In my own experience, there is a difference between a military veteran and a military war veteran, and it is important to say both have a difficult time re-adjusting to civilian life after the military. However, for those returning from war it seems the transition period into civilian life can be extremely difficult under a heavy blanket of thoughts and emotions which can swell into a constant state of feeling trapped in a purgatory-like state.
Of course, if you add in all the medications a veteran may be on, this trapped feeling can be intensified and even pushed to a very dangerous level. This transitioning phase can last a lifetime, and like a patiently camouflaged well-hidden sniper it can also kill. How have our Veterans been dealing with their struggles since leaving the military or coming home from war, especially if they are diagnosed with PTS(d)? Has cannabis ever been introduced and was it effective? Also, how have the other people in Veteran’s lives been affected and have they been helpful? Civilians may not be aware of the unique challenges that separating from military service or coming home from war can present.
Re-establishing a veterans role back into family and reconnecting with friends has its levels of difficulty which can lead to becoming introvert and isolated. Preparing to enter into the civilian work-force and creating structure, many for the first time, can also be incredibly difficult. The military provided structure and a chain of command, this does not naturally exist outside of the military. A Veteran will have to create his or her own structure or adjust to living in an environment with more ambiguity.
You may find yourself reacting to situations in ways that were appropriate in a combat zone, but not at home or on the job. You might even believe your experiences have changed you so much that you can’t recapture the relationships you once had. Although you probably won’t go back to being exactly the same person you were before deployment, there are things you can do to reach the point when you feel you’re really home. Many Veterans have found relief for their pain and suffering through the use of Cannabis, and it has been a hot topic for several years now.
In celebration of 4/20 please join myself and a few other Veteran friends of mine as we chat about transitioning from the military and war, and how cannabis has become a staple in our medicine cabinet.