My husband doesn’t really enjoy accolades and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t handle compliments very well, to which I respond, “Get over it, because in this family you’re going to get both!” 🙂 This week my husband joined a group of 14 other combat veterans to participate in the Save a Warrior Project hosted here in Kentucky! For those of you who have not heard of this program, in a nutshell it is basically an awesome, tried & proven PTSD Detox program… I dropped my hubby off at the location Sunday and I won’t pick him back up until Friday. Communication during the week is limited, for good and understandable reasons. They have a lot of activities and things to accomplish within a short time and it is necessary to limit distraction and stay on task. I have been able to have a couple of short conversations with him the past couple of evenings, in which, he’s been able to share just a portion of what all he’s doing. Sometime in the future I hope to have the opportunity to share more specifics about the program in hopes it will benefit other warriors out there who may be struggling with PTSD. However for now, I mainly want to express how proud I am of not only my husband, but everyone (combat veteran, veteran spouse or family member) who is facing a fear, personal demons, challenging situation or stepping outside of their comfort zone in whatever form or fashion. Change is never easy. Making a bad situation better is challenging and let’s be honest, plain sucks sometimes. Letting go of the past, relearning a new normal, bettering ourselves, improving relationships with those we care about or developing the ability to reintegrate into and function with others in daily life takes guts.
We all face challenges (whether external or internal) that may seem overwhelming or even impossible, as though you’ll never be able to overcome them, change them or make things better. However today I want to encourage you that as long as you’re breathing, there is hope. If you are willing to try, then things can get better. Ignoring problems or pretending everything is fine won’t make it better or make the problems vanish. Honestly, it will make things worse. It’s sort of like ignoring a leg wound, allowing it to get infected, then being untreated will eventually lead to gangrene, loss of the leg and eventually death. Leaving an issue untreated is dangerous. Face it head on. Fear can’t stop you, only you can stop you. True courage doesn’t mean fear isn’t present, it means you do whatever it is/move forward in spite of the fear.
Admitting there is a problem, recognizing change needs to be made, getting help effecting that change….that’s NOT weakness, instead that is real strength and bravery. Change isn’t for sissies or the faint of heart! It takes some true intestinal fortitude to face a challenge/need to change head on.
My Mom was always encouraging and never short on praise for all my efforts and endeavors not only throughout my childhood, but even today she still tells me how proud she is of me and encourages me. Having that type of support gave me such confidence, because I knew that no matter what, win, lose or draw, my parents would love me and be there for me. Their love for me was not based upon my performance or even if I did what they wanted me to do…. they simply loved me. I share that to say this, I know now not everyone has a family, childhood or support system like that. There are countless adults struggling even now with insecurity and a failure mentality because they never experienced that type of unconditional love. They are still trying to earn approval and love from parents who only gave criticism or manipulation.
Facing your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone is not an easy thing to do and it is virtually impossible to do without help or some type of support system. I don’t care who you are or how tough you are, fear attacks every single person in some form or fashion and we all need someone in our corner, cheering us on, praying for us, encouraging us, being there for us. So I encourage you today, even if you don’t have a family or friend support system, there is a support system out there for you. If you are a veteran, or spouse or family member of a veteran, there are many groups, organizations and individuals who care. There are programs available to help in times of need or challenging situations. Reach out and let someone help you get through to the other side of whatever it is you’re facing.
s/Faith Wells (aka the proud wife of my own personal hero, LCPL Nick Wells)