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Battling PTSD with Golf: A Caregiver's Viewpoint

September 28, 2013 by Sarah Martinez

Sarah Martinez is the wife of Sargeant Saul Martinez, USA (Ret.).

PTSD is a mind-consuming disorder. It forces you to relive your trauma, play by play.

It’s also much easier to understand if you picture it as a tiny, evil elf that loves to sneak into every aspect of your life and ruin your day. Or month. Or the rest of your life.

PTSD tells you that you deserve what happened to you and you should suffer every day because of it.
PTSD loves chaos and revels in despair.
PTSD tries its hardest to alienate people from what they love.
PTSD hates calm.

For a long time, I didn’t “get” golf. I didn’t understand the draw of the game or why 18 holes took so long to play. Surely my husband could rush through a game in less than 2 hours.

What the heck goes on out there?

Because PTSD hates calm, golf is my husband’s happy place. Whether he’s playing 18 or just hitting balls on the range, PTSD isn’t there. The crack of the club, the smell of freshly cut grass, the talk amongst friends. Golf is his best therapy.

Now I get why my husband loves golf. Even though I don’t love golf, I love golf for him. I love the calm that hitting the course gives his brain. Knowing he will have a few hours without the struggle of PTSD, gives me peace of mind.

And so now I don’t urge him to get done quickly so that he can come home and be a daddy. I support his need to golf so that he can be the best possible dad, the best possible husband and friend.
PTSD may be trying to win the battle, but golf and I will help my husband fight back.