Monday, March 26, 2012

No seriously, WTF.

Ah the joys of inexplicable rage. Wham, suddenly I hate the world and everything in it. I cuss at my cats, whom I love dearly. I want to smash my shiny new iphone to pieces because someone dared call me to bitch about the minutiae of their day to day lives.

It's insidious how shit sneaks up on me. Granted I've got people wanting me to tell them all the horrible little details of Iraq, or combat, or military culture, or military sexual trauma. It's a problem, because I want to help people understand the magnitude of the problem they are trying to solve. It's not just about helping the survivors anymore, everybody wants a fucking cure. Hell I don't know, maybe make an example out of a few of the criminals on a firing line and maybe that would help. I can't save the world, and I know it, but I have these compulsions to help, because gee I don't want this to happen to anyone else. I'm a survivor, and "I talk good", so I'm supposed to have all the answers. I have a goddamn migraine is what I have. I just woke the fuck up two hours ago, and now I have a migraine.

Excuse me, while I turn green and go destroy things, and rage in monosyllabic nonsense.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cure for bad moods

Over the last few years, I've used a lot of tricks to shake off bad moods or bad days. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does. I'm going to list some of my tricks, and because I'm curious, I'd like to hear from you guys what works for you. I think I'm going to write a short article for the veterans and advocates on Facebook. I like helping people, and one of things common to victims of PTSD is that they have bad moods and bad days that they can't shake. Maybe between us we can find something that can help people.

I watch funny cat videos on YouTube, because sometimes if I smile enough or laugh it can help ease the worst of the depression. I have soundproof headphones, and I listen to my favorite singers and sing along as loud as possible. I like to watch funny Disney movies, like How to train your dragon or Kung Fu Panda, because as they say, laughter is the best medicine. I make lists sometimes, of all the things I don't want to do (mostly consisting of chores and the like), and make a list of all the fun things I could be doing, and then I pick one of the fun things and do it, reminding myself that I am lucky.

What do you do to shake off a bad mood?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shaking off self-loathing, and the dreaded approach of the 30th birthday

I'm trying not to continue to be angry with myself today. I am irritating today. I can't take my meds until I eat something, but I'm not hungry and nothing we have in the house looks good. In my head I sound like a toddler throwing a fit because mom won't let me have chocolate for breakfast.

It's also laundry day, and the list of excuses to not do laundry keeps growing. For instance, right now I've put off starting laundry, because I'm writing in my blog.

Yes, I've turned into that girl. The one I always hated in school, who never does anything unless she can't get someone else to do it for her. So I instituted laundry day, one load minimum twice a week. I don't cook anymore, particularly not if I'm in the house alone. Most of that is because my medications are pretty sedating. I'm a good cook, furthermore I used to really love to cook. I had the typical southern woman's urge to feed everyone all the time. I'm also using the excuse that my boyfriend is on a diet right now and should eat fried foods three meals a day. Laundry is a much detested menial chore that is perfectly safe for me to do unsupervised. Yet here I am whining to myself and stalling.

On the bright side, I've saved so much time through procrastination that I finished a 50,000 word novel. It still requires a great deal of editing, and if I sit here long enough I will end up working on editing instead of doing laundry.

If I am really going to get well, and overcome PTSD, I need to start trying to become a responsible adult again. I've lived most of the last two years in my head, avoiding reality whenever possible. At some point you have to start focusing on what is right in front of you. So laundry day is a step in the right direction. Soon I will return to my former state of bad-ass-ness. (Ha!)

Also I'm running out of time in my twenties for epic adventures. I did go to war in my twenties and arrested lots of bad guys, maybe saved a few lives. I have finished the first draft of a novel, something I've wanted since I was a kid and realized that real live people make books exist. I still have the vague feeling as my thirties approach that I should do more, be more, something. Anything really epic. I know that I'm still a youngin' in the grand scheme of things, but the approaching end of my youth makes me want to go all carpe diem on my ass. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gods and Goddesses of Advocacy

I've been meaning to post about this for awhile now. Ever since I rejoined the civilian world, I've been meeting with groups of wonderful advocates, who do everything in their power to help other veterans. VetWOW in particular pretty much saved my life. When I first began to realize that I had a serious problem that wasn't going away on it's own, I was so confused and lost, and had no idea how to get the help I needed. My advocate with VetWow showed up through all the major crisis', held my hand, and gave my boyfriend the knowledge and ability to navigate the disability claims process, VA red-tape, and the general madness that was my world at the time.

If anybody out there is going through struggles with military sexual trauma and/or PTSD, there are people out there who can help. It's a tight community. It's drama and judgement free help. It's also just free of expense although most of the non-profits will accept donations. These women have extensive experience with these issues, and as terrifying as these things can be, it is much easier when you have an advocate on your side. They'll help deal with discharges, VA disability claims, and many other difficult things.

You don't have to be alone, unless you want to be, and you certainly don't have to go through this alone. If they don't have anyone in your area that can help, they will be able to find someone, it's a very tight community, and Susan (the director) knows a lot of people. I've mentioned the G.I. Bridge Project before, and you can find them on facebook. There are so many amazing resources out there, and they can help you, or help you help yourself.