“Love Our Vets” by Welby O’Brien – Book Review
When I’m faced with a new challenge, I automatically turn to books with the desire to educate myself. And prepare myself. But when my paramedic husband was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder five years ago, the idea of reading about the condition made me surprisingly anxious.
Our world had been turned upside-down by PTSD and in a flash everything was different. I told myself that I simply didn’t have the time or energy for reading, but on some level I had to admit that I was deliberately avoiding the topic. I didn’t want to read about the life that was in store for us because I desperately wanted to believe the bad dream would just go away. I was told time and again that PTSD cannot be cured, but I secretly felt that it was going to be my husband that would prove this theory wrong. I didn’t need books about this, because this would be dealt with and then we’d move on with our lives.
But as it turns out, PTSD doesn’t just go away. We had to learn how to manage it. We had to learn how to live with it. And then, almost five years into the journey, when I made the pivotal decision to not only begin reading about PTSD, but also writing about it, I was contacted by Welby O’Brien. I knew I had already learned a lot, but still needed more answers. She graciously sent me a copy of her book, Love Our Vets, and I quickly devoured it.
Welby writes from the heart for families of veterans with PTSD. With an extensive background in counselling and a veteran husband with PTSD, she offers comfort, encouragement, practical help and hope for those who may otherwise feel like they’re grieving for a person who is still right beside them. Love Our Vets is unapologetically open and honest, with real-life scenarios and realistic solutions for dealing with a seemingly hopeless future.
The book is divided into three sections. The first, “Reaffirm – Our Questions”, is a question and answer layout covering almost any challenge that may present when PTSD enters a relationship. The second, “Replenish – Our Needs”, offers a unique approach for looking at how you can better take care of yourself and your needs. And the third, “Reflect – Our Wisdom”, is an extensive collection of personal experiences and wisdom from many others who love a veteran with PTSD, concluding with a group discussion guide.
A number of the questions in Part One really resonated with me, and I found Welby’s answers satisfyingly concise and to the point. In certain areas where I craved more information, her answers gave me a sound base from which to research further detail independently. Part Two really opened my eyes to the particular areas of my life where I am neglecting myself, and I intend to refer back to the book regularly to stay focused on taking better care of my health and wellbeing. The reflection of wisdom in Part Three helped to reaffirm that, although having a spouse with PTSD is often a very lonely journey, many others truly do understand and are living a similar life, and that in itself helps build my own strength and hope.
My husband is not a veteran, but the many difficulties that PTSD often generates within a relationship are consistent no matter what the cause – PTSD does not discriminate. And although this book is geared particularly for spouses, I highly recommend it for anyone who has a loved one with PTSD.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Welby O’Brien for the purpose of an independent and honest review. This review is part of a blog tour for this book. You can read other reviews here.
You can buy your own copy of Love Our Vets here (free delivery worldwide).
Do you have a loved one who has seen war and has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at some level? More than likely you who love your veteran will also be deeply and profoundly affected, which is why Welby O’Brien wrote Love Our Vets, a resource for restoring hope for families of veterans with PTSD. Sharing as a counselor and from her personal experience of living with a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD, Welby O’Brien gives hope, encouragement, and practical help for families and loved ones who are caught in the wake of the trauma. Love Our Vets answers more than 60 heartfelt questions, providing down-to-earth wisdom and much-needed tips for taking care of yourself.
You can find out more about Welby O’Brien and her book at www.loveourvets.org