I am a nervous wreck, Post traumatic ?
February 7, 2009, 12:54
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t say this lightly.   I know a lot about wrecks.  I have totaled,  smashed up and destroyed, my share of Detroit’s production.  I have also responded as a Fire Fighter and Fire Chief to quite a few 10-50’s or MVA’s [motor vehicle accident].  I know a wreck when I see one.  The primary duty of the first responding officer is to give a scene analysis, so here we go, this would be my report on myself.

“Arrived on scene, very short trip,  to find vehicle still on the road,  engine running,  two wheels in the berm , driver concious, but stunned, verbally responsive 4×5,  no obvious sign of trauma, but somehow entrapped.   no visible  cause for accident, damage slight, calling for transport of victim for evaluation.  Securing scene. ”

I mean I am still going to work and church and fixing broken cars and thawing pipes, I an still on the road,  but not moving at the rate of traffic.  Things are passing me by.   My quick wit has a new time delay feature.   I am stuck in an unseen  rut.

I also am familiar with Nervous.  I do have a psych degree and worked in a ward for a while, more than that I grew up with a family that suffered from advance agoraphobia.  Fear of the market place.  Not wanting to leave the house, mom, or not wanting to leave familiar territory,dad. 

Therefore, I feel certified to diagnose myself a nervous wreck.  The clinical term for this is Wreckius Nervosis.  I got it.   

As a Christian I know Jesus said “Don’t worry”, and I don’t.  I have been given faith abundant and overflowing.  I cast my cares at the foot of the cross.  Worry is not the black ice that caused the wreck.  I am an Alfred E Neuman poster boy.  [If you get that do penance] So I search for a causal factor for my condition.  I think I found it on   the good old internet!              http://www.helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

Here are my symptoms as found on that sight. 


  •  Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)

PTSD symptoms of increased arousal

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled

Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Anger and irritability
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame
  • Substance abuse


Sugar is a substance people, don’t panic, so is caffeine, and I am beating myself with both.  I don’t know how I got it , but I got it. The hyper-vigilance thing is a real hoot.  My wife wakes me up gently and i leap up ready for battle or bail-out.  My daughters say,”dad” and I grab guns, fire extinguishers, tools, rope and a flash light.  I am ready baby!      Sometimes even I have to laugh at my self.   This reaction is odd for me, as i spent 16 years with a two way radio that 24/7 would alert me to some ongoing mess I was supposed to go and take charge of,hopefully improving the situation.  Never once did that alert really freak me,  the “man on fire in yard”  call got my eyebrows to raise,  but I took it all in stride. Iam the son of the son of a fireman, grew up in a firehall,  no less was expected.   Actually in a few towns where I did mutual response i was often the guy people looked to when the sewage hit the fan.  Now the cat knocks over a picture and I am stress city. 

The  only problem is, I never thought I went through anything to warrant PTSD.  I was never kidnapped or in combat [bar fights do not count], or abducted by aliens with their fiendish probe. i did not suffer abuse as a child nor have i been in natural disasters[other than flood recovery 4x].   I guess it can add up, a cumulative effect.  Multiple car wrecks, chronic pain syndrome,  bad fires,  cancer operations, getting bounced from church, [just as bad as a wreck or cancer, honest],  raising daughters,  changing jobs,  false diagnosis, paralysis, death of friends and family.

I just read that, no wonder I am PTSD!  Revelation! I never listed it before,  boy do I feel better.  My Jesus was with me through it all.  He used these things to mold and shape me,  never letting  go of me for a minute through all this.  He made me a man who cares about Hospital visits.  He made me to understand pain and weakness.  I went through what I had to go through to really love the people I minister to, and I do love them dearly, each and every butt-pain one.  I would die for them.      So I have PTSD, Jesus will get me through this too.  His track record with me is amazing! 

The purpose of Willohroots is conversation about the things of God and His people, this is off subject, but it felt good to say it.  i will not make a habit of this.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I hope you are not still experiencing all of this.
I don’t have any neat little homiles for you or bromides.
you know from you degree that stress built up over a long period of time caused our bodies to have a physical reaction of “fight or flight.”
This is the core reason for agoraphobia.
cut down on the sugar and caffeine(easy for me to say)and calm down brother.
Here is an old bromide,”!. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 2. Everything is small stuff.”
What’s the worst that can happen?
You also know that 99.9% of what we worry about doesn’t happen. The little that does we probably really knew about and just need to prepare as best we can (the death of a parent, financial issues etc.).
Get in touch with me privately if you want totalk about this.

Comment by Rob

Seems the good minister needs a good minister. No one can continualy give unless they too are filled.
We can love them enough to take a bullet for them, but they are not a light load to carry, not if we’re doing it right. Make sure you’re being “fed” too.

Comment by Shawn W

Willo (is your name Will??),

I’m sorry you feel this way. Not sure what else to say. But about your little tag line about not making a habit of it…dont apologize for expressing whats going on! It’s ok to complain on your blog, its your blog. 🙂

Comment by trumpethope19

I an NOT in need of suicide watch. Please stop the calls to my local 911 center! I am just a guy, and pastors can get shell shock too! I am going to decoffeenate myself and seek rest in the Lord. Nobody , Christian or not, is Superman. I am thinking of 1 Titus 5:23, in moderation. I would prefer that to Prozac my daughter wants to put me on.
We all bleed when cut. Yes my name is Will, Shawn W. you are right, Rob, I love you in the Lord. Thanks.

Comment by willohroots

I have been thinking about this post this weekend. The past week was a very stressful one for me as a minister. It had me contemplating some of these same things. I know that one of the reasons that the last pastor here left was concern for his health. He had a heart attack or two and needed to reduce stress. It isn’t that this church is particularly stressful, they aren’t. I have been here almost a year and a half and have only had to deal with a couple of “big deals.” I think that ministry is inherently stressful because we care so much.
I think one of the great things about the resources we have at hand today with the internet is the ability to find kindred souls that can empathize and sympathize with. Praying with you and for you every time I visit the blog here.

Comment by jeofurry

im reminded of the scene in the luther movie where he is talking with his mentor and says:

“that day when you sent me out so boldly to change the world did you really think there wouldnt be a cost?”

Comment by graceshaker

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