That fateful night when I reached out to strangers at the clubhouse for recovering alcoholics, I was truly a basket case. It was a big adjustment to being divorced after a long-term marriage. Especially when I was the rejected one. I must have had a look about me that said she’s vulnerable. You can take advantage now.
After attending Open AA meetings and Al-Anon for some time, I pretty much was starting to realize that everyone that came there, came there for the same reason. We were sick, mentally and emotionally.
The good news was that many were becoming better, by working the 12-steps. The bad news was that some were still extremely sick and needy. From that night a few years back, when I’d first fallen to my knees in despair, I had realized I needed help, even though I wasn’t the one abusing drugs and alcohol. Continue reading 'Part Two: Sharing Some Personal Thoughts on PTSD and Alcoholism'»
It’s been a long time comng, but finally, more and more people are becoming aware of the life-threatening disorder called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
I think back to 1987, when I was driven to the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) by a family crisis. My then husband, a Vietnam combat vet, had just seen the film Platoon and had a devastating reaction. His behavior became bizarre and frightening.
The crisis made me swallow my pride and finally reach out for help. On my first visit to the VOC, my counselor handed me a pamphlet explaining what PTSD was. I finally had a name for the agony we were trying to cope with. This was long before most households had computers and access to information that is now so readily available.
Today you can go to the National Center for PTSD and find a tremendous amount of wonderful information and resources. They have a free 15 page pamphlet titled Returning from the War Zone- A Guide for Families of Military Members.
I’m glad to see how far we’ve come in understanding and treating PTSD. We now know that PTSD is a normal reaction to being in a war. I’m happy that I can pass on excellent resources for today’s returning vets and their families. There is so much help and hope now.
The general public needs to learn about PTSD. We’re all just one traumatic event away from acquiring PTSD. And believe me, it is life-changing.
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