Friends of Padre Steve’s World. It has been a long and emotionally draining week for me and so I decided to re-post an older article about the my “coming out” as a senior officer struggling with PTSD. I do this because I know that there are many others out there, men and women who have been serving at war for a dozen or more years who struggle as I do, but are trying to deal with it alone due to the stigma associated with PTSD and mental health treatment. I am still trying to process the death of my former Commodore at EOD Group Two, Captain Tom Sitsch by his own hand. I attended a celebration of life for him yesterday and it was good, but on the way home it caused me to think more about my own situation. I know that I need to get back into therapy having transferred back from Camp LeJeune to the Norfolk area last fall. Unfortunately between school and a number of other conflicts I have not gotten a referral. Therapy is important and since I still suffer many of the effects of PTSD I need to get started again. What I have found is that it is a long term process. There is no magic wand that makes it go away. It is part of who I am, and I presume a part of anyone who suffers from this. Peace, Padre Steve+
“Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.” William Tecumseh Sherman
When I returned from Iraq in February 2008 it began the most difficult period of my life. Suffering from PTSD and a crisis in faith I felt alone, isolated, suffered terrible depression, anxiety was hyper-vigilant and angry. I felt abandoned by my former church as well as God. When I think about it now I can get still feel the deep emotions of those years. I am doing better now compared to how I was doing then. Thankfully I have some friends that are to me what Grant was to Sherman.
Life is about living in the real world. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from prison “I discovered later, and I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely…
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