Veterans Day: A Mix of Honors, Triggers
by Welby O’Brien, Love our Vets
Veterans Day and other patriotic holidays can really catch many people off guard. Ironically, the one day of the year set aside to honor our veterans is often one of the most difficult for many of them. Especially those with PTSD. And the sad thing is that most people do not get it. So how do those with Posttraumatic Stress and their loved ones best survive this time of year? And how can others convey long-overdue appreciation?
I got a real shock the day I was looking for Veterans Day cards at our huge local super store. Three complete aisles and four end displays of greeting cards, including rows and rows of Halloween cards (that in itself would be another blog another time). Could not find the Veterans Day cards.
So I asked an employee (who had worked there for 15 years). She had not even heard of Veterans Day! What? Excuse me???
Finally I found them. Just a few cards. Down at the bottom. It made me mad. And sad. So I bought a whole bunch (if you ever need one, call me.)
For the first time, I realized that I too am more susceptible to being triggered this week. Do not be surprised if our vets and those of us who love them seem more irritable than usual this time of year. Symptoms of PTSD may be much more hot-wired (sleep disturbances, anxiety, substance abuse, withdrawing, outbursts or emotions, hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, etc.).
I am coming to believe that a lot more veterans have PTSD than realize it. They often carry themselves well in parades and other patriotic events. And rightly so. They DO deserve all the honor and gratitude they receive! But inside many of those brave uniformed bodies are hidden the terrors of war. No one but the veteran really knows the horror they lived through. And relive over and over again.
So whether you are a veteran or a loved, one, please be sure to surround yourself with good support during this time, stay aware of your own triggers, and take care of YOU.
And if you do decide to celebrate, here are links to some great Veterans Day and military discounts. It is good to know that some people DO get it!
Thank you to ALL who have served and sacrificed. I am one of many who are truly grateful!