As a way to keep my mind working and to fill up the time that I spend not being able to sleep I have decided to go back to school or at least take some college classes on line. When I was is school I score 170 on my IQ test = Genius. But since all this its like my mind is in a fog and it just doesn’t work right. Sometimes I have to read over the lesson 2 and 3 times just to get them, and sometimes I have to walk away from them for a while and come back to them later. But as luck wound have it last night my mind was really clicking which was good since I had to write a 500 word paper on Homer’s Odyssey and how it is like life today and to use personal examples.
I got a 95% on this assignment and I got to talk about my issues, so I am including it here for others to read.
Homer’s Odyssey is the story of a soldier coming home and the trials he must face. Well Homer’s hero had to overcome physical roadblocks on his journey home; I see a direct coalition with today survivor’s with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), whether they be soldiers or survivors of some other trauma. As a recently diagnosed person with PTSD, my journey back to my normal life has become an Odyssey like Odysseus.
First we start with the escape from the island of the Cyclopes. We think we are free, that we have escape a great evil or traumatic experience, only to have half a mountain thrown at us. This mountain is the effects that we take away from our traumatic experience. Some of us see this mountain as nothing, just a small ripple; some of us allow the mountain to flatten us. And some of us like Odysseus see it as just another battle to fight.
When Poseidon become enraged and won’t allow Odysseus to return quickly home, it is like being told that the normal life I use to have is now a long way off and not to be expecting a quick return to it, for like Odysseus it may take years to recover.
We have Calypso who for seven years delays Odysseus with her loving pleasures. She is so like the pleasures used to escape the new reality of your life with PTSD, sex, drugs, alcohol, or whatever else you use to numb your pain and escape. Then you are helped by the gods, release, shipwrecked and you swim ashore to Scherie. This is like an intervention were you get help and therapy. You get to live through your story once again, just like Odysseus telling his story of this return from Troy. And you are off and going again.
Next like Odysseus and the witch Circe, you are enticed by the comfort and promises medications will bring. So Odysseus spends a year feasting and drinking, you spend time in a cloud of medications feeling no pain, feeling nothing at all. Knowing that the medications are keeping you from your journey, you do like Odysseus and leave the witch Circe, the heavy doses of medications, looking for your prophet or therapist to advise you, the one that can point you to your way back.
You now think you’ve finally made it back to your normal life, only to find like Odysseus that life has gone on without while you were gone, and now you have another mess to clean up.
Yet in the end Odysseus returns to his life, wife and son, so really that is all I can ask for – a return to my life. Most likely not the same one, but one that I have battled to have, and one that I appreciate all the more because of this battle.
So basically Homer’s story is a story of home, a normal life and the battles some physical and some emotional that we fight to keep it. It is the story of human existence, their fight to live, no matter what time period it was written in that doesn’t change.