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Maryland, and Penn State College of Medicine.

She was the 1990 recipient of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy’s New Researcher Award, the 1995 recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Medical School Psychologists, and the 2007 recipient of the APA Division 12 Samuel M. Turner Clinical Research Award.

Dr. Beidel holds the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Psychology and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a past-president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.

She is a past Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Accreditation. She serves on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals. Her academic, research and clinical interests focus on child and adult trauma and anxiety disorders, including their etiology, psychopathology, and behavioral treatment. Her research is characterized by a developmental focus and includes high risk and longitudinal designs, psychophysiological assessment, treatment outcome and treatment development. She has been the recipient of grants from the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Mental Health addressing the development and efficacy of behavioral interventions for adults and children with PTSD as well as other anxiety disorders.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

First responders with PTSD navigate a complicated path to get help

Here is an article that sums up what we all need to be doing on getting those who respond to what the rest of us need help with.

‘It didn’t make any difference’: First responders with PTSD navigate a complicated path to get help
“If we do this right in the beginning, it really eliminates a lot of that down the road. People tend to get a whole lot better if it’s done well, and it’s done correctly and effectively; that’s the key.” Dr. Nancy Wesselink
Matthew Jones, a former Forsyth County firefighter, tried to handle his emotions on his own after a traumatic experience on the job, but when he turned to alcohol to cope his life began to unravel. Jones was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. - photo by Brian Paglia
read the article here 

Orlando Vets Center Hope'n House

Orlando Vets Center Open House

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 4, 2018

You know when there is something going on with your vehicle. It just doesn't seem to be running right. As you drive down streets, you hope it does not breakdown in traffic or on some isolated road.

Oh, sure you have a cellphone to call for help, but while you are waiting, you never know what is going to happen, or how long you'll be stuck there. 

While waiting for a tow truck you start to think about what the mechanics will find wrong with it. Most of the time, it is an easy fix. Sometimes it takes a lot more work than you thought it would.

When the vehicle you live in is not running right, it works the same way. When you are not running right, you may breakdown and feel stuck. If you call for help, and get to a mechanic for what you need, then, sometimes it is an easy fix, but other times, it takes a lot more work.

Yesterday we went out to the Orlando Vets Center for their open house. Actually it should have been called hope'n house, because that is what they are dedicated to doing.

Vets Centers started in 1979.

Who We Are 
We are the people in VA who welcome home war veterans with honor by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring manner. Vet Centers understand and appreciate Veterans’ war experiences while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their community.
The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems.

Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  In April 1991, in response to the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era.

Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia.  In October 1996, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans. The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.

On April 1, 2003 the Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and on June 25, 2003 Vet Center eligibility was extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

The family members of all veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On August 5, 2003 VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.

We understand, and most of all, we care.
Vet Centers have group sessions, therapists, all the usual things you have come to know. They also have yoga, Tai Chi, art, music, and a lot more. Just like with the vehicle you drive, you are not the same as others on the road.

For some, one thing works great, but may not be what you need. What you need may not be what your buddy needs. That is what the mechanics at the Vet Centers are there for. They will find what will work best for you to have a better ride the rest of your life!

You can support what is vital to helping them the work being done at the Vets Center, or you could keep supporting the demon and share the topic that could kill them.

"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