So… I recently released a book called ‘Life After Living’. It is about two men dealing with PTSD. One if which is a United States Marine veteran. I chose this topic specifically because of a report I saw about how our government was dealing (or not) with these poor men and women after they returned from deployment. Now I don’t normally say anything about politics as a rule, but I am not so sure this is about politics, but more about how we treat others.
Before I could write this book I had to do some research. A lot of research actually. It was more studying than I’d anticipated. In all, I guess I spent about a year doing research and interviewing all kinds of people who deal with this disorder. It was tough going.
There were times when I would have to go curl up and hide under a blanket. One of the things I found out is just how lonely it is for these people. I also discovered that there are a lot more people who deal with this who have never been in the military. Just ordinary folk of all walks of life, in every age range and gender. It doesn’t discriminate at all.
Now, in this book I’d originally thought I’d write it with one character who had PTSD, but after all this research and finding out as much as I did, I decided that I wanted to show two different sides to this issue. I wanted the reader to see that there are others suffering too, not just vets. Of course in the States, those are the ones that we hear about. Rarely do we see or hear of everyday people who also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I also decided to take a different approach to this book. I think that it was necessary to focus on the men who had to deal with this unimaginable pain and again… loneliness. How isolated they felt and are. I also wanted them to take their time in getting to know one another. No insta-love here. Oh, and there really is only one… well, you’re gonna have to read it to find out what that one is.
“Too many people just tell me to get over it. I would if I could, but there are times when I think I’m coping and then bam, it hits me and I can’t do anything about it.” This is a direct quote from a guy that served three tours in Afghanistan.
Vance could see the blackness opening up, wanting to swallow him whole. He could feel the deep sob rushing up from his center and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He felt Wade wrap his arms around him, pulling him back into his chest just as it emerged, the sound horrid, even to his own ears. Vance let the black overtake him.
This is was how it felt as it was explained to me. I don’t know if I did it justice or not, but I hope so. I did my best to try and put myself in their shoes. Will I fully understand it? Probably not. I can’t even fathom the depths of despair these people face each and every day.
Okay, I admit… you’ll need tissues for this one. If you don’t cry, then I didn’t do this subject justice. What I really want people to take away from this book is a better understanding of what PTSD looks like. How it effects people and their everyday lives. Personally, I just can’t imagine it.
I’ve had some comments and reviews and one thing that has been mentioned is the constant nudity. LOL Well… it is placed in Central Florida in the middle of summer and let me tell you; it is hotter than hell! Another thing is that guys, most guys, don’t have an issue with being naked. I mean, how many of you know men who will run around in their underwear at the drop of a hat. Just take that one step further and you have it. When it is that hot and that humid, the last thing you want is clothing, especially something that is binding your junk up. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having sticky, sweating balls stuck to your leg. Most men who wear boxers will tell you: when it is really hot, that is one of the worst feelings ever.
Someone else mentioned the excessive water drinking. Again, when it is that hot, you’re constantly drinking something. Trust me, this comes from personal experience. And yes, I’ll go ahead and admit it here… so is the nudity. So, now y’all know.
I’m not sure about other authors, but I think that research is key. I went back and looked at all the notes that I took for this book and they are actually more than the book. It wasn’t just about the PTSD either. I had to do quite a bit of research on orchids. I might actually try dealing with them again. I do love them, but I’ve never had any luck with keeping them alive. Who knows, we’ll see how that goes.
Anywhoo… I hope that you’ll take a chance on ‘Life After Living’ and as always, I welcome any feedback. And if you happen to know someone who is living with this, or meet someone who is, try and be understanding. Show a little kindness. A simple smile or gentle understanding goes a long way.
Until next time… y’all have a grrreat day.
Two men: each trying to cope with PTSD.
Vance Spence is suffering from yet another loss. The episodes are becoming more and more frequent. Only time will tell if he will be able to cope with yet another person leaving him.
Wade Farmer recently returned from Afghanistan only to have his family disown him for loving another man. He also is suffering from loss.
When the two are put together, neither are comfortable with the situation, but agree to give it a try. Two different lives. Two different men. Two different experiences, but common ground gives each of them understanding. Are they strong enough to battle their own demons as well as the others? Only time will tell.