Monday, October 26, 2009

Not stopping

I can't even begin to describe the frustration that I felt over seeing blog after promising blog rise up in the milblogosphere, only to die down after a short period of time. Sometimes the writer came home, and so the deployment blog stopped. Sometimes they got shut down by their command. Sometimes they just stopped blogging, and no one could figure out why.

Anyway, that's not going to be me.

Something I've noticed over the past week is how people get treated differently according to the differences in their symptoms of the same disease or condition. I'm sure it won't be a surprise to longtime readers of the blog to hear it once again: I have moderate-to-severe PTSD. It manifests in a lot of ways, but the coping skill that I've tended to take and run with is overwork. If you throw yourself into your work, you don't have time to think. If you're working long hours, and giving your heart and soul to something, your heart and soul don't have to think about how they may have been damaged by trauma. If your fight is every day in the work you're doing, you don't go seeking it out externally.

It sounds great, to those people who haven't done it. "Oh, yeah, you work too hard, what's the problem?" Certainly not nearly as bad as my fellow sufferers, some of whom wind up with major substance abuse problems and getting in regular barfights.

But to look at these things as separate problems is to do a disservice to both.

To look at me and say that because I'm working really hard, I must just have a good work ethic, and not have a problem, is to completely ignore the underlying facts. When I had some time to adjust to having days off, with long blocks of time accountable to none but myself, I couldn't handle it. I had to be working. I could not /survive/ without working. I recognize that this is unhealthy-but it's hard to find someone to talk to about it.

To look at vets with substance abuse and problems with the law and to say that they're just bums, no-goods, that they have a problem but they don't have to be that bad, is also not doing them any favors. Everyone finds their own addiction to take their time, energy, and thought off the real problem. The fact that mine was work and theirs was dissolution doesn't make me any better than them. At the same time, it doesn't mean that they're having symptoms any more severe than mine-it just means that the manifestation of their problems is causing their lives to objectively suck more.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IVAW's Resolution 3 (Nonviolence Resolution) Passes

There was some confusion over resolution three resulting from a clerical computer error in the tabulation of online votes. The Board has released a statement giving more details of the error which they will be emailing out and passing to the membership. However, the resolution was in fact passed by a majority of IVAW voters and currently stands:

Resolution proposing that IVAW only use, supports or endorses, non-violent and peaceful actions

Whereas there is no official statement regarding Iraq Veterans Against the War’s stand on methodology for achieving our goals; namely, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ensuring all returning veterans have adequate health care, and repairing the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan by the occupations;

Whereas calls for violence and sabotage are both illegal and immoral, and will only serve to do great damage to Iraq Veterans Against the War’s efforts to end the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas any endorsement, passive or active, of violence would lead to IVAW being banned from active duty bases, Reserve centers and National Guard armories; being declared an extremist organization and thereby making it illegal for a member of the military to become a member of IVAW;

Whereas, the Board of Directors has stated that it is the position of IVAW that only non-violent, peaceful methods are to be used to accomplish our goals;

Therefore be it hereby resolved that Iraq Veterans Against the War only uses, supports or endorses, non-violent and peaceful actions in seeking to accomplish its goals of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; providing proper medical care to all returning veterans and repairing the damage done by the occupations.

Additionally be it resolved that any member found promoting violence in pursuit of the goals of this organization, will be subject to immediate discipline, including the termination of his or her membership, in accordance with the procedures outlined in the policies governing termination of memberships."