PTSD: How recreational therapy helped one veteran

PTSD: How recreational therapy helped one veteran


When I came home from Iraq my life fell apart. I couldn’t control my anger. I became
really paranoid. I couldn’t go out in public without
getting really anxious or angry. I was spiraling out of control. That first time fly fishing, when I got into
the water, I felt a real connection with nature. All of the intrusive thoughts, all those impulses to commit suicide, disappeared. They went away and for the first time in years, I felt
peace, real peace. And I had given up that peace was possible. There’s
something about getting out in the water and having the
water hug your waders up close to you, and it’s like a real
embrace. It was letting me know that God hadn’t
given up on me. There’s this lack of insight in research of
post-traumatic stress and what it’s like to be the patient. And I
have this unique opportunity where I’ve gone through schooling now. I started out
as a patient. Now I have become a practitioner. I’ve been there. I’ve been at the end of
my rope. I know how dark it is right before the dawn. I know I
know what it’s like to feel completely and totally alone, completely abandoned. Don’t give up. If you stick it out, if you
work together and if you try to support each other, you can
work through it. You can get through it.

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