The current issue of “Our Sunday Visitor” has an article called “Blessings of Military Service,” written by Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller. She interviewed me a week or so ago about my PTSD work with veterans and other trauma survivors and what I felt were some of the greatest blessings from that work.
A Reporter Who Did Not Blanch from the Hard News
The article features several men and women and their experiences in relation to military service. Ms. Eidemiller is an excellent reporter in that she allowed me time to fully answer the questions and develop them further. While I am only a small part of the article, she did an excellent job at listening to how destructive PTSD can be to us, our families, and even eat away at our will to live.
I point her reporting out because sometimes people have recoiled from learning about PTSD interview when they hear how bad and corrosive it is to our souls. They can’t stand the truth. This has been true whether people have asked me about PTSD trauma from military service, sexual assaults, or clergy abuse. While the Our Sunday Visitor feature is meant to be upbeat, the reporter was willing to hear the bad as well as the good. She did not recoil from the news as some reporters have done in the past.
We Are Always in Community
Do not abandon hope if you or someone you care about suffers from PTSD. While the PTSD soul wound will change your life, it does not have to end your life. There is real value to your life. PTSD will try to seduce us into isolation and self-harm, even suicide.
If your symptoms are bad, know that you are not alone. There are people praying for you and who want you to choose life, Your Life! Even if we are in an isolation cell, we still are in a community of prayer meant to help us heal and better know our selves and thus to better know God.
PTSD does not have to be a death sentence. It is a tough hard road, but you don’t have to give up hope. PTSD will try to swamp you with despair. Yes, there will be bad days, low days, but no matter what sport of day PTSD is inflicting on you your life still has value. It always will. This is true regardless of if your PTSD symptoms are active or in remission. God loves us if we are healthy and God loves us when we are wounded with PTSD. Knowing God is to know love. Love is the antibiotic to the PTSD infection.
Semper Pax, Dr. Z