Have an anxiety safe place

PTSD safe zone

PTSD safe zone

I was reading in my devotional for those with anxiety disorders this morning, PTSD fits this definition.  Today’s reading suggested setting up a safe place in your home.  This is a place where you go to go to God and deal with your what your feeling.  It’s a place where you and I can concentrate on fighting off the anxiety demons.  To my happy surprise, I was setting in my ‘safe’ place as I read this.  If i’m home I start every morning in this place.  The picture here is my spot.  I have my bible, headphones, it’s in a corner, a statue representing the whole armor of God.  Make it a requirement to start your morning in your safe place.  Put God first above everyone and everything else.

 

Glock and the 2nd Amendment

English: An early "third generation"...

English: An early “third generation” Glock 17 (full-size pistol chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum), identified by the addition of thumb rests, an accessory rail, finger grooves on the front strap of the pistol grip and a single cross pin above the trigger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

As a gun fan, I’ve been watching the back and forth over gun control very closely.  I own a glock pistol.  I used to carry one as a police officer and when I bought a personal pistol, a Glock was a logical choice for me.

 

There is something that’s been bugging me though as of late.  In the midst of all of the gun control talk, many of the major and minor American born gun manufacturers have made public statements in support of 2nd amendment rights of private citizens.  I’ve looked at a couple of websites and seen the both Ruger and Smith and Wesson, for example, have pro 2nd statements on the front page of their site.  Glock does not.

 

As I did some web searching for the past couple of days, I’ve had to search very hard to find anything from Glock on gun rights.  In fact, it was only on some obscure twitter post that I found anything confirming Glock’s position.  According to the post, they are pro 2nd amendment, but they are definitely not making a very public opinion easy to find.

 

Glock supplies a lot of police forces, both state and federal.  It seems to me that Glock may be protecting it’s various government connections, and therefore it’s pocket book, by keeping quiet on the issue.  I am now seriously considering selling my Glock back to the gun store and purchasing a pistol from a company that started in the U.S. and has not been afraid to stand up for the rights of it’s citizens.  Just my thoughts, what do you think about Glock’s silence?

 

 

The new medicine again

Ok, I know I just posted about my new ptsd medicine this morning, but this is incredible!  I haven’t felt this good and clear in such a long time.  For example, there are multiple contractors in the house today making a whole heck of a lot of noise.  Normally this would all cause a massive amount of confusion for me.

But today, first day of the new medicine, none of it is affecting me.  I’m not in some kind of drugged stupor that I’m in.  I’m very cognizant of what’s going on around me.  I’m also very appropriately reactive.  This is freakin awesome!!

By Brodie Brown Posted in ptsd

New PTSD Medication

English: Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression A...

English: Cases of PTSD and Severe Depression Among U.S. Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Between Oct 2001 and Oct 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So, I had my regularly scheduled meeting with my doc yesterday.  I told him about a recent experience I had on a trip.  Here’s the story.

 

I was recently on a trip with my wife.  Normally in a new place, I have a lot of problems with concentration and short term memory due to PTSD.  This hotel stay started out the same as usual.  I took a picture of our hotel room number with my phone so I could remember what room we were in.  I grabbed a hotel business card so I had the address in case I forgot how to get back once I was out and about.  Etc.  All the usual things I do to deal with PTSD symptoms.

 

But a strange thing happened.  I was down in the lobby when a group of guys came in.  They were shady and they made my former cop instinct go on high alert.  What happened next was new.  Suddenly, in that amped state, I could recall most everything with ease.  No need for a photo of our room number.  No need to look at my phone at all.  I was able to recall everything I needed to remember.

 

Once these guys were gone, it was back to my normal difficulties in my attention or memory recall.  So, I told the doc this strange to me story and he was intrigued.  He said that sometimes in PTSD, the usual medication over dulls the senses.  So, I still take the anxiety meds, but he added a stimulant.  This is my first morning taking it, but all I can say is wow!!!  My mind hasn’t been this clear in I don’t know how long.

 

This is my first day on it, so I don’t want to get over excited.  But hopefully this is the missing piece as far as medication goes.  By the way I just typed this post with absolutely no pauses to find the next word.  Another new change.

 

 

Is a shotgun good for home defense?

English: Winchester Model 1897 Pump-Action Sho...

English: Winchester Model 1897 Pump-Action Shotgun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

VP Biden has advised home owners that want to defend their home and family should just use a shotgun.  Personally, I have a couple of problems with this.  There are many that will disagree with a couple of my points here, but that’s ok.

 

1. Most shotguns are difficult to maneuver in small spaces, such as hallways.  This makes it difficult to get on target.

 

2. The assumption is that the VP is suggesting using shot shell.  This means that there is a chance of unneeded property or collateral damage.

 

3. I don’t necessarily want someone to die if they break into my home.  I only want them to stop their action.  If I were to shoot center mass, as most people train, the chances of their survival after being shot with a single round are much greater than with a shotgun.

 

The shotgun does have some characteristics that make it a possible good option for home defense.  First, the sound alone of a pump action shotgun being charged is very unique and could be a deterrent.   Notice I said could be.   Second, you don’t have to aim.  You just point and shoot.

 

This is just my personal opinion, but if I ever had to shoot an intruder I would prefer that they not die.  My preference would be that they simply stop what they are doing and then hopefully have the opportunity to repent and change their life.  Again, I know there are many who will disagree with me on this one, but I don’t want to see death for the sake of death.

 

 

Take a PTSD FTX

Army ROTC cadets on a field training exercise

Army ROTC cadets on a field training exercise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s easy with PTSD to just not leave the house.  It’s safer at home.  Things are mostly under my control at home, at least it feels that way.  But, just because it’s easy doesn’t make it healthy.  From what I’ve studied, PTSD may be a more permanent thing depending on a few circumstances.  That being said, you and I may have to suck it up and learn to deal with it.  That may sound harsh, but it is what it is.  And there is a way to deal.

Military members may be familiar with the abbreviation, FTX.  It stands for field training exercise.  It’s when a military unit will go to the field to practice and train on those skills that they need to survive and do their job in the woods, desert, etc.

My version of an FTX now is to go out when I don’t want to.  Take a trip when I don’t want to.  Go into those areas that tend to create PTSD symptoms when I don’t want to.  Let me make a note that I always do these trips with a safe out.  I don’t force myself into situations with no escape.

My wife travels extensively for work and I occasionally travel with her.  These are good opportunities for a PTSD FTX for me.  They are times when I can practice my various coping techniques.  I can also practice recognizing those times when I need to remove myself from a situation or take spot treatment medication.   For example, being in an unfamiliar place can create PTSD symptoms.  I.e. confusion, trouble with concentration, forgetting what hotel room I’m in, etc.  My FTX’s don’t necessarily fix these symptoms, but they give me an opportunity to practice those things I’ve learned to cope or compensate for the affects of PTSD.

Things like recognizing when my brain and body are headed into alert mode, using tools to remember what hotel room I’m in, exposing myself to small crowds in a controlled way, etc.  Doing these things don’t do away with PTSD.  They simply help me train to live in a new way.  With enough practice I am learning to recognize the onset of PTSD symptoms and then have the ability to respond in a timely manner.

Teach kids situational awareness

elevator

elevator (Photo credit: Jose R. Borras)

 

Here’s a short story that happened to me tonight.  I’m staying at a hotel.  I got onto the elevator to go downstairs.  The elevator stops a couple floors down and a young girl, I’m guessing around 15 gets onto the elevator with me.  I’m guessing I outweighed her by more than 100 lbs and was a foot and a half taller.

 

If I was some kind of predator things could have gone very bad for her just by her making the decision to get on the elevator with me.  But, she actually made the situation worse.  Not only did she get on the elevator at night with a man she didn’t know, she proceeded to turn her back to me and stand directly in front of me.  Remember, there was no one else on the elevator but the two of us.  Again, I’m one of the good guys, so she was safe.  But, if she had done the same with a predator, she would have made his job very easy.

 

So, what should she have done?  First, don’t get on the elevator.  Wait for the next one.  It’s much better to take the safe road than to worry about offending someone by getting on the elevator.

 

If, for some reason, she still found herself alone in such an enclosed space with a large stranger, then don’t turn your back to him.  Face him and create as much space as possible.  Stay near the elevator buttons if possible, right by the emergency call button.

 

Parents, I don’t recommend keeping your children locked away in your house until they’re 18, but you do need to teach them how to stay safe.  No one wants their children to live in a dangerous world, but we do and it’s important to instill those teachings that will keep them safe.  Please pass this on to other parents and teens.  I use to teach self defense classes to females on a university campus when I was a police officer and there are many such classes available.  It’s up to you as a parent to teach your children how to survive and to find other resources to expand on that knowledge.

 

 

Safe in a hotel room

English: Grand Hotel Pristina room

English: Grand Hotel Pristina room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With PTSD, I always seem to be hunting for safety.  Sometimes consciously, and sometimes not.  Experiences have taught me that a safe place is hard to find.  Of course, this is often PTSD talking, but it seems I’m always on the hunt for safety.

The hunt for safety is one of the reasons why I like hotels so much.  My wife’s work requires her to travel quite often.  Occasionally, I’m able to travel with her.  I finally figured out today the real reason why the hotel stay is so relaxing for me.  It’s not being in a new place, or a change of routine.  In fact, these things are often anything but relaxing for me.  New places throw me off of my routine.  They require more mental energy for me to stay focused.

But, I realized today that I feel supremely safe in a hotel room.  I’m going to try to list a few reasons for why this may be.

First, there is anonymity.  No one knows me here.  I can come and go without question.

Second, no one knows I’m in my room.  Typically, my name isn’t listed on the room.  I am a ghost here.  A person with bad intentions could not find me here even if they wanted to.

Third, it’s a small space.  My hotel room is easily under my control.  There is only one way in or out of the room.  I also don’t have to hunt for something if I need it.  If there’s something I need, it’s in a suitcase.  All nice and compact.  All in one place.

The phone doesn’t ring.  No knock at the door if I put out the do not disturb sign.  And I’m one of a couple hundred other people.  I’m not easy to find here.

You may think after reading this that I’m some kind of fugitive from justice.  Rest assured I am not.  I’ve simply been changed by a violent world and now finding a place of even temporary refuge is more fantastic than I can adequately describe.

p.s. the hotel room in the photo is not mine.  I’m not sure I would stay there, kind of creepy.

The view from up here

We’re flying out to Northern California today.

It occurred to me as I was watching tv on the back of the seat in front me how fast technology has changed. I’m on the flight, currently over Utah, writing this on my ipad mini. I will post it before we land.

There’s also a digital map in front of me showing where we are in relation to the ground.

Take a minute today to look around and thank God for all He has given. Even the short list of His kindness will blow your mind.

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How to remove some PTSD travel stress

Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

 

I don’t travel much anymore, but my wife’s job requires a lot of travel.  Occasionally it works out that I can hit the road, or air, with her.  I have a problem with packing.  I tend to overthink it and often simply forget if i’ve packed everything I need or not.  It’s simply hard to keep my brain on track with packing and to not forget if I’ve packed or not.

 

To help with this, i’ve created a packing list on Evernote that I can use each time I travel.  I can go through the list I’ve created and check things off as I go.  This may sound familiar to some of you, since it’s the same thing that military members use to pack for deployments.

 

This will be my first time trying out this new, more organized method and we’ll see how it goes.

 

By the way, Evernote has been a life saver for me as a sort of PTSD assistant.  This is where I can store all kinds of notes and it’s where I created my packing list that I can use over and over.

 

Do you have any travel tips that you use to make the trip less stressful?  I’d love to hear about them.