Living with PTSD in Silence, No More!

Living with PTSD
View from on of our Look-outs!

My goal for these next few posts, or however many it may take me, is to hopefully work through my issues! I hope to relive and sort out what happened and share my story along the way. I also hope that I can help others living with any level of PTSD in silence and will find the courage to do that same! #BreakTheStigma

I remember the slap to the face feeling I got from the humidity as we got off plane, just to offload it, and wait for the next one to board. Only this plane wasn’t as nice and fancy. No, this one was a Herc, as we called it. It was filled with uncomfortable seats, cramped, hot and armed soldiers. This one was taking us from relative safety and bringing us into a war zone.

Learning To Live with my PTSD!

Living with PTSD

Kandahar Province of Afghanistan.

I still remember that feeling of, dread, despair and confusion. Dread for what may happen to myself or my brothers around me. Despair for leaving behind my family, friends and loved ones. Confusion, for the wonder as to why and how I came to be in the situation I was currently in.

“Turbulence”

I remember as we came close to the border of Afghanistan the pilots came over the intercom telling us we were about to start tactically flying until we were close to the base. To this day, whenever I am on a plane and the pilots say we are coming into turbulence, my heart sinks just a little, and when it hits I feel almost relief! Relief that this “turbulence” is actually nothing but an uncomfortable massage.

I remember as we were landing, our higher ups were starting to spread out the orders. It was time to get our game faces on, gear up, guns loaded with a bullet in the chamber. The base had been attacked only a few hours earlier, which we would learn later was a mere daily disturbance. However, we landed with no issues, disembarked, got our gear and awaited orders. Once orders were given, we were led to our temporary barracks in a huge ass tent. Shown were to eat, sh*t and shower.

The first few days were filled with very little, other than paperwork, lectures, and daily orders. Once we were moved into what we were told would be our rooms for the entirety of the tour. We were then just given menial tasks, were told we’re allowed to explore the base and visit with other countries military.

Living with PTSD

Incoming Rockets!

I remember lying in bed, top bunk every kid’s dream. I was just watching some episodes of Futurama on my laptop, when there was a huge BANG and the building began to shake. Okay, boom training kicks in, grab helmet, flak, tac, weapon, head to the bunker and await orders. But damn, muscle memory is a real thing! I don’t know how I managed to get everything and get to that bunker, when all that was going through my mind was, WHAT THE F*CK WERE YOU THINKING MIKE!

Yeah, I can look back now, and honestly say at that time if I wasn’t slightly dehydrated, I would have pissed myself. Rightfully so too, that rocket attack had 2 rockets land within 20 feet of our building. No wonder I almost fell out of my bed and on my ass! We came to refer to them as nothing more than minor disturbances later on.

What Is Normal?

Now this is where any sane, normal person would prob need to talk to someone, process this. But us? No f*cking way, we all hit the coffee shop, still in our gear, some guys in shorts, boots and then their gear. Joking laughing and just acting all f*ck yeah that was awesome. When in reality, I bet everyone of us were thinking silently what the mother f*ck! Anyone who says otherwise after their first rocket attack experience, is a straight up liar!

But I will say this. As tour goes on, you do start to not even notice them. I’ve slept through some, been at the FOB “gym” and we just shrug and keep doing out thing. At this point you’re just numb to the fear. Well, that is how I felt, and still do now in my day to day life. Something at one point I feared I would suffer with, but now I am working to live with instead.

The End For Now.

I don’t know what else to say right now, other than to remember you do not have to live in silence with any form of PTSD! This is where I am going to stop for now. It feels good to write this out, even though it kills my stomach and makes me want to almost puke. Thank you for listening. I hope this made sense. Feel free to comment if you want clarity on something or have a question.

Peace and Love

MysticMike

“Living with PTSD, Not Suffering”


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