INTRODUCTION TO THE “R-E-C-O-V-E-R” APPROACH TO TRAUMATIC STRESS
This book is not a therapy, or a cure-all, or a magic bullet. It is, quite simply, an approach to living when life throws you dangerous or threatening curve balls. It is about refusing to accept the assumption that life with PTSD cannot be better than “bad”. Because, in our view, “bad” is never “good enough.”
The first thing that visitors to our site should know is something about what we don’t aim for, and that is “cure” from PTSD. To be sure, some people will attain total remission from the illness, but many more will not, for a variety of reasons. This does not make the second group of people any less courageous, or strong willed, or “right thinking” than the first group. The simple fact is that we are all wired differently.
What we DO believe, and explain in our book, “I Always Sit With My Back To The Wall,” is that even small changes in your approach to traumatic stress can, over time and distance, result in major shifts in life’s outcome. “If you always go where you’ve always gone, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten,” the saying goes. If you stand with your feet together and take two steps forward, you already know where you will wind up. Take two steps back and you will return to the point of beginning and nothing whatsoever will have changed for the better.
If, however, you leave your heels in place, and simply rotate your toes even a couple of inches to the right or left before walking forward, you will, after a few steps find yourself in a VERY different place. Small changes in direction magnify over time and distance. It is as true in life as it is in geometry. Those couple of inches of change are not only do-able by almost everyone, but they may spell the difference between a life spent embracing the suck, and one that is truly worth living. We’d like to see you have the latter.
There are three things we commit ourselves to providing you on this website, and in our book. The first is medically sound information. The second is understandable explanations. The third is a specific pathway to guide your journey.
Likewise, there are four things we think you have a right to know, if you are going to do daily battle with PTSD, and they are:
1. That you are not alone, and that you are not “crazy”
2. That PTSD has a biological root, and you should know what it is
and how it operates
3. That there are many ways PTSD affects lives, careers, marriages and families, especially ones that people don’t talk about
4. That you can learn to assess your current situation and chart a course for your own care
You should know that this is a book about self-knowledge and self-empowerment. Strictly speaking, it isn’t a “self help” book; we believe that the help which every person renders to himself or herself in the struggle with PTSD is essential, yet not enough. It must be paired with the help of medical, spiritual and mental health providers. We don’t endorse the idea that you can be your own psychiatrist. We DO believe, however, that youand only you can effectively partner your doctor in a program of shared responsibility for your mental wellness. Both of you have priceless gifts to offer. It’s time for people to team up.
Each of us (Dr. Croft and Chaplain Parker) write these words to you on a big screen computer, which we look at through the corrective glasses without which neither of us can see. The fact that we are effectively blind without glasses doesn’t make us weak or incompetent. Like billions of people the world over, we have conditions or handicaps in life. We celebrate the fact that we also can develop tools to overcome those challenges, and in the process we become stronger, more knowledgeable, and wiser.
We look forward, on a daily basis, to sharing with you from the vat of whatever wisdom we have accumulated. Please honor us, in turn, with yours.
Dr. Harry A. Croft, M.D.
Rev. Dr. (Chaplain) Chrys L. Parker, J.D.