Lalage Snow’s photojournalism of a soldier’s before, during, and after pictures entitled “We Are Not Dead” shows not only the rapid aging process that the body goes through during a major stressor; but it enlightens us on the psychological toll it takes as well.
There’s also a group I’m involved in on Facebook and recently the ladies decided to post images of their before vs. now in their caregiving career.
I never really thought about it before, exactly how stress (both physical and mental) affects our appearance. War is one thing. You expect the soldier to come back changed. But do people really understand what we caregivers go through after they come home? I think not. It’s not something that is widely talked about. It’s as hushed hushed as PTSD was during/after WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. So we must now speak out about it and not be afraid to hide behind closed doors anymore.
Caring for my veteran is a badge I proudly wear. He served his country. That service broke him. He is my hero. And I will do everything in my power to love and care for him for always.
So, now that this has come to my attention, I decided to put together some pictures of our lives, to see exactly how much we have changed since the incidents, the pain and PTSD, the VA and all those dealings, my responsibilities and dealing with all the demons while trying to keep some sort of normalcy in our lives these last 15 years.
You just don’t realize how it has affected you, how much you’ve changed/aged, in such a short period of time until you see the pictures side by side.
We have our good days, but due to the chronic pain and constant migraines, they are far and few between.
What I’d like to do is gather more Veteran Caregivers’ before and after photos and do something similar to what Lalage Snow did for the military members, just to see if caregiving is as changing to the caregiver as war is on the soldier. So, if you’re willing, please contact me and let me know if you would like to participate in this endeavor. I would gladly give you credit and link to your blog if you have one.