We Must Stop Thinking We Can Be Who We Were
Posted on January 19 2017
I've talked to a lot of veterans about their experiences and how they have come to terms with their difficulty in being able to dissect and interpret events that have happened to them while in the service. This is the core of most PTSD that doesn't relate to the loss of a strong social safety net.
I think we need to understand that change is inevitable and that our focus on trying to return to how we were before is a pipe dream. Is totally ridiculous to set that as a goal. You can NEVER go back to how you were. Physically speaking you are not even the same cells that you were yesterday, so it would be impossible to return to a previous state. But if we only focus on the aspect of what consciousness is, we are no longer the person we were yesterday either. Every new stimulation or input from your senses creates new neurological pathways. It creates new experiences that your body has to interpret. Our bodies change and adapt constantly.
Take physical exercise for example. If you run a mile everyday, eventually running a mile will cause no new stress and will become a normal process for your body to handle. It is no longer challenged and therefore, no longer grows. When you reach this point, do you wish to return back to the moment that you couldn't do this? No because that is ridiculous. You set a higher bar and strive to run 1.5 miles now. Sure you can fall off your exercise routine and return back to an inferior physical state but when you try to do it all over again, it becomes easier. Those muscles were already trained and their memory is hard to degrade. They are not the same muscles when you began. They have changed permanently.
How is it we then expect to return to this prior emotional state when our own body chemistry is significantly different? You can't un see or un do the things that happened in the past (yet). But what you can do is learn how to decipher and learn to live with that new experience. Learn how that experience has changed you and accept it. Question it. Talk to others about it.
We have to stop this dogma of trying to return to this normal state. Nothing is normal. Every experience we encounter as human beings produces different understandings, prospective and reactions. Its ok...
Drive on my friends...