Thursday, February 28, 2013

A fork in the road: Do I try to change the world? Or just go fishing?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a desire to start some kind of center for PTSD. BJ had a big vision: Something like the Huntsman Cancer Institute... Since I'm not a billionaire, that idea isn't a workable possibility. BUT. The vision sparked something in my dad.

Every time I have seen him or talked to him since then, he has brought up new ideas that ARE possible. Put together a training for doctors. Work with the local PTSD therapists and the local hospitals to educate medical professionals. Make a website with a list of all of the professionals who have been through the training. Put together a list of resources. (Therapists, doctors, dentists, groups, treatment centers, books, blogs, stories, etc.)

(Pause to recognize how much I LOVE that my dad is bringing this back up. I would have let it completely drop, but he's inspired me to keep thinking.)

I admit, I feel torn.
On the one hand, I feel super excited and passionate about this idea. I could start contacting people, help to create a training. Be the organizer. I used to do that for work, but that job wasn't nearly as personal as this would be.

On the other hand, at this point in my life PTSD and abuse are not part of my everyday existence. There was a time when my everything revolved around trauma and the effects of trauma. That isn't the case anymore, and I am glad. I don't want it to be. I want to walk away and never think about it again.

I work at a job that has NO connection to mental health, eating disorders, trauma or abuse. I love what I do. I think it's fun, and I'm excited for what the future holds.

I live with a wonderful friend and we have a great time together. We laugh and talk and play, and I'm excited for our future together.

I have a lot of hobbies and passions that make me feel happy and alive, and I am trying new things all the time.

If I start investing time and energy into this idea, will it trigger my own trauma? Will I be thrown back into my past, and the memories? I don't want my life to always have trauma and icky stuff in it. Will I be able to enjoy my life AND follow this idea? Will I be able to keep myself in a good place and help others?
I don't know. And if it will cause me to have nightmares or sleepless nights, would it still be worth it?

I think so.
And I just don't know.

(And when it all comes down to it, it's going to take a lot of work, and who knows what will even come of it? At this point, I'm just trying to decide if I want to pursue pursuing the idea.)


  1. I don't know if this is the right path for you. It sounds like it's something you've always wanted, but you're the only one who really knows that.

    The only thing I can say is, if it's something you really want, Napoloen Hill says, "Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you you are ready or not, to put this plan into action."

    1. I have a plan. It starts with gathering resources that are already available for people. I'm mostly looking in Utah right now, but I'm including national resources.
      If there isn't a site already out there (I haven't found one yet), then I plan on creating my own website with the list of resources.

      The next step will be to either find or create a quick overview/education seminar/training on PTSD for doctors and dentists. I am trying to come up with an incentive for them to want to listen... right now, all I have is that I will add their name to a list of doctors who have been through the training. I'm not sure that will be enough, but I'm working on it.

      After that, I don't know. But this will keep me busy for a while.
      And none of this will be triggering, so I like it.

  2. I love this idea! I also get where you are coming from about being hesitant because it might bring up trauma stuff. If it is something you decide to do and you need help, I would totally be willing to help in any way that I can (yes, I know we have never met and yes I live on the opposite side of the country, but I am still willing!)

    Remember that this is not something you have to decide today. You can come back to it in ten years or twenty years or never. The most important thing is that you take care of you and do what is going to keep you healthy.


    1. I love that you are willing to help!!! And I totally plan on using stories of people who have been there. I'm not sure when or how, but it seems like stories of helpful things people have said and done as well as stories of harmful things will help people to think about and consider.

      I also appreciate the reassurance that I don't have to do it today. I have a tendency to think I have to do it all RIGHT NOW, and then beat myself up if I can't.

  3. It might, actually, be worth trying to write a letter to Mr Huntsman to ask his opinion and experiences on it. From what I know, the reason for the Cancer institute was from a desire to create a better experience for those going through the healing process, built by someone who had gone through the experience. I'm sure that he went through much of the same when building, as every day would bring trigger memories of his own cancer experiences. Your stories might not be all that different, and you would gain an ally who has been where you are now. Who knows, maybe they would even be willing to help you find both funding and people to help get you off the ground.

    I think you would be the perfect person to start this, having the experience of PTSD yourself and experience in organization. Your experience would be invaluable to building it right.

    1. What an excellent idea!!!! I feel scared thinking of contacting them, but then I feel excited too. Like this could actually work... Thank you!

  4. Remember, if you try and you fail, that is okay too.