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Old 10-13-2012, 12:19 PM   #21
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Hey OP, how are you doin man?
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:31 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by acdronin View Post
Hey OP, how are you doin man?
I'm doing alright man, thanks for checking in. I admittedly haven't gone to the VA or Vet Center like I was going to do yet. I will though.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Infantry11b View Post
I just got back from Afghanistan last month and I'm just having some problems adjusting. This was not my first deployment, it was actually my fourth but this time has been the toughest for me to get my head back into the civilian world. I left with a girlfriend of 8 years who lived with me and that didn't work out since I wasn't the best of boyfriends while I was gone. She's been through a couple deployments before with me but it's tough on her because I tend to take the stress out on her at times when I am gone. So I understand her leaving and needing to get away. We had a good run and deep down I hope we have another run at it someday. So now I find myself alone with way too much time on my hands to think about things.

Anyway, so I have that going on which adds to the stress of trying to readjust. I know I need to get out of the house and do things to get my mind on life and away from the deployment and my ex. But, for the life of me I can't bring myself to leave the damn house. I've become like a hermit. I don't even get my mail until it's like 3am and even then I have to drag myself out to do it. My friends want to hang out and stuff but I really just have no desire so I make up excuses. I really just don't know how to get out of this slump. She was kind of always the one who would get me to go out and do things and live a little. Now without her here, I just find myself trying to relive the deployment and not leave the house if that makes any sense at all.

My friends try and I feel like a total douche for not wanting to do things with them but the few times I have hung out since I've been back, all I wanted to do the whole time was go home. I guess I'm just looking for a little insight from some other vets who might have had the same problem.
I had some of the same issues as you bro. I am only going to tell you what worked for me. Try it out.
1. To get myself more "social" with people ( like talking to people) i played online vidoe games.
2. Then I started going to the gym. You can never learn enough from IRON. It will ease your mind. Im not talking about regular pt stuff. Go on body building.com and look for some exercises you never heard of, and concentrate on those and doing them correctly. Dont worry about anything else.
3rd. Do YOU. What I mean by that is Do what You want. If you dont want to leave the house, invite your friends over (its what i did).
4. Just find things to distract yourself with (your truck, cook some new recipes, create your own beer) just to name a few.
5. After awhile I learned that talking with other vets really does help.


All of those things helped me. If none of those things help, I'm sorry.

Give it about 4-5 months and you should be feeling alitle better. It takes awhile bro.
Good Luck man and i will be checking in with you regularly.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Infantry11b View Post
I'm doing alright man, thanks for checking in. I admittedly haven't gone to the VA or Vet Center like I was going to do yet. I will though.

Keep at it bro, small victories man, that's the name of the game, pick a thing to do today and try to do it, if you don't succeed, try again tomorrow. I will never judge you ever, neither would any of these other folks that have posted here. Gotta get some victories under your belt, one day at a time.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:17 AM   #25
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If you haven't gone yet, try to visit/call your family support office. I worked in one for 3 months(July-Sep) and they have a lot of help available for you.

My brother just came back from his 4th trip in the sand earlier this year..so I have an idea of what your going through..

Like others have said, take it one day at a time.

You'll get through it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:21 AM   #26
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Never ever give up, the fact that there are guys killing themselves is fucking terrible.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acdronin View Post
Never ever give up, the fact that there are guys killing themselves is fucking terrible.
Let me give you some reason as to why our guys do that.

1. While you are deployed, you have a huge support base (family, friends) all coming to your aid, sending you mail, praying for you, missing you.
2. You come home, and if your used to all of the stuff listed in (1),it all usually falls short in comparision.
3. Lack of activity. I say lack of activity, because while your deployed, all you do is fight bad guys. You come home and now have no mission. Exept, Soldiers dont realize that their main mission is to stay active. And find help if needed.


So, that huge support base you had before is now gone. Most people who have never served in a combat enviroment do not understand that the most support is needed when the returning service members come home.
Everytime I meet a service member I thank them for their service, and point them in the right direction if i can.

Anyone who reads my post, PLEASE remember this one thing.

The war doesnt just end when we come home, not in our minds...
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:50 AM   #28
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OP, thank you for your service, and I wish you the best What kind of things did you enjoy doing before you deployed?
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:04 AM   #29
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Thank you for your service OP. Please take some of the advice in this thread. If anything just to try it out. Good luck
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:12 AM   #30
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Definitely seek some professional help. I have seen too many people go through the same thing with disasterous results. And nobody wants that to happen. Nobody will think anyways of you for seeking proper help.

Follow the advice posted above and maybe even consider adopting a pet to help get you out of your rut. Pets sometimes can be the best therapy of all. They don't judge or discreminate and are always happy to see you. No matter how rough of a day you have had, a pet can just make you forget about it all and make you focus on what's important in your life, so you don't dwell on the past.


Keep us posted on what's going on and keep your chin up, no matter what. God bless ya man!
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:27 AM   #31
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I read your post a week ago or so and have thought on it and didnt really know how to reply. Admittedly and unfortunately I did not follow the advice I am about to spew.
When I got out I did not realize how fucked up I was. I got out and spent 5 years as an asshole.
I was angry....with whom? I dont know, the world, my government, my branch??? I honestly dont know.
Some one said it earlier, stay away from the booze. They were right, I did the opposite. I drank like I was Axle Rose, fucked everything that came my way and kicked the shit out of everything else. If I wasnt drunk or fucking I was literally trying to kick the shit out of it. NOT the best plan. Broke nose 3x, almost a felony twice.
When I wasnt trying to kill myself fighting, I was trying to kill myself skiing. Broken collar bone, separated shoulder, 5 broken thumbs, blown knee, separated ribs, seriously fucked up my body.
It took me 10 years to justify what I did in the military and who I am. The one thing that did it for me? My dad.
I finally broke down one drunk night and cried in front of my dad, he asked me what was wrong why are you doing this to yourself (he is a vet too). I told him the WORST thing I did which in the over all scheme was nothing in combat but was EATING ME UP. He told be Robert, you did what was asked nothing more, nothing less. It wasnt a bandaid fix, and didnt solve my problems overnight but....over time, maybe a year or so...it sunk in and I began to realize that yeah he was right. I didnt ask for what happened, although at the time and since then I have realized that was a great time of my life and I would never forgo those friends and comrades in arms, I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS GETTING INTO. We were young and invincible.
I had a great time doing what I did, I look back now (albeit 20 years) and truly and fondly look back as being a badass. Would I wish that on my nephews? No (My service is why I am 40 and still single) BUT, I am proud. I am still friends with 8 guys that would die for me and me for them. To this day, 20 years later we still talk.

I hope I am not off thread bro, but I read your post when you started it and have been trying figure how to respond. You did a great thing in serving your country and it cost you. It cost all of us that have. We need to live with that and figure how to deal with our own individual issues. They can label our problems PTSD, ADD, ADHD, scared of bombs, scared of noises what ever the fuck they want. The fact is, we did some shit that normal civies dont do and it fucked us up. WE need to deal with it and move on, I have had a great life, I have great friends that back me up and now have nephews that fucking adore me and THEY are the ones that keep me waking up everyday.....that and the fucking snow cause I am the badest ass skier on the planet.....JK, but not really.....
Seriously though, you need to find that thing inside you that makes you WANT to wake up and say I am glad of who I am.
I hope you understand what I am trying to say brother. PM me anytime. Thank you for your service. I know what you went through. I am always here for a fellow vet.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:15 AM   #32
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I've done a couple of deployments, had some particularly stressful events on each deployment, and had to figure out how to deal with stuff after returning.

Others have said it, and I'll say it again: Talk with someone.

I'll get a little more specific though: Find someone that has been through similar stuff as you have and is willing to talk. It will help you both, your friendship with that person will get far stronger, and you'll know that you'll always have someone to talk to, day or night, regardless of where you or they are at in the world.

Talking with someone who hasn't "been there, done that" may help, but it is very difficult to open up to them, because they haven't experienced what you have. In myself and others, I've seen the attitude of not being willing to open up with those that haven't experienced similar things. It's not that it wouldn't be helpful, but they just have no concept of what it's like to be blown up, shot at, or even worse.

After my first deployment, I had some issues that I didn't even realize I had at first...it took me several months to realize what was going on. A buddy of mine also had some issues, deeper than mine, but our experiences were similar enough. After my most recent one, I've had some issues as well, but I'm dealing with them.

I didn't want to use the professional health care system, and my buddy had been very frustrated with it. He couldn't open up to his wife (she was a civilian), and he couldn't open up to the people he worked with (tough to admit problems to people in your unit, plus the whole machismo bull), and there was nobody I could open up to either.

It was all very informal, but it helped. A lot.

My advice: start thinking of people you know that would be ok with talking. Invite them over, or meet up with them somewhere. Test the waters, and get into the conversation slowly. With any luck, before long you and this other person (or people) will be all unloading about problems you're having...it will feel great (trust me on that...it does).

Yeah it's not formal therapy. I got it...nobody there would be trained in dealing with PTSD. But what I've found is that more than anything, just talking with someone who has had similar experiences is an incredibly freeing experience.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #33
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What folks need to realize that having to keep your head alert and your finger on the trigger all the time, can truly fuck a persons Identity up. I know it is easy to find " security" in your home, but brother you need to start going for small walks. You will find it really helps. If your not ready to talk to people about the experiences yet,a good tool to have is a digital recorder. Talking is key to get that shit out of your head. Good luck and God bless.. If you wanna chat I will send you my number.

Carry on,

Craig
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #34
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What folks need to realize that having to keep your head alert and your finger on the trigger all the time, can truly fuck a persons Identity up.
That is SO true. The source of PTSD doesn't have to be one singular event, but can be a cumulative buildup of stress caused by being in a crazy situation for an extended period of time. Anyone who has gone out on daily patrols will know what I'm talking about.

On the physical side of it: Everybody has a baseline level of stress. Get into a high stress situation, and the body produces more of some chemicals (please don't ask me which ones) that heighten awareness, and bring you closer to that "fight or flight" point that is hardwired into each of us. After the stressful situation is over, the chemicals are reduced, and the body returns to normal.

What's different about a deployment is that through "muscle memory" (for lack of a better term), the body creates a new, much higher level of baseline stress in response to an extended period of elevated stress. Those chemicals are then produced in higher quantities all the time. Sleep becomes not so much sleep, but more of a complete shutdown...exhaustion, from having to deal with stress and the higher baseline levels of associated chemicals.

When you return from a deployment, the body doesn't just immediately revert to pre-deployment levels of stress. It takes time for the body to learn that it doesn't need to produce those chemicals in such great quantities. So while the situation has changed, your body hasn't caught up.

This is where things can get bad. If new stresses are introduced right after a deployment, the body continues production of the chemicals. This can lead to angry outbursts, and behavior that is not appropriate for being back home. Spouses get hurt. Alcohol is abused. Jobs are lost. Friends stop seeing you because you're "not the same guy anymore." It can be a huge spiral downward.

I absolutely believe that a big part of dealing with PTSD is just knowing that it is a possibility. If you know that it's a possibility, then you've taken the first step to dealing with it. The next is talking about it with someone who understands, who has been there, and won't judge you.

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If you wanna chat I will send you my number.
Lazylegs, that is an awesome offer...thanks for making it. I'll make the same offer to Infantry11B, or to anyone else who may be reading this and going through this but maybe doesn't want to post...feel free to PM me and I'll contact you.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #36
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Welcome back to the world 11b. Here is something that helped me. Never give up.
Your thoughts ,feelings and actions are interwoven...they act on each other.
What are you telling yourself when you are feeling bad? Is this thought helpful or does it contain a mistake in thinking? What would be a better, more helpful thought ?

Stop and specify: Define the problem or goal, be specific.
Consider all possible solutions : Brainstorm all options.
Assess the best looking two solutions: Identify pros and cons of each. Then pick one.
Lay out a plan : What will you need to do first , second ? What resources do you need ?
Execute and Evaluate : Do it ! Did it work ? Can it be improved ? Do you need to try another solution ?
What might be perceived as a less than positive outcome is a learning experience. Profit by that.
Never give up.
Go to the V.A. Pain is sometimes unavoidable , but suffering is optional.
Not trying to get heavy on you 11b , but , this is a serious business. I've seen too many friends and fellow vets go down the toilet. So much potential. PM me if you want.
Again .... Welcome back to the world.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:27 PM   #37
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there's no shame in seeking help. in WLC i had one of the SGL's openly admit to the whole class he sought help after he deployed, and no one was more looked up to or respected then he was. it always gets better.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #38
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Check out the www.militaryonesource.com alot of different stuff there for you.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:00 AM   #39
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I'm currently acting as the First Sgt in my unit (Air Force). I've been an aircraft maintenance guy and now am in the recruiting part of it. In short, I haven't deployed anywhere near the amount you have or know what you've gone through. However, I feel I know people pretty well. The big thing I wanted to ask, and the main reason I signed up for this forum, is to ensure you are doing well and have no thoughts of hurting yourself. It doesn't always take someone with a PhD to help. Sitting down and talking to someone works wonders (supervisor, friend, relative, etc...). Just wanted to check up on ya!
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:37 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by 02trdpretaco View Post
I'm currently acting as the First Sgt in my unit (Air Force). I've been an aircraft maintenance guy and now am in the recruiting part of it. In short, I haven't deployed anywhere near the amount you have or know what you've gone through. However, I feel I know people pretty well. The big thing I wanted to ask, and the main reason I signed up for this forum, is to ensure you are doing well and have no thoughts of hurting yourself. It doesn't always take someone with a PhD to help. Sitting down and talking to someone works wonders (supervisor, friend, relative, etc...). Just wanted to check up on ya!
you're a good man, shirt!
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