When Bryan was first injured we experienced a twist and turn almost every single minute of every single day. There was always news: bad news, good news and the occasional strange news. We lived in a state of hypervigilance and fear that he might lose his leg or break something else. Then, the post-traumatic stress presented itself and then we were floating in a thick sludge of constant drama.
There was drama when we entered the car. There was drama when we went to counseling. There was drama with the people caring for him. After years of fighting for what my husband needed, fighting the red tape, fighting the VA and fighting with each other, I was constantly stressed out. I noticed that if there was a day without any major upsets, one of us would start something.
War constantly consumed our lives. War had ripped everything away that was normal and happy. I reeked of negativity and saw everything as catastrophic. It didn’t help that none of my old friends knew what I was going through and even some of my own family couldn’t help me. All I did was complain about what Bryan did that day or what the VA got wrong. If I saw someone post something minor in comparison to what I was dealing with, I felt on edge and annoyed. Their life wasn’t that bad.
In the wounded warrior community I see others that are still stuck in that state of negativity and repeating reel of drama. It is an exhausting way to live. I remember once things started slowing down, and Bryan and I were at peace with our lives, I thought, ‘Now what am I going to talk about’?
Although I may not have as much to talk about, I feel much happier and more at peace than I did in that shaky environment. It feels good to not feed off of others’ drama and engage in things that simply don’t matter.
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From Cheryl Gansner's blog, Wife of a Wounded Soldier. Used with permission. www.wifeofawoundedsoldier.com.