Shinedown was always one of my favourite bands the

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Belongs to: Therapist Reacts to Monsters by Shinedown
Shinedown was always one of my favourite bands then this single came out with the music video, then they hit the bar of my all time favourite band. As a veteran who served overseas as a combat medic my monsters are trained how to kill, but it’s the patients I lost that keep me up at night. Providing end of life care to people so young it like having a little bit of your soul dying with them like a dripping tap not sure when it will run out.

Not sure when your own breaking point comes. As one Great War veteran wrote in his diary “when they came home their families would not recognize them, they were forever strangers unto themselves”. Because if war leaves a person unaffected, unchanged, they are a psychopath: a monster…. But when that tap runs out, your soul has nothing left to give, you become cold, aloof & detached from society: a monster by other means.

Lest We Forget

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Thank you so much for being here and thank you for your service. Having to provide end of life care to people is a noble job and thankfully there are people like you to be there for them in those moments. The emotional toll it takes on you is overwhelming I’m sure. Each time feeling like it’s the last one you can handle, wondering if you’ll still have more of yourself to give until eventually you’ve grown detached. I’m praying that you find a way to replenish the pieces of yourself that you may have lost along the way and that you find hope and strength. I hope you are able to find support for your needs and that you find renewal. You have made such a difference in the lives of others and you deserve to heal and be well. We are here to support and encourage you! You are loved so much!

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What a catch 22! To have given your all for the country but to leave so wounded that you either become a cold monster or a person carrying a huge burden of painful memories! When your heart stays soft, it is vulnerable. If it is hardened, it may not hurt as bad but you would lose your humanity.
When it comes to the patients you lost, I can’t imagine the difficulty of that. Whether you were a medic or some other medical profession, seeing people die leaves a mark on us that lasts forever. I know it’s incomparable, but I worked at a nursing home as a teenager and I remember leaving for a week and coming back and my favorite resident having died. There’s something about that loss that hits so incredibly deep.

That quote is incredibly impactful as it really shows the devastation of war! You can lose yourself in all the things that happened to you and all the things you had to do. I used to think that to feel all my emotions and stay soft and “real” and “human” was a far too dangerous choice so I instead bottled it all up and become disassociated and cold… maybe similar to one of these distant unaffected “monsters.” I thought that if I kept giving and loving I would just keep getting more and more hurt. It hurt too badly to stay soft and to feel my emotions.

It really is a journey and brave to stay soft. It is brave to try to see glimmers of hope in the world after it has devastated you. It is courageous to allow yourself to keep feeling all the guilt and anger and rage and depression and sadness and regret— because as you feel them you work through them and you are “real.” To fight the turning to stone- to keep breathing- is the bravest choice because it leaves you vulnerable.

I believe that as you choose to stay in the ring-- battling with those emotions-- there will be an end when you conquer them and make peace with your demons. You are not a monster and as long as you stay connected to this broken, bleeding, word you are a beautiful part of it-- suffering, regret, death, and all. Please keep pursuing the love and light that comes with the darkness-- it’s all life-- and it’s what’s life is all about-- choosing to press on towards hope while under the burden of pain. Believing that there is better yet to come- and that the current pain will not last forever. You are not what you have done, what has been done to you, or the circumstances you’ve been in. You are more than a conqueror!

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*First and foremost, thank you so much for your service. I personally cannot thank you or anyone enough for fighting for the country I have the privilege to be free in. I also want to applaud your strength. I can’t imagine the weight of having a part of you die everytime you’ve seen someone pass away. I can’t help but think that they were probably grateful to see you, someone with a kind, caring heart, being there with them before they went. Maybe part of your soul was helping them along to the otherside, so they didn’t have to go alone. That in itself can be scary too. I don’t know if you still serve or if you have retired restfully, but I hope your tap has not and will not run dry. I hope your healing strength and caring heart still reaches out to others and that you have strong support in your life so you are not feeling alone in memories. You are loved. You are cared for. And you are stronger than your monsters, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.:purple_heart:

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@@HeartSupport runner12,
thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.
I feel like I have more to give but unfortunately my body can’t cash the cheque my soul has written. I screw up my back while serving (non-combat related) and it seems my time as a warrior is permanently over. Now I struggle with feeling like I own more than I can give.

So many have died so that we might live, I believe the best way to honour the fallen is to live life to your own fullest. Whatever that might be for an individual. Without that understanding I probably would have lost the battle with my own monsters.

Cheers, take care

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@@HeartSupport JBrach,
You hit the nail on the head. Hard times cause hart hearts. A casualty of our circumstances, a product of our environment.
I believe that a small part of who we lost lives on within us; whether it be a family member we lost, a friend, co-worker, patient etc, their memory lives on in us. They deserve to be remembered, and honoured by our good deeds and enjoyment of life. Your residents who passed while you worked at a nursing home live on in you by every good deed you do… and a side eye when not being the best version of yourself lol.

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@@HeartSupport PenArt,
I believe you are correct about the patients having someone with them as they pass. I could see it in their eyes, a great deal of fear with a little bit of thanks for not passing alone. Those expressions are forever etched in my mind, and soul.

It seems my time serving is behind me, due to a non-combat related service injury, but I do have counselling services provided by veterans affairs… only took 14 months to get that assistance after a first requested it… yeah, things are that painfully slow for us. In my country veterans have no rights to fair equitable treatment, according to both government & the Supreme Court, but that’s a separate issue entirely. Most veterans in my country are sentenced to neglect so they suffer quietly on their own with a suicide rate over 6 times higher than the general population and a divorce rate equally higher. Fortunately, I count myself among the luckier ones, I am holding my own, for the most part, with my mental health, its just the physical health that has failed me completely.

Cheers

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