Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trip to Ft. Stewart...

This is hard.  We left Sunday afternoon after I got home from my recovery meeting.  I was already a little stressed out from the meeting.  I took the trip with my parents, and for the most part we stayed on back roads all the way.  We went through a couple small towns, and all I could think about was Iraq and driving through the towns we were in.  The roads were narrow, and the buildings were right on the road.  I was just waiting for something to happen.

We got to Hinesville around 5:00pm and called Ann who is the Wounded Warrior Advocate at the VA Hospital in Atlanta.  We all decided to meet at Chili's, my family, Ann, and Terry and Kyria.  I did not want to be there at all, I was extremely anxious.  Before it was time to leave I started to get a migraine.  I didn't have a good night, sleeping in an unfamiliar place kinda freaks me out.  I kept seeing movement out of the corner of my eye, and was just on edge most of the night.

When we met Monday morning, I was able to finally meet Buf.  It was nice to be with someone going through some of the same things that I am.  Being back on a military post really made me miss the Army.  If I were able to go back to the military, I would.

The first thing we did was go to the building where they were keeping the dogs.  I think there were 5 or 6 dogs, and it was nice to be able to interact with them.  Terry let me take LILLY over to the Warrior Transition Battalion.  There weren't as many men as I was expecting, and not much was said when we first got there.  Everyone had their chance to speak, we just went around the room doing our introductions.  I shared what it was like for me in Colorado, what it's like now, and my experience in WV.

LILLY eventually made her way over to where Terry and Kyria were sitting, so they let me take WYATT.  He eventually made his way back there too, so Terry moved over next to me, and the dogs followed.  I suppose they saw how anxious I was, and I appreciate the effort made to calm me down.  Before we finished, I started getting another migraine.  Ever since I made the trip to WV my migraines have been pretty out of control.  I think I have had 6 since my trip to Alderson.

As we were leaving, I just tried to get back to the car as fast as possible, I didn't want to talk to anyone.  Buf called out to me and shared some of his experience with the training process.  We talked a little about the troubles we have out in public.  It's really nice to be around people who are going through the same crap I am, it makes me feel like I'm not alone.

Today I went to the Vet Center for my appointment with Kevin.  I was full of rage, anxious, and just feeling pretty hopeless in general.  We have been doing some work using EMDR.  I wasn't really able to do much work today, I just felt like I needed to vent a little.  We have also done quite a bit of work with Somatic Experiencing, and I really just needed to get some of this negative energy out.  We use an exercise ball to discharge some of this energy by placing the ball in a corner of the room and having me push up against it.  One of the problems I was having today is that I associate rage with violence.  I'm terrified that I will act on this impulse, and tend to "stuff" my anger and rage.  This just leads to a build up of this violent energy, and instead of taking it out on an individual, I can take it out on the exercise ball.  Since my fight response kicks in so often, Kevin suggested I get a punching bag and some boxing gloves.

One thing that has really helped me is writing this blog.  The response that I have gotten from people that it has been shared with has been amazing.  Hearing that others can related to what I am going through, enables each of us to help one another.  I especially like that everyone in paws4vets takes an active role in the healing process.  Everyone genuinely cares, and wants nothing more than to help their clients improve their quality of life.  Even though I have a very difficult time seeing any progress I am making, if I look at the facts, there has already been growth.