Unconventional Wellness Radio
S3:E2 - How trauma (PTSD) changed me & how to find a new normal
Transparent warning! I get real and share my story again...but it is to your benefit!
PTS(D) changed me back in 2004. I was not the same. I had suicidal tendencies and did not think I needed to be around anymore.
...but, something happened and I found hope.
I want to share that same hope with you!
On today's podcast we talk about:
- My story of trauma
- My 3 steps to help you get started to heal
- My desire to help you tell your own story
Here are the shownotes for today's Podcast:
What's up wellness warriors. You have found yourself on unconventional wellness radio and I am your host, Frank Ritz. I'm a physician assistant with 10 years of experience in both medicine as well as alternative therapies to help you get the holistic healthcare that you've always wanted. You know, over the past 10 years I've had the opportunity to learn what I now deem as the five pillars of unconventional wellness and they are nutrition movement, getting better sleep, reducing your stress and anxiety and being able to remove toxins from your living environment. And through these five pillars, I myself have been able to be a product of the product and I want to share with you both my personal testimony and the research that is starting to come out regarding a lot of these things that we look at in preventative medicine. So hear from experts and all the individuals that I've had the pleasure of working with throughout the years in unconventional wellness. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Hey, what's going on Facebook live, what's up wellness warriors and what is going on on the unconventional wellness radio podcast. Frank, here I am your host and I have the distinct pleasure of being able to talk to you on this podcast, on this Facebook live, whatever way you're listening. And uh, today is going to, is going
to be a different one. But the more that I talk about it, actually the easier that it's become to talk about it is that I wanted to talk to you about how trauma has changed me and how I have learned how to adapt and change and not allow it to control my life anymore. I also am going to be doing a giveaway because our Facebook page, by the way, if you're listening to us on iTunes or Spotify, Stitcher, Google play, whatever, and you have not gone over to my Facebook page and given us a like on the page unconventional wellness with Frank Ritz, please do so because I am doing a absolute giveaway. I don't know how crazy it's going to be. I'm still kind of formulating it, but I'm super excited because we've just hit a certain milestone on the page and it's incredible that you guys are all flocking the unconventional walnuts.
And I'm so grateful for it. So it's time to do a giveaway cause that's just what I like to do. I don't know why. And so, uh, go ahead and get on over there. Give us a like on Facebook, uh, absolutely. Give us a, uh, like a rating review if you will on this podcast as well because, uh, this will enter you into the giveaway and I promise I'm going to announce that giveaway here very, very soon. If you're joining us on Facebook live, let us know just like Diane did, where you are at and I'm so sorry that you're cold up there in, in the new England area. Diane, uh, you know, it's, it's surprisingly and weirdly warm here where I'm at. I'm in the, I'm the Western side of North Carolina and uh, the, the high yesterday was like 68 degrees or something. I was wild and it's supposed to stay like high sixties for the next couple of days.
So I dunno what that's all about. But um, winter has decided that it wanted to take a quick break and I guess allow spring to take over for a week. But anyway, um, let's dive right in. And, uh, enough about all of that and let's talk about how trauma changed me and how I have learned how to adapt and change again. So it's a little transparent, but, uh, you know, it's a, it's a story that needs to be told because, uh, it may be able to help just even one person, then it's helped somebody. Okay. So like, share this and let's get started. Excuse me. So there I was on my first deployment in the United States army. Uh, I had become a newly commissioned, well, actually I wasn't newly commissioned, but I was an officer in the army and, uh, I was a first Lieutenant, uh, who was going out to do a job as a maintenance officer.
And that maintenance officer role landed me in the middle East, uh, because I was actually in Korea for one year learning how to be a, an officer as a platoon leader and a, what's up Dave on. And so, uh, you know, learning how to be a platoon leader in Korea was cool because it was like an overseas tour, but it was an opportunity to really learn how the army works and everything like that. But, uh, the, the, the war really kicked off in the middle East by then. And, uh, and when that happened, uh, you know, I just had that sense of, you know, cause I'm, I'm a part of what they refer to as the nine 11 generation. So it was nine 11 that actually put me into the military. Um, I graduated from college after I had lost my father two months after nine 11. And, uh, and I didn't want to be the only member of my family who had not joined.
And so I went and did a civilian job for a little while and I decided to say, you know what, I'm going to go join the military. And so I landed myself in the army and I, uh, I was in Korea finishing up with that tour and I talked to somebody called a branch manager and I said, I just, I gotta get to a, what is called a highly deployable unit. This is the reason why I joined the military. So this is the reason why I am here and I need to literally throw my hat in the ring and get, get over there. So anyway, I went to join the a hundred and first, uh, if you knew, if you know of the a hundred first airborne division, they're out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Uh, they are the air assault, uh, division. They are the ones that were also made very popular, again from the documentary on HBO called band of brothers.
And so I needed to be with a unit that had a legacy like that. And I really wanted to be my thrusted myself into the middle East in that way. So I put my name in the, in the hat, if you will, and got my reassignment to Fort Campbell. And within six months I found myself in Iraq. And so I was a first Lieutenant at a time. I took over for a maintenance operation, which was, uh, we were in a line unit and, uh, and I was a maintenance platoon leader. I was also the executive officer of the same unit and found myself going out on different styles of missions quite often during the, uh, during the, the time that I had spent over there during that first deployment. Um, I also, uh, well I went on many different missions, if you will. And one in particular that I remember was the one that was the Sentinel event.
So let's talk about post traumatic stress. I don't really like the D because it's really not a disorder. Um, I would just say that you don't have to be in the military to suffer from post traumatic stress. Uh, it could be any traumatic situation that you've experienced where either you, yourself or somebody very close to you was either had a near death experience or death was unfortunately suffered during that event. We call that event a Sentinel event. That Sentinel event is something that people can usually remember. The vast majority of the details, but they have a lot of blurring of a lot of the other details that would specifically describe it almost to help describe like a haze that happens. Okay. So my Sentinel event was when, when I was out on one mission and there was a bunch of different things, but there's one that in particular that I do remember.
And, uh, and what had happened was, is we were about to go out on a mission to, uh, re-employ some Jersey barriers and kind of redirect traffic and things like that. And so we rolled out on this mission and as we were coming back, or excuse me, as we were leaving the forward operating base, um, we came to where we needed to stop to check our communications and things like that between all the different vehicles. Well, when we did that, we desk mountain, um, like you're always supposed to do and you're pulling security around your vehicles and things like that. And my lead gun truck had noticed that there were some wires that had been out of the sticking out of the ground and those wires. Um, for some strange reason, here's where the like weird, mystical, you don't remember what happens sort of stuff happened.
And hindsight being 20, 20, I never would have traced those wires with that leak. Untracked because we ended up coming across an improvised explosive device that was buried on the ground. Well, um, unbeknownst to us it was actually a dud. Um, thank God it was because I wouldn't be able to sit here and tell you this story if it actually was not. The reason why is because, um, finally some sense of some, some sense of I'm putting, I just put myself into a super dangerous situation. Why am I doing this? Sort of finally came across and I just grabbed a hold of this NCO that was Whitman to Sergeant and I pulled him back to the gun Trek and I said, why are we doing what we're doing? Um, let's call this thing up. So we did and ended up, uh, having a pretty good stroke of good luck because the engineering folks, the ones that were specifically trained to go and figure out where these roadside bombs were, were coming back off of a mission while we flagged them down and ask them to use their machine, uh, called a Buffalo to start digging into the ground and figure out what this thing was.
And sure enough, it was a improvised explosive device. So at that point, uh, we had to continue to pull security so we can call in the bomb folks to come in, dismantle the bomb. Um, so fast forward about a couple of hours or something like that, cause it took them a little while to get out there and, uh, they interrogated and found out that it was a one five, five round. Now, if you're not familiar with the size of rounds, one, five, five rounds are probably the largest explosive projectile that is currently being made for a lot of these ground vehicles that can shoot them. Um, it's, it's shot out of a vehicle traditionally known as a Paladin, which is a really large, uh, field artillery style of tank. And these one five, five rounds are really, really, really big. Um, and so they're full of lots and lots of, uh, explosive material.
And this was what was buried in the ground, um, as the, as the team that was going into detonate the bomb or to disarm the bomb, whichever they could do, uh, was going over it, they found out that there was a pressure plate, uh, that was attached to this improvised explosive device. And this improvised explosive device pressure plate was said to trip and create the connection. Like you put enough weight on it. It creates the connection in order to set an electric charge to another charge that was placed on the IED in order to get that one 55 round to explode. And so what we ended up finding out was something was happening with the pressure plate, uh, to where the connection was not made. And the fact of the matter is, is that that was the same pressure plate that that NCO, that Sergeant and I were standing upon.
And so due to let it be grace of God, let it be some sort of other divine intervention, whatever you want to make it out to be. Uh, personally I believe it definitely was the favor of God. Uh, that pressure plate IED did not explode. Uh, if it would have, we would have been involved in a very large explosion. Why do I say that? How would I know that it was gonna be a large explosion while the same bomb folks that found out that it was a pressure plated, improvised explosive device where the same ones that attached another piece of detonating materials, some C for composite to that, uh, round and actually blew it up. And, uh, it wasn't all until then that I realized the significance of what had happened when I saw that gigantic mushroom cloud from the, uh, from the detonated, you know, round that was exploded because of that material.
Realizing then that it could have been me that was inside of that, uh, mushroom cloud as well. And so from that point forward, there was a lot of other different things that had happened on that deployment as well that sort of just kind of added fuel to that fire. And when I came back from, uh, that deployment, uh, after all those things, you know, to include that event, that sort of kind of started things off. Um, I definitely wasn't the same. And I know that I'm not speaking in reference to just myself when I say this, that we live in world now where traumatic events are happening, unfortunately on a multiple occurrences throughout the day. And the downside is, is that you are not alone. You are not somebody who has to allow these traumatic experiences to ever, um, define who you are as a person.
If you are still alive, if there is air still going inside of your lungs, there is a purpose for you. And that is what the whole purpose of this podcast and Facebook live is about. So I want you to know that you have a purpose. I want you to share this with somebody who, you know, closely that may have also experienced something that has been traumatic for them. And I wanted to let you know that there is hope. It took me awhile to find out what that hope was. I remember that I was an absolute wreck for some reason. I still was alive, even though I had a lot of suicidal tendencies and, uh, come, uh, come, come times that I had a couple of times where I was making those thoughts of, um, uh, just be better off. If I wasn't around, I'd just be better off dead.
And so, um, something sustain me. And like I said, that's something was, um, that's something was God to me. And uh, God showed up in a really big way. Showed up as my wife. My wife showed up on the scene, uh, during that deployment and I met her in person when meeting online was not cool back in like the early two thousands. It was you were a nerd if you met somebody online, even though that's now the way that most of us, I believe most of us, excuse me, most people nowadays, cause I've been happily married for 13 years, uh, but most people date now meeting somebody that they find online first. And that was what we did back in the early 2000. But we had this really great story that we used to concoct about, um, how we actually had met. And you know, it was a little bit of truth, but a lot of, you know, dirt covered up the truth because we didn't want to be labeled as nerds.
But anyway, I can now tell you that I met her online, excuse me, and say that with complete confidence. But, uh, but I had met her while we were, while I was on my deployment. And subsequently after I got back within a month, I finally got the opportunity to meet this gal face to face. And, uh, my life had changed forever. And so, um, like I said, God showed up in a way, in a really big way with my wife because, uh, I was still away from her dating. Uh, we had a long distance relationship and there was plenty of times where I had contemplated, um, you know, early on like, why am I here? Why am I doing what I'm doing? And so, uh, she gave me a purpose, she gave me hope and, uh, and I want to tell you that that is probably the best way to start finding that same hope for yourself.
Especially if I'm talking to you and you've had a traumatic situation that you have lived with for, you know, just a couple of months or men maybe many years, is that you've got to find someone, okay, you got to find someone to share your story with. And I want to give you all the opportunity to do that with me. Um, there has been healing in, in, in that because the first thing that we all want to do and the thing that a lot of us will do is when we have a traumatic situation, we usually try to keep it to ourselves and that is actually the best way to give it power. When we keep it to ourselves and we do not share that story with others, there is no healing. The only way that we can actually start healing from something like this is we have to start telling our story.
And I appreciate you all to allow me to tell my story here on the online space and so I want to pay that forward. I want to let you start sharing your stories as well. And so if you feel like you just want to share your story simply by putting your story here in the comments of this Facebook live or emailing email@example.com you are very, very welcome to share your story. Okay. Um, this is what you need to do. You need to start by telling your story to yourself. That is actually a way that I really, really started finding healing was I started to find myself comfortable with starting to tell that story to myself. All right, so action step number one for helping you in your healing journey is to start telling you that story, that story yourself, and what's your experience? That wasn't normal, okay?
That wasn't something that anyone should have gone through. Okay? Like I said, we're talking about either near death or death, like experiences that have happened either to you, yourself or somebody that was close to you. Um, these are where or where somebody was in like imminent danger. Okay? So these aren't normal experiences. You can't tell me by all those new Yorkers that had a firsthand witness of what happened on nine 11 with those towers going down that they didn't suffer some sort of post traumatic stress. I mean, I would be extremely ignorant if those individuals did not suffer from post traumatic stress. And so I offered to you is that uh, if the statistics of posttraumatic stress are a one out of every eight Americans which is now known, um, one out of every eight Americans may suffer some sort of a traumatic experience that leads itself into post traumatic stress.
Um, the way that things are happening in this world and the way that information is available to us on the daily. Um, you can't tell me that that is probably not less or more so frequent than one out of eight now. And so the first thing you need to do, like I said, action step number one and start telling your story to yourself and start realizing that it is not something that is normal. Okay? But recovery from it can be okay. And now a action step number moving in action step number two is you've got to start telling someone about it. All right? Whether that'd be a significant other that you are living with or a counselor or you know, if it needs to be somebody like me that you just start telling your story too, that is completely fine. Number two. It can also be a telling your story to uh, you know, a hotline of some sort.
There's a lot of online resources that are available, a lot of people that are making themselves available that want to talk to you about post traumatic stress and things that have happened to you, okay? Number three, and these are in no particular order. Number three is, uh, you know, once you find that person to start talking to, number three is, uh, develop an understanding of the truth. And the truth is, is that people have suffered for post traumatic stress for years. All right? Throughout history, you can read about all the different people who have had traumatic situations happen throughout the years. And so I offered to you is that you've got to find truth, find truth, find the truth in how to recover and give that truth to. Uh, what I found massive power is I gave that truth to God and I said that I do not want to carry these symptoms anymore and I want to make sure that I am able to find this new normal because you won't ever be the same.
The situation or the experiences have absolutely changed you. And so you have to understand that there is a new normal that needs to be discovered. Well, I found mine by being able to get into scripture and finding the truth. And so I offer that to you as well is that my story is not a story of, Oh, woe was me. My story is a story of hope and of discovering and to eventually give him glory. And that's exactly what I want to tell my story for. So, um, I didn't want to make this a super lengthy, uh, Facebook live. I didn't want to make this a super lengthy, uh, podcast today. We're right at about the 20 minute Mark, which is perfect for those that are traveling to and from work. But like I said, start telling your story. Start by telling your story to yourself. Share in like this, give it to a friend and a, and let's start really helping one another in 2020 to recover and find our new normal because it absolutely can be out there for you. So
share this like this. Give me a rating and review on the podcast, but most of all you have stuck around for the last 20 minutes. And now let's talk about the giveaway. So, um, the giveaway is going to be announced on my Facebook page. I'll do it this week and it's because we just hit a certain number of likes on my Facebook page and I really appreciate all of you guys and gals out there that have done that, uh, to try to help share unconventional wellness with everybody. If you guys know what unconventional on that says, let me just wrap it up in a nutshell really quick, is that it's a program that I've designed that over the course of the 10 years of me being a physician assistant and a, and going through a lot of the different things that I have, uh, you know, in a, in health regard, I have realized that there are some really nonconventional ways to be able to address a lot of our health and wellness concerns, uh, things through the right type of nutrition and movement and getting better sleep and removing toxins and talking about what we talked about in this podcast, which is, uh, how to combat stress and anxiety.
Well, I wrapped up all five of these things in the modules that I can deliver over the course of a 90 day period could help you find real change, real and holistic change in 90 days. And so that's what unconventional wellness is all about. And so, uh, it requires a community. It requires a tribe of warriors to help one another out. So come join us and become one of these wellness warriors. And, uh, and help let us change the world one person at a time because we want to help you reach the Heights of health and Heights wellness that you have never even done anything except for dream. I teach you how to put the create traction and to be able to actually, uh, really do something for yourself and really be able to change, uh, your life in 90 days. And so help me by spreading the word.
So I will do a giveaway. So go on there and go like the Facebook page. It's called unconventional wellness with Frank reds. And, uh, and that's it. That's all I've got for you guys on this Columbia little Monday that I've got about, uh, love talking to you all. I want to let you know that there's hope and I want to help you get there. So, um, if you need to send me your story, do so Frank at [inaudible] dot com and let's, uh, let's start telling our stories guys, because there is Oh and power and being able to do that. So take care and we will talk to you again on another podcast or Facebook live very soon.
Speaker 5: (22:42)
Bye bye now.
Brought to you by Frank Ritz of Unconventional Wellness Radio