Hello everyone. I’ll start with a brief intro since I’m new here. I am Dirt. I spent 5 ½ years as Active Duty USAF. I was a vehicle operator/dispatcher. I didn’t get any cushy AF deployments, I got a special tasking to work with SOCCENT (Special Operations Command Central) and earned a Joint Service Achievement Medal. I also lost my best friend to an IED in Iraq. I was told that it was my fault and that it should have been me that made the Ultimate Sacrifice. I have been struggling with accepting that it wasn’t my time since 2004. I have been diagnosed as suffering with Chronic PTSD, Recurring Major Depression, Bipolar 1 and Borderline Personality Disorder. I am finally making good progress forward and love that I have been asked to help others.
The thing I learned that helped me the most has been the phrase “Examine the Evidence to Challenge your Core Beliefs.” The core belief is something we hold onto as fact, because it was told to us or has otherwise been ingrained in our head. For me, the evidence that needed to be examined was the fact that I wasn’t in country the day A1C Anderson was killed. I had been held back due to administrative action because I messed up and was caught drinking on duty. The evidence tells me now that since I wasn’t in country, there was no way it was my fault. For years, I have felt that the idea that it was my fault was accurate. The question I posed to myself while “examining the evidence” was this: How could it be my fault if I wasn’t there? The answer is simple, it was NOT my fault. It wasn’t my time, and there is and was nothing I could do to stop it.
I don’t expect any of you to be able to immediately change a core belief; but I promise you, if you take a core belief, especially a negative one, and challenge it with the facts of the situation, that core belief may change. For me, it took years of therapy from several different people and facilities to get to the point where I understood how to properly challenge this belief. It isn’t an easy process, and I won’t try to convince anyone that it is easy. Don’t expect anything to change overnight. There is no magic pill or genie that can fix anyone’s situation. I only ask that you take these words to heart and make a solid attempt at using the facts of the situation to challenge that core belief.

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