Once you take that first step, it's a huge relief

Uploaded by VeteransMTC on 11.11.2011


My name's Todd.
I was in the Army National Guard for 11 years.
I started in '98 and got out in 2009.
I was deployed in Bosnia and Kosovo in 2003 to 2004.
And then I was deployed to Iraq from 2005 to 2007.
I was on a patrol with another Humvee and it was just us, our
Bradley and a Humvee.
And we rolled past a checkpoint.
We were in an area where there was some suspicious activity
going on, so we went to check it out.
We happened to cross a checkpoint after that was
over, and the Humvee behind me hit a, I think it was a
200-pound IED that was in propane tanks buried pretty
deep in the ground.
And there was five people in that vehicle.
Two ended up dying, and one guy was a double amputee.
The other two guys had a couple scratches and some
concussions, but that was probably about the time where
everything started for me as far as the change in my life
and my way of thinking and when I did things.
Then I got home, and it was weird, because the excitement
of just being home and not having to worry about each
day, whether you're going to still be around or not.
So the actual excitement of being home, I think, overtook
everything for about eight months to almost a year.
And then after that, you start feeling, you start
recognizing, you start trying to deal with the changes that
have been there the whole time.
You just didn't realize it until then.
It got to the point where my wife at the time and I, our
values were different.

We were never on the same page on anything.
What was important to me before really wasn't that
important anymore.
And what was important to me wasn't really that
important to her.
She told me several times, she's like, I kind of
like the old you.
I said, well that guy, he's long gone
The hardest thing is, is accepting that you're going to
have to somehow adapt to that new guy.
And a lot of times you don't want to.
Which a lot of times you just resort to different things
like anger.

And, yeah, it was pretty tough, a bumpy, bumpy road.
I just felt different about her and about our life.
I always knew I could still be a good dad, and I still am.
But putting 110% into your kids and then put in 20% into
your marriage, that doesn't work out so well.
So I guess I try to just put it under--
not deal with it.
Just think to myself it'll pass.
But she'd continue to want to help in certain ways, and I
didn't want it.
And it got to the point where we basically just had nothing.
It wasn't even a marriage
I was going through the divorce.
We had separated out of the house.
And kind of being there alone--
just being by yourself and just realizing--
it wasn't until just recently, like maybe back in February or
March, that I wanted to go and get help and get some of the--
I mean that's four years of being back and saying, ah it's
no problem.
It'll go away.
It never does.
It never goes away.
To better--
the future for your family, like your kids and a future
relationship, you have to find it within
yourself to say it's time.
I went to the Vet Center, and I talked to a therapist there.
Talking about stuff at the Vet Center was
really, really helpful.
She found certain things that I needed to--
and you lay it all out on the table, and one by one you just
sort of set it down.

You just put it down.
You really dig inside yourself and say it's going to be
tough, but in order for me to get better I need to drop some
of this weight that you carry around.

And the road is not easy, but I tell you the end result,
like I can see it.
You know what I mean?
I can see myself in a much better position in life.
Once you start doing all that stuff, it's like you've
already dropped all that stress, and all that
anxiety about it.
Even the fact of just getting help, being anxious about just
getting the help itself, as soon as you take that first
step, it is a huge relief.