Sunday, February 10, 2019

PTSD Patrol: Asking for help is better than suffering in silence

You are not driving an empty bus

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 10, 2019

Last week on PTSD Patrol Change the Road You Are On I used a video of the road, filmed at 5:00 am, showing how lonely the road can be when there are only a few people on it.

That is the way it can seem when you have PTSD.  You can feel as if you are alone, but the truth is, everyone you know is tied to you in one way or another.


I used the road film because my ego took over. I have been in a lot of pain again because of my back. I didn't want anyone to see me in pain, so, I used that video. Ashamed of myself ever since. Not because of being in pain, but because I wanted to hide it from everyone.

Yes, imagine that! The one who is constantly preaching on letting people know you are hurting, did a lot of work to hide it. No one ever said I was the brightest bulb in the box.

So, yesterday, the pain is actually worse than last week. I apologized for my stupid decision, and then went on to talk about how if you do not #BreakTheSilence, no one can help you because you will not give them the chance.

If you think that deciding to leave the pain by committing suicide, you need to be aware of a so many things, it would take a year to post! 

The first thing is, picture yourself as a bus driver. They do not have empty busses for very long. More and more people travel where the driver takes them. That is the way your life is. 

More and more people are connected to you. Family, friends, people you work with, are all obvious connections, but there are many more. Add to the list of passengers your family members' friends. Your friends' families. Your coworkers' families and friends. See where I'm going with this?

Now, you may think that leaving is best for everyone, but it will hit everyone hard and that pain never leaves them.

It was 19 years ago my husband's nephew, also a Vietnam veteran, decided to leave. When he committed suicide, it was like a dagger in my heart. Again, I felt as if it was my fault because I could not get him to listen to me. Yes, even I could not find the words he needed to hear to give him what he needed to want to fight to heal.

So, I do know what I am talking about with leaving behind a lot of pain. On the flip side, I also know what I am talking about when you are made aware of the fact you can heal and life can get better.

What if he just suffered in silence instead of asking for help? I learned what I know because he told me what was going on...and what he thought I could not understand. I had been through so many times when my life was on the line, it was something I knew all too well. I also knew why I healed.

Aside from all the veterans and families I have worked with over the decades, it is personal to me because of my own husband. We were talking last night about how I was only 23 and he was 30 when we started this ride together. 

There were times it seemed impossible but day by day we made it past all pain and into the winning struggle for an oh-so-much better life together.

You can do it too! Just remember that if you feel like a burden to your family now, leaving them instead of fighting to #TakeBackYourLife will leave them with questions that cannot be answered.

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