Battle Fatigue

Commonly known as PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder according to the Mayo Clinic is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.   

Unfortunately, I have firsthand experience with it.  Both from childhood events and as a 9-11 evacuee.  It was my experience in 9-11 that brought on the full-blown systems and was finally diagnosed and treated.  It was not a surprise when my friend Nina, and all around inspirational person created her latest body of work called “Battle Fatigue” that I was drawn into the story.  And it’s a good one. 

In Nina Lipkowitz’s own words:

One year ago I became concerned that my father’s scrapbook from WWII might fall apart and disappear into dust. I thought about writing a book but not being a writer I decided to use the material in a much more personal way. I photographed and scanned all of the pages, made photo transfers from many of the images and bought paint and canvas and took a leap into the complete unknown.

My lessons:

Leap Into the Complete Unknown

This statement alone is transformational.  Take a chance.  Move forward.  Leap without looking. Miraculous things can happen when we go to a place we have never been.

Battle Fatigue vs. PTSD

Is there a difference?  Does an updated name change the experience? When I look at the struggles in my life (really who hasn’t had their share) I think of those that were so extraordinary that I didn’t realize how brave I was while I was right in the thick of it.  Now I see it a little differently.  Bullets flying at soldiers from all sides, no ability to turn it off.  That doesn’t just tire you out after the fight.  It rewires and defines you as you go through it.  It takes a driven, determined person to get through the “battle” to the point where there is a “post” to suffer from.  

Our Life Is Our Work

It doesn’t matter if you are an artist, a CEO, or a window washer.  Watching Nina’s process of literally taking the “scraps” of her Father’s experiences and going through her own artistic process, trusting the canvas to see what would be created is the true miracle.  Taking the pieces, we have of our lives and figuring out how we show-up is the main event.

What’s Next:

Take your own leap into the complete unknown.  Explore your deep past, fears and history.  Visit Nina’s website and read about the show by clicking here.

Read this article on sleep and PTSD by clicking here.

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