By Eva Sagolileh, VYP Veteran Ambassador
It's really weird to think that no matter how well I may be doing, I will probably always have symptoms of PTS in one way or another. Whether it's a general paranoia about sitting with my back to the door, or holding in and not giving space to things that are triggers until they bubble over into full blown flashbacks and panic attacks, I think this is one of those things that will never fully go away. In a lot of ways I resent it. In a lot of ways I hate it. But in some ways I'm grateful for it, because living with PTS as a fully functional person means learning to take time-outs. It means learning to listen, deeply listen, to what is going on inside my head, inside my body. It means asking myself, "Am I feeling triggery because of this thing that just happened, or is there something deeper going on here that I'm not giving space to because I just don't want to deal with the emotions it brings up?"
It means that when I'm talking to someone who is a military veteran, a rape survivor, a domestic violence survivor, etc., I get them on a level that most people just can't. And they get me. And we are able to come together in mutual support and admiration. I hope that some of the people I come in contact with are able to look at me, at where I was, and how far I've come, and they are able to pull inspiration from that. Because "if she can have gone through all that, and still be able to smile and laugh and love with passion, then that means that I can too." I sure as heck know the survivors in my life who never give up fighting for themselves are an inspiration to me.
Thank you to the people of Veterans Yoga Project, as well as to the greater community for being a continuous source of support and compassion not only to me, but to other veterans and their families. We wouldn't be able to do this without you.