If you've been following me over the last few weeks, you know that I introduced the idea of incorporating the Principles of War as a means of dealing with PTSD. In doing this, my hope is to help you achieve a deeper level of thought about how you might go about choosing methods for your healing. By introducing a single Principle of War, in a series of posts over the next several weeks, I am giving you a new set of criteria that you can use to evaluate the possible courses of action that you choose for your healing journey.
I realize it may sound a bit counter productive to use war principles for healing an anxiety disorder, but allow me the opportunity over the next few weeks to expand this thought and see if this might apply to you or someone you know that might be working to rid their life of this disorder. If you continue to follow this series, you can save time with future posts by going directly to the bold text highlighting the week's highlighted Principle. This week we look at the principle of:
Offensive - Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative
The great Chinese warrior/philosopher Sun Tzu was once quoted as saying, "Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack." This goes the same for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Taking the Offensive on PTSD implies direct and personal action, as opposed to passive defense. You could think of any pharmaceutical approach that manages the signs and symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, hypervigilance, and mood swings as a defensive approach to this disorder. Although the medications used in managing these above mentioned maladies can provide you some relief from the underlying disorder, they are not going to serve as a long term solution. Please understand that I am not advocating the dismissal of any drug regime prescribed by a physician. My point is to clarify what healing requires, and that is direct action, by you, to move toward new Objectives that you must set for yourself.
As we have discussed in a previous post, gaining the advantage over PTSD involves taking the initiative to address the source of the REAL cause for your problems: your brain. Many people who undergo a traumatic event believe they can handle the problem themselves. Not to be the bearer of bad tidings, but if this works, it's less often because of what the person did than how our brains normally work. Conversely, if it fails, it's important to realize WHY it didn't work. And the simple fact is, it has nothing to do with how strong your will is or how competent you are.
What I'd like you to understand is that trauma physically rewires your brain! Your brain actually changes in that certain parts get bigger, certain parts shrink and new neural pathways are established. This effects your thoughs. Think of your thoughts as a river. Now imagine that area has a massive earthquake. The shift in the terrain reroutes the river!
That's what happens with PTSD! There is even new evidence that would suggest that not only are our brains physically changed by the concussion of I.E.D.s, but electrical fields are generated in our skulls from the shock waves.
Good News and Bad News
The bad news is, in order to overcome these changes, you have to create even more changes to your brain, by creating new Neural Pathways. The good news however, is that we can change those neural pathways; first, by realizing that we can, second, by wanting to change the brain's thought processes, and third, by choosing to adopt different (more positive) ways of perceiving "reality". The only way to change those repetitive thought processes, and to create new neural pathways, is to let go of the mental concepts that one currently thinks are "true". It also means you need to clear the clutter of distractions and annoyances in your life that side-track you. In doing so, energy starts flowing throughout the brain in different directions to different parts of the brain, thus contributing to new neural pathways and new ways of thinking and perceiving. The more we purposefully think in a different manner, the easier it becomes, and eventually that becomes the brain's new way of automatically thinking. With this understanding it becomes quite apparent why Buddha said "What we think, we become".
Healing is an active process. You cannot wait for it to just come to you. You must move toward healing. As a Certified Subconscious Restructuring® Life Coach, I work to help you develop new neural pathways. Moving toward the Objectives of developing more Love, Health, Wealth, and a positive Self-Image are the cornerstones of this methodology. I urge all my warriors (as well as other PTSD sufferers) to stay on the Offensive against this unseen enemy. In the offense you will find victory!
Next week, I will post the final installment of Waging War on PTSD using the Principles of War...until then...