Part 2 from PTSD vs. PTG

By Corpsman Ronald C. Mosbaugh
  2/1 Hotel Company 1966-1967


Email: [email protected]
Many of you are probably wondering why the picture of the military ambulance jeep. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Consider a wounded warrior in a war zone being transported to a BAS (Battalion Aid Station). The causality needs to arrive as soon as possible. What better way when the ambulance is running hot with its lights and siren blaring. What I want is for the reader to think of the ambulance jeep as a road to recovery.
When they arrive at the BAS the triage team assesses the problems; the WIA is transported to surgery and the warrior who just tried to commit suicide is transported to mental health with PTSD.  Remember, not all wounds are visible.  A surgeon’s scalpel can start the healing process in a physical injury. Many of us have found that it’s much harder to heal an elusive emotional injury such as PTSD. Let’s face it, many of us are still on the front lines with our demons and we need to get rid of them! I would like nothing more than have to transport our PTSD to the morgue for a final resting place. We could then take the jeep to motor pool and park it in the salvage yard.

I just learned about PTG a few weeks ago. I can’t tell you how excited I am for our road to recovery. I really feel we are headed in the right direction!

I have mentioned a few things that we can do to achieve our goal for recovery. I am just applying common sense information; I have so much to learn. In saying that, I do not believe in re-inventing the wheel. Why don’t we apply part of the twelve-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). This is a great PTG tool for PTSD!

These are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous. Let’s apply it to PTSD on the road to recovery.

1. Admitted we were powerless over PTSD—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of GOD as we understood Him.  Power            greater than ourselves.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood  Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out of our PTSD and retire it.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to PTSD, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I also think that the serenity prayer that is said at every AA meeting would be very beneficial, it is one of the most famous and powerful prayers in all Christianity. The prayer is, “God Grant me the serenity.

The original text for this adapted prayer was:  "Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other." A slightly different  different version of the prayer has been adopted by 12 Step Groups: "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

A Mother Goose rhyme (1695) expressing a similar sentiment.

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.

In conclusion, my goal is to pursue my fight against PTSD and learn more about PTG. I would also like nothing better than to retire my PTSD.

Philippians 4:19: “I can be victorious because I know that God's strength is sufficient to supply all my needs.” 

Simper Frater
HMCM Ronald Mosbaugh