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  • Tore Up

    So, I know its crazy and kind of pathetic. Also ignore any misspellings and grammar mistakes please.

    Background info on me:

    I'm a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. I am an alcoholic and suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression, rage and just general mental health issues. Gaming is escapism for me. I look for distraction in everything I do. I can't go out to the movies or even ****ing shopping because crowds get me so bugged out, I have to retreat to the homestead as fast as I can. If any of you are curious I was with 1-25 SBCT in Iraq in 2009 and Afghanistan in 2011 (I think. Time blurs in passing and to now.) My battalion was 3-21 Gimlets, My name is Sergeant Cox. In Iraq I was PFC Cox and Afghanistan I was Cpl Cox. Iraq I was part of a reinforcement effort to a platoon who had just taken casualties recently which cost 2 NCOs both their legs in the MGS Stryker. My bunk mate was the driver for that vehicle and he had night terrors the rest of the deployment. Afghanistan one of my soldiers didn't come back from leave due to PTSD and mental health issues. I was part of Operation "Bobcat Swarm" which was an 5-1 CAV effort to take the city of Kenjicak (sp?). I remember laying on top of one of the Strykers just looking at the stars in the night and thinking of how small we all are. When we returned home, one of my soldiers (who was kicked out for an alcohol related firearms charge) thanked me from bringing him home alive. I think I cried my eyes out that night. I've lost several brothers in these retarded conflicts to these stupid dirt people. I remember during Bobcat Swarm the Battalion commander (for 5-1) calling up on the radio that one of those idiots killed himself implanting an IED and it was like music to my ears.

    I've been to mental health for my anger already and it was helpful while I was in it, but as I am no longer in it, it is no longer helping. I refuse medication for these issues because I don't want to be dependent on them. I want to continue to provide for my wife and children like a man should. I'm currently building a case for an MEB which would probably end up in medical retirement. I've been doing this for almost 9 years (as of Jan28th next year) which puts me at 17 years old for my first enlistment. Its just about all I know. I'll probably find work as either a LEO or PMC once I'm out if I don't try to dispute this MEB (which in all likelihood is a possibility.)

    Bottom line is, I know some of you guys are vets from all over the world. I'm suffering inside pretty badly and alcohol helps me relax, forget and remember all at the same time, and I want to know if you guys have been through some similar **** and how you handle it. I'm not gonna opt out so to speak, I've got two beautiful daughters who I adore. I could'nt bear leaving them without a father, to say nothing of my wonderful wife. But sometimes the burden is so hard to bear alone. I'm not given to rely on others for support, but **** man. Its not easy. I have no interest in going back to Mental Health as a "bandaide" so some provider can feel like they are doing some good for now and take my guns from me. I'm looking to you guys to see how you've dealt with this ****.

    Thank you for reading and I am truly sorry if it is not something easy to read just out of the sheer length, structure or general english errors. Any advice would be considered by default as helpful. If you are an America/War/Soldier hating hippy, voice your **** anyways, I'll listen to you, because you took the time to read all my bull****.
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Tore Up

    PM'ed ya

    [unit][squadl][command2]

    KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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    • #3
      Re: Tore Up

      I don't find it pathetic at all. I hope you find some support and strength from the members here at TG.
      sigpic


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      • #4
        Re: Tore Up

        It is a sad state of reality a lot of you must deal with. I have been tattooing military men and woman for about 15 years and I have listened to many stories like yours... Although I am no Dr. or bartender, my imagination helps me to step into others shoes. I have anxiety issues as well (I get a rush of an emotion that is comparable to watching your kids fall of a tall building) it is random and for no reason and all I want to do is jump out of my skin. I refuse to medicate and respect your point on the matter as well. I have a tattoo on my wrist that reads "Just Breath" meditation also helps and I feel I have control of it. It is different for everyone and some more severe then others, all I can say is good luck and keep your head straight, try to find something that helps you like the alchahol does and work on that, (maybe a little weed) and know that you are not alone.

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        • #5
          Re: Tore Up

          Pull up a chair and have some tea. Learning to breath and control the body can help your mental wellbeing. I took up tai chi during my period of depression as a relaxing stress reliever, plus there is the martial aspect to it.



          Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

          "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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          • #6
            Re: Tore Up

            I'd agree with Shane. I'd push more more for smoking rather than drinking in this situation. I have LONG since stopped partaking in the stuff, but I'll tell you one thing.. if you're looking for something to get you through a rough spot (not make you forget, not make you not be aware, but HELP YOU), weed is definitely it. In most places it's illegal, yeah, and it's unfortunate. Tucson has medical spots for it, so someone in your condition could get it to help. Not sure what your area offers.

            Gaming is a passion of mine for two reasons. Community and escapism. I hate that term, though. I'm not escaping, I'm experiencing. I explained to an ex one time that I am the only person I know who has fought in an alien war, or drove a car at 200 miles an hour, or engaged in combat against enemies ranging from thousands of years ago to hundreds of years in the future. I have commanded forces in fronts that do not exist in reality. I have flown cargo ships through space only to dock and take off in a fighter to pirate my companion.

            It's not escapism, it's experience. It's doing things that the world will never let you do in your lifetime, and it's not a bad thing.

            I can't imagine what you're going through. I just want you to know that every decent person in America thanks you, and the rest of you here, for the time and sacrifice you have given for us to have what we do. I look at my children every day and I thank a soldier silently. Our government may not always be right (more wrong than anything else lately), but we all know that regardless of what the idiots on the hill do, men and women have our back every day.

            I think you should embrace what you have going on. Running from things or trying to escape them is not going to help you. Sometimes we have to hear the hard truths. I'm not sure the type of man you are when you're drinking, but I can't see that drinking to escape the pain of what you went through is helping your family. You're right, they need a father. They need a man with trouble to be held up by them, not by the drink of the night. My father is in prison because he couldn't deal with his life and he chose to escape rather than to deal. What he did in his life doesn't compare to what you have done. The things you've seen and the terror that you've faced... it's not something a man should carry, and it's a terrible thing. But, that doesn't mean that the man isn't capable of carrying it. It's up to you to decide how much weight you can lift when you wake up in the morning. And, from my experience, that alcohol is just draining your strength. I would try to think of my problems as scars rather than wounds. You carry those scars for the men and women you protect. I'm sure you've seen some messed up stuff... but you did that for your wife and children... for mine, and for every other American's here. Those are scars to wear with pride, man.

            Good luck, man. Again, thank you for what you sacrificed for myself and my family. I appreciate it, even if a lot of people in my generation could care less. I wish you the best of luck. Know that if you need anything, you have brothers here both civilian and military... who will stand by you.

            Mom
            Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
            Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

            You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
            Forever Perplexed

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            • #7
              Re: Tore Up

              It's never pathetic to reach out for help or advice, man. If anything, it's a good thing to do, rather than keep it bottled up. Some people have a hard time opening up like that. Kudos for reaching out.

              I can't imagine the things you've seen or what you've been through. I've never been in combat - let alone, I've never been in the military. I don't have any groundbreaking advice or be all/end all solutions to what you're going through. I only understand - to a slight degree. I have close friends and family who came back from those conflicts - thankfully alive and in one piece. I see and have heard similar things from them. In a way, I do understand - to some degree - what it's like and why. But at the same time, I don't completely know what it was like and I never will. Because I was never there in their boots and never went through the same things that they went through. I only know what I've been told and have seen. It's alot of weight to carry, I'm sure.

              As others have said here, don't run from things or try to escape them. Hit em back twice as hard, don't be afraid to reach out for support if you need it, and be strong. Face them head on and try to rise above through whatever positive means necessary. Find strength in something. I find strength in music - creating it and listening. You have a family, as well as friends - close and abroad. Find strength in that. Be there for your family, most of all. They need you. Find strength in an outlet - music, martial arts, meditation, something positive that helps you. I've seen people get lost in the bottle to escape their demons and it's never a good thing and such a hard hole to get out of. Find strength and power, lean on your support system......and most importantly, don't ever be afraid to reach out for help.

              My two cents, for what they're worth. Good luck, brother. Stay positive and - in the words of the mighty Pantera - stay "STRONGER THAN ALL!"
              |TG|FullMetalDrummer

              That one drummer guy who spins his hair and hits things with sticks

              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Tore Up

                I see your from Texas, I'm former Military (1980's) and a LEO in Houston and I work with many others who have recent Military experience and have now joined our department. If you are close to my area, I could probably set you up with some of the guys who have had similar experiences as yours. One of the Officers on my unit (I'm a Sergeant/Supervisor) is a former Navy Seal with multiple combat missions from Desert Storm through Afghanistan. I know he has experienced a lot of what you mention above and he could be a great resource to guide you in the right direction for assistance.

                Send me a PM and I'll see what I can do.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tore Up

                  I understand the "escapism" outlet that gaming provides, it is a avenue that is non harmful (although time consuming) to immerse yourself in an alternate state of reality.

                  The anger you feel is something you will have to manage, regardless if you are in a treatment program or not. The reality is that you have to live a life outside and constant interactions with others is requirement in life. That being said, basic guidance they (programs) give is valuable and can set you on the right path. You literally have to find that balance of how you live your life and interact with others.

                  Using alcohol is only exasperating the issue you are dealing with. Me personally, I would take up something like crossfit or other athletic means that allows for you to exhaust yourself and release a bunch of the pent up anger and anxiety. Not only will it be healthier, but it will make you forget for the time when you are doing it. Simply get all of the alcohol out of the house and avoid bars long enough to where it is not a dependency and eventually you will find an alternative. The meds are even worse IMO. I have seen friends go down hard because of the stuff they prescribe that fixes their mental state. They can be of use, but DoD is so paranoid right now with similar cases and negative outcomes that they will medicate to sedate. As someone else pointed out that weed as an alternative, although it may seem to help and be enjoyable it is illegal in most places still and the reality is it is just another drug to supplant the deeper issues. Plus most employers frown upon it.

                  Referencing the MEB. Me personally, I would try and avoid it if you can. I work in the Defense Industry and when a person is medically discharged for similar issues it can really be an issue when hiring them. If it is unavoidable, so be it but understand that it will affect what type of jobs you can hold after you get out. Also, while still in, the services you can receive are much better (and free) then when you get out. The VA has some decent programs, but they are overburdened and cannot necessarily accommodate some of the more recent people who depart the service.

                  Regardless of the political or moral views of people here at TG, the predominant demographics are relaxed and helpful people. There are plenty of people here that can empathize and even support your plight that you are currently dealing with. It is frustrating and it is something that you have to deal with, but not necessarily alone..

                  As for some of us, BTDT. 9 combat tours, totaling over 7 years in combat. Plus after I recently retired I did another 2 years as a contractor back in Afghanistan. I have seen more death then most humans could comprehend, and yes plenty of lost friends and colleagues. I have been shot at and blown up more times than I can remember. My issue was I actually got addicted to the “rush” of it all, I could not live without the feeling of being “so alive” every day. Luckily my little girl asked me one day to give it all up because she was worried and didn’t like it anymore.
                  "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tore Up

                    Don't wanna bring too much sappy into this thread... but man... we've got such an excellent community here.

                    This thread is proof that Americans can be more than what the rest of the world thinks we are.

                    As for some of us, BTDT. 9 combat tours, totaling over 7 years in combat. Plus after I recently retired I did another 2 years as a contractor back in Afghanistan. I have seen more death then most humans could comprehend, and yes plenty of lost friends and colleagues. I have been shot at and blown up more times than I can remember. My issue was I actually got addicted to the “rush” of it all, I could not live without the feeling of being “so alive” every day. Luckily my little girl asked me one day to give it all up because she was worried and didn’t like it anymore.
                    This comment alone... the big, strong soldier being brought to his knees by a little girl... I've got a daughter, and I know what you mean. I'd put down anything for her. Not many dad's in the world can say that, especially outside the "West". Props to all of us, guys. We're the backbone of this country. And props to Combaticus for leaning against an online community. In about 99% of the rest of the internet, this thread could have gone completely differently. I'm proud to know that it's not a set of rules that govern our reaction here, it's purely the way we are.

                    Mom
                    Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
                    Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

                    You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
                    Forever Perplexed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tore Up

                      Hey there. Welcome to TG. Did I see you on BF4 the other night? You are welcome to join up in my squad anytime.

                      Kudos to you for opening up and sharing your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for your service to this country. I wish I could snap a finger and wish the PTSD away for you.

                      Best of luck going forward. Recognition is half the battle so I'm hoping this bodes well for your future.
                      sigpic
                      |TG-1st|Grunt
                      ARMA Admin (retired)
                      Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tore Up

                        I appreciate all of the positive support guys, I had to "air out" so to speak the last few days and just kind of put my head back on I suppose. I'm dealing with a lot of stress in my life right now. Talked to the PA, and the MEB seems pretty much a sure thing at this point. Apparently a spinal fracture between deployments is harder to come back from that I had originally thought. Regarding exercise, I really need to start lifting again, I was happier, less stressed and generally just more soundly healthy.

                        Again, I am extremely grateful for the encouraging words. It really does mean a lot to me.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tore Up

                          Hey bud, you got my number. Any time day or night I'm around if you need to vent. Us Vets gotta look out for each other ;)

                          [unit][squadl][command2]

                          KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tore Up

                            I do not have first hand experience, but I guess second hand experience. I would recommend picking a competitive sport to get involved in and find one person you can talk with (not necessarily together).

                            I currently play competitive badminton with a vet and serve as his confidant at times. Both activities seem to help him. He is a good friend.
                            Viking

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tore Up

                              The enemy of any kind of disorder, illness, or whatever people want to call it, is Silence.

                              The fact that you are being open and honest about how you are feeling is a major step, do not stop, never give up and keep pushing forward.

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