What is PTSD; on paper it is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I'm of the belief that PTSD is a label handed out like skittles. After spending time in the British Army I saw several people go down with this affliction. It is a big taboo in the Military, it is seen as a weakness. Men would rather suffer in silence than seek help because it is a career ender. Once word gets out that you are afflicted you might as-well have Ebola; career opportunities begin to fade. We would sit there watching people on TV talk about their experiences and we were always left thinking 'what are you complaining about?'
That attitude stinks. It's an atrocious attitude.
When I left the military I grew a soul and found some humanity. Luckily my attitude towards people with trauma changed. Trauma is not as black and white as people think. I will fight to the death against being categorised or labelled, I am suffering from something. Whatever it is it's greyer than a British summer, there is no black and white.
I don't sleep well
I've been a painkiller addict
I've drank, never that often though - it's an expensive habit
I'm quick to loose my temper in certain situations
Empathy is a concept that is growing on me
Sympathy is coming slowly returning to me
Loud people annoy me
Shouting makes me angry
Cold rain cripples me
If people disagree with me on the subject of conflict I get angry
I want to fight
I don't want to fight
I get frustrated at things for no reason
Humans annoy me
Loud environments make me stressed
That's a snapshot of me, a receipt of problems I've come to accept from six years in the British Army and two operational tours in Afghanistan. I'm sure I've accumulated more problems but some things just become accepted as normal.
What is normal?
Well that is the question, war became normal to me. It is in essence inherently abnormal but we are a product of our experiences. Death became normal to me, sadness and suffering became normal to me, empathy became abnormal to me, gun battles became the nutrition I wanted, big explosions became my porn. In reflection all I can say is that I hope in time the things I consider normal become abnormal.
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