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BellaOnline's Veterans Editor

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Help Him Through the Valley of the Shadow of PTSD

Guest Author - Evelyn Rainey

Itís the middle of the night. The phone startles you from a deep sleep. Itís your old army buddy and heís whining about how his life sucks. He's drunk and his wife kicked him out again and he can't seem to keep a job and it's always someone else's fault. His doctor says he's got post traumatic stress disorder but the medications make him feel like a zombie. He feels hopeless and friendless and no one will ever love him again because of what he did and what he went through.

It's about the twelfth time he's called you this month.

You want to scream into the phone, ďGet over it!Ē

But you donít. Because you know what heís going through. Youíve been there. Your friend is wallowing in the middle of the Valley of the Shadow of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He needs your help.

He canít ďget over itĒ -- he has to walk through the valley.

He canít ďshake it offĒ -- he has to walk through it.

So you take a deep breath and become his Drill Sarg.

ďDonít think about it. Itís in the past. It canít happen now. Youíre not there. You are here. See it for what it is Ė a memory of a horrible event. Now take a step forward. Ē

ďDonít whine. This is just a valley filled with shadows. Take another step. Walk on through.Ē

ďDonít ask why. Knowing the reasons will not change the past. Knowing why wonít instantly transport you from the valley to the mountain top. Take a step. The only way out of this valley is by putting one foot in front of the other. Ē

Ask him questions to help him stay focused on the road ahead.

When he stumbles, point out the safer places to put his feet.

When he wallows, point to a patch of sunshine just ahead.

When he pauses to enjoy the light, share the joy with him.

If he falls, donít let him drag you back with him.

Eventually, someone is going to desperately need your old buddyís help to walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of PTSD. And he canít help until he is where you are now.

I know you can help him.
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Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of PTSD
Been Through the Valley of the Shadow of PTSD
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Content copyright © 2015 by Evelyn Rainey. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Evelyn Rainey. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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