D is for…

Most pictures say a thousand words. But this picture screams one simple word.


I was drawn to this picture. There was something about it. So I bought it. My husband and I had stopped for food and a break a couple hours into a routine nine hour road trip. After hour 13, the routine faded into torture. Our eyes crossed or threatened to shut completely and exhaustion permeated the air like a heavy fog. We wanted to quit, but we weren’t where we needed to be yet. We weren’t home. So we kept our behinds in our seats and we kept driving.

When we finally got home we kissed the ground and then pulled the picture out of the car. As tired as we were, the irony was not lost. We had just lived a dauntless moment.

Stalwart Resolute. Indomitable.

We still joke about that trip and the picture. But as soon as I thought about my journey with PTSD and how I would put it into an acronym, I knew.

D is for dauntless.

It’s one thing to convey an emotion at a pivotal point in the journey. It’s another thing all together to impart a word such as dauntless. I’ve rewritten this post about five times now. As I try to describe what dauntless looks like, it keeps coming up grey and lifeless. Much like the painting. D is for drudgery. Just keep getting in the boat. Day after day.

But I wasn’t drawn to the picture because it evoked a feeling of drudgery. From the first moment I saw that photo, I felt hope. The picture doesn’t show each man bravely taking their place in the boat. It shows them in open water. Moving. Embarking on an adventure. Unshrinking to the challenges that may lie ahead.

The whole point of my last post was choosing to get in the boat. Dauntless has to mean something more. And I think back to the road trip. What about that trip demonstrates dauntless? Was it the drudgery of driving? And then I see it. Yes, there was drudgery involved. But dauntless is overcoming the drudgery in light of the port of call. We fought fatigue and committed to driving for the comfort of home. We looked forward to sleeping in our own bed. We were traveling toward a destination.

D is for dauntless.

I’m staying in the boat. I’m all in. That’s “S.” But more than that. I’m looking forward. I’m resolutely believing that good days are ahead. That an adventure awaits.

It is challenging to believe that the sun will ever shine again after days of endless rain and the darkest of nights. But dauntless means indomitable hope. Stalwart expectation. It’s not just repeating the vows and the commitments. It’s remembering what you believed in those moments. I fell in love with my husband because of who he is. Through the course of the ups and downs of PTSD, I fight to remain unshrinking. To remember the man I married. To boldly love my husband as he is. And to be audacious in my belief that an adventure awaits.

D is for dauntless.

That’s what dauntless looks like to me. What does dauntless look like to you?

One thought on “D is for…

  1. You nailed it, exactly! I love how you can put feelings into words! You are indeed a blessing to me! Thanks for ‘defining’ PTSD in such a gracious way.

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