Photo: Flickr/The National Guard
I have PTSD.We all know what it is—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am one of millions who are affected by it each and every day. Millions of men and women who have varying symptoms yet manage to maintain a normal lifestyle.
I, along with my cohorts, have been classified as a potential powder keg just waiting on that spark to set us off into a murderous explosion of ire. This is not the case as I am just as normal as you.
At the end of every day I lay my head down in an attempt to sleep. That in itself is no different than you. But when my eyes close and I should be drifting off into a peaceful bliss, my mind takes over and I am tormented in my dreams with a vivid and exaggerated version of every combat encounter witnessed.
There has been nary a night that I do not have this, and have not had an uninterrupted night of sleep for years. Yet in the morning, I rise with the consistency of the sun, roll out of my sweat soaked bed, and shake off the remnants of the nightly battles and start my day…just like you.
I am functional in society, but I am a little more vigilant than you, always on the look-out for danger, avoiding large crowds and loud places. But somehow, I can still manage to go out to eat, shop for my clothes and drive my car. I pay close attention to those around me, see the drug deal that just took place on my right and notice the people who just don’t belong in a certain situation. You may not have evil intentions, but I will notice nonetheless.
I have guns. As a matter of fact I just about always have one on me. You see, even though I have PTSD, I am still a Sheepdog watching out for my flock. I don’t brandish my weapon and most of the time you won’t even know I have it on my body, but it is there. I also carry a large knife in my pocket, one that could cause serious injury or death if used improperly. I have never used any of my weapons in a malicious manner and never will, but in my duties as a Sheepdog I will not hesitate to draw down on you should the circumstance warrant it. I am armed, but I am not dangerous.
There are times that I am medicated. My PTSD comes in cycles …
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