Rescue to Recovery

Drive On Podcast With Scott DeLuzio
Drive On Podcast
Rescue to Recovery

Tracey Brown is a US Coast Guard veteran and author who tells us about how she struggled with post traumatic stress after years of patrolling the coast and pulling bodies out of the water. We talk about how Tracey functioned with undiagnosed PTS, and how she came to realize that what she was dealing with was likely due to the high intensity job she had while in the Coast Guard.

Links & Resources


Scott DeLuzio:    00:00:03    Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we talk about issues affecting Veterans after they get out of the military. Before we get started, I'd like to ask a favor if you haven't done so already, please rate and review the show on Apple podcasts. If you've already done that, thank you. These ratings help the show get discovered so it can reach a wider audience. And while you're there click the subscribe button so that you get notified of new episodes as soon as they come out. If you don't use Apple podcasts, you can visit Drive On to find other ways of subscribing, including our email list. I'm your host, Scott DeLuzio. And now let's get on with the show. Hi everyone. Thanks for joining us today. My guest is Tracey Brown. And let me tell you, I am pretty excited about having her on. I'm excited about what we'll be talking about, of course which we'll get into in a minute.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:00:57     I'm also excited about checking the box for having a Coast Guard Veteran on the show. Tracey is the first one to represent the Coast Guard on the Drive On Podcast and so with this episode, I have spoken to someone from every branch of the U S military with the exception of the Space Force, but that's relatively new. So, we'll give them a little break there.  If anyone from the Space Force is listening wants to join me on the podcast and talk about their Epic EAP battles or whatever, please reach out. That would be awesome too.  In addition to being a Coast Guard Veteran, Tracey is also the number one bestselling author of Rescue to Recovery, Veteran's Story of Hidden Scars and Personal Discovery. Tracey, welcome to the show.  Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, your military background and what it is that you do now?

Tracey Brown:    00:01:49     I was in the Coast Guard a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I went in in 1983 which was an interesting time to say the least as far as between drugs and the Coast Guard was under the Department of Transportation in those days. So, we didn't have a lot of funding, not like they do today and then when I got out, I was in a place where a lot of people that get out are in where you're really absolutely bored because you go from this high adrenaline, especially I was on small boats just to let you know, for the first couple of years, I was on small boats and we did everything.

Tracey Brown:    00:02:37    I was up in San Francisco. We did everything from regular cruise around seeing if people are okay, safety stuff to rescues, to fires on bridges to picking up dead bodies. I mean, you name it, we did it.  We did a lot; we were a lot of hats as I like to say.  There was a lot of adrenaline every time you were on duty; you had a lot of adrenaline going.  Getting out there was a big transition from being in this high adrenaline being able to jump off a boat at 15 knots to civilian life, which is really a big, big shift. So, I used to tell people that I was bored all the time.  People would ask, “how are you? I'm kind of bored; it's boring if you're not on the water.”

Tracey Brown:    00:03:24    So, I didn't realize, but for 30 years I was undiagnosed with PTS and I didn't understand going through the process. I didn't understand why I was confused a lot or I would lash out or I would just go off on somebody. There's a lot of anger, a lot of things going on that I wasn't aware of where it was coming from; it's just like, “gosh that was kind of stupid.” That was really a knee jerk reaction kind of thing. So, my journey really began when a friend of mine posted on Facebook of 16  characteristics of PTSD, and I've been kind of an information hound simply because I've always been trying to figure out why am I not reacting to things like everybody else does?

Tracey Brown:    00:04:10    And so I read it and I had 14 of the 16. Then going through certain therapies, I realized that there's a lot more. There's about 40 some odd characteristics that are pretty common. And so, my journey really began and the book really is about my journey, my process of realizing, okay, this is something I have to deal with. How do I deal with this? How do I go through this? And it was really just a process of learning to talk to people and seeking help for an issue.  What I do now fed into that because what I do now is, I'm a scar tissue therapist. I work on physical scar tissue to actually eradicate it from the body.  Scar tissue is actually known as confused tissue. And so, it made a lot of sense. I connected a lot of dots between the physical scar tissue and the mental scar tissue, the emotional scar tissue that is really confused tissue, and you just need to reorganize it. So that's really where the journey began, looking at, “Oh, this is what I'm doing in the physical world and how this is applying to my emotional state.”

Scott DeLuzio:    00:05:22    That's a great background story and how and I think a lot of other Veterans can probably relate to the experience that you had, where life just sort of seems boring after getting off that high intensity type of job, where maybe it's a combat operation where your head's on a swivel constantly, and you're looking for these threats all the time. And then a short time later, you come back home and you're walking into a Walmart or something, and you don't necessarily need to have that same level of intensity going to the grocery store or to the mall or whatever the case may be. You still have that though. Life just seems boring because it's not the same as what it was.  It's interesting. So, you had undiagnosed post traumatic stress from your time in the military.  How did you cope with that? What were the steps that you went through to cope with that?

Tracey Brown:    00:06:35    At the beginning it was more of a numbing situation. I would drink a little bit and do everything I could to shut my brain off because for me, it was really the rescues that turned into recoveries. Hence the name of the book, rescued recovery. On small boats back in those days, you had a much slower response time then if you went on a helicopter, or even these days, they've got much faster boats these days.  Back then the boat could probably do 25 knots, but they really didn't recommend it. It was a fast-moving boat, but San Francisco is a big bay. So, nine times out of 10, we'd be late. You're always late. You're preparing for a rescue; you're preparing and you've got all your contingencies; we're going to do this.

Tracey Brown:    00:07:24    If they're in this condition, we're going to do this. If they're in that condition and you've got this all prepared and lo and behold, you either go in for a body or you just don't find anything and that is where <inaudible> is very damaging. So, I started realizing that that's where that came from.  You bury those things, we're taught very much so in the military especially initially you don't ask the questions, you just follow orders. You don't ask, you just don't ask questions. You just do. And we wouldn't do any briefings. We would <inaudible> case go up would be this and this and this went wrong. You never talked about emotions. No, we never talked about, well, I feel after picking up those bodies and how do you feel about doing that?

Tracey Brown:    00:08:16     You just buried it and moved on. So, I coped many times just try to quiet the voices in my head, if you will. I drank a lot just to numb it, I just wanted to numb it. I didn't want to hear that stuff in my head. I didn't want to hear it and see it and had a lot of nightmares. I had nightmares and night sweats, I guess night terrors, as they called it, for a good 10 to 15 years. And so, you struggle with it. One of the struggles with PTS is lack of sleep because usually you try not to go to sleep, because you don't want to close your eyes because there's going to be a nightmare. Or when you get to sleep, you don't sleep well.

Tracey Brown:    00:08:55    And so that lack of sleep is really a huge thing that domino effects too,  irritability, anger put the fire off on things an inability to really take things in and plus your PTSD, you're in a constant state of fight, flight, or freeze. So, there's a lot of things physiologically going on with you that you don't even realize on a physiological level. So, there's a lot of stuff. So, my coping mechanism was to shut it off initially because I got out in 1987 and nobody was really talking about PTSD. Nobody was talking about, “Oh, how's your mental health?” My first resume, what skills do you have? And I put I'm an expert with a 45. That's not going to get you a lot of gigs.  A friend of mine sat me down and said, you don't put that on the resume, but in the military, that's a skillset, you know?

Scott DeLuzio:    00:09:54    So you coped by basically shutting everything off. And how did that allow you to function with this in society, at work, with your friends and family, things like that?

Tracey Brown:    00:10:06    Not well, not well! I felt like I was walking around numb even if I didn't numb it with something I was still in this numb state because I actually felt back at that time that if I were actually to even explore what was going on, I wouldn't be able to function at all in society. So, I was in a place with family and friends and society. I was in a place where I'm barely functioning now. I'm just getting through each day. Every day was just, “I just want to get through today.” And that's going from a place where you're actually a contributor and doing things and doing things to help people and serve people to a place where I just want to get through the day that in itself starts another spiral.

Tracey Brown:    00:10:58    So, I'm very fortunate. I have an amazing family. I have an amazing group of friends. They just didn't know what was going on in my head. So, in the book, the part of the process was really figuring out how to talk about what was going on, thinking that, and feeling like it's destroying me. I can't talk about it to somebody else because I think it'll destroy them. And so, one of the big fears that I didn't even realize was a fear, but I didn't want to hurt anybody else with the pains that I was feeling with the burdens that I had. I didn't want to put the burden on them. So how do you reconcile that? And so, for many, many, many years, I just got through the nightmares, got through the days, just trying to figure out how to navigate life. And that post, probably was about 10 years, maybe 12 years ago. Now that post was just like, “Oh shit, maybe there's something really going on here that I should probably take a look at. And so that was it. It was a journey of really, thinking how do I talk about this? I don't know how to do this.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:12:03    Right.  Absolutely. And that makes a lot of sense.  Was that the tipping point for you when you saw that Facebook post that made you go and seek out the help, was that kind of the tipping point?

Tracey Brown:    00:12:24    It was actually the seed. It was a seed that was planted because when I called that meeting, I was like, Oh, this is very interesting. All of a sudden you get that, Oh, shit moment. And you're like, wait a minute. There's something going on here. And I had a job and it's just like, I need to go to work now, you set it aside, but it's a seed that's planted inside of me. And so, I had the seed that was, okay, there's something that I need to look at. I had to look at that and I don't know if I'm going to survive looking at that because you feel like, whatever it is that's going on in you was killing you. And so I don’t know if I put something else on top of that as if that's just going to be less strong than what I'm doing, somebody just lock me up, put me somewhere that I'm not going to hurt me tomorrow or somebody else or shut down.

Tracey Brown:    00:13:12    So through certain friends and a desire to contribute to life. I really wanted to be a part of something, but I couldn't get out of myself. So, it was a seed that was planted and like any seed, there's always water that comes along with it. So, there'll be another watering and another water and another watering. And I decided to move forward in business and stuff. I was really realizing that I got so far in something, and then I couldn't quite break through to the other side, I'd either give up or whatever. And so, I just finally got really frustrated with that. And also, I had been told that I do have benefits through the VA. So that was another thing I didn't have any resources or any place to turn for help that somebody would maybe understand that.

Tracey Brown:    00:14:08    So serendipitously people would come into my life and somebody finally about three or four years ago came along and said, by the way. And she was an advocate and I'd be happy to help anybody to talk to either that person or a Veteran service organization. But if you don't even think you have benefits, you probably do. In 1989 was the first time that I actually called the VA. Because somebody said you do have benefits. And I'm like, okay. So, I called and I've come to learn that they were in disrepair back then. And a friend of mine, who's a purple heart recipient, he's so funny. He's like, I'm surprised they even answered the phone in 1989. But I said, do I have benefits and stuff? And they go, “well, you're not in our system.” And I'm like, “well, I served my country.” I didn't know what I didn’t know.  I didn’t know that you have to go from the military end of things, to the civilian end of things, which is the VA. You've got to make that bridge. Nobody told me that. I thought you just kind of mend. And so, for years I believe that I didn't even have benefits because I was told by the VA that I wasn't in their system.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:15:23    Yeah. And that's something that I think a lot of people transitioning out of the military, I think it's probably better now, but you know, especially back then, even before people just didn't realize that they necessarily had benefits or what those benefits were that they did have. And even for myself, when I was getting out of the military, I knew I had some benefits. I had served in Afghanistan, I had done a deployment. I knew I had some benefits through my service, but I couldn't put me out there and say, okay, this is what I have available to me necessarily. You had no idea. I almost had the feeling like I had to just try and apply for certain benefits and see if I got accepted. And if I did, currently, I have access to those benefits. And if I didn't, apparently, I don't. So where did you end up going for help for your PTSD? Did you end up discovering that you did have the benefits through the VA or did you end up going someplace else?

Tracey Brown:    00:16:32    I actually ended up going through the VA finally.  A friend of mine, like I said, she helps Veterans transition from military to civilian life. And she's like, “I'm telling you; you have benefits and here you gotta go here to get in there and then go in there. And I'm like, “Oh’, so she showed me the hoops and I jumped through and I have to say, they have some really great services for people that are dealing with PTS, that they're so specific. They get it. And mind you some are better than others. You know, I'm very fortunate. The VA here in Long Beach, I'm in Long Beach, California, and the VA here is phenomenal. They have an amazing mental health center and I would not have been able to write a book.

Tracey Brown:    00:17:23    I would not be able to do these podcasts. I wouldn't be able to do any of this. I would still be basically trying to get through each day and I really appreciate what they do and they just, like any government agency, they really need a kick in the pants to get their shit together. But they're getting there, you know? So, I encourage anybody. It's just like, if you have served, just go talk to a Veteran service organization, just look a VSO on online and you will find one and they are there to serve you. They're not a part of the VA, but they work with the VA. And that's a great place to start. I'm not sure about your benefits.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:18:07    A lot of these Veterans service organizations, like you said, they're not a part of the VA, but they work with the VA and they have people there who know the tricks and know all the loopholes and all this. They know what hoops to jump through for your particular situation. So, reach out to them because they can be a tremendous help to you, especially when you're trying to figure this stuff out on your own. And they write things in confusing language and it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Your situation might be a unique situation and do I qualify in this case and talk to somebody who's been there, who knows who's helped other people go through this type of stuff.  There’s a page on the VA's website that has a list of Veteran service organizations.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:18:59    It's actually like a PDF file that they update on a regular basis with a list of approved VSOC that can work with the VA and things like that. And there's all sorts of organizations. There are dozens of them. So, check out that page and see if you can look up an organization that might be near you or whatever. I know, like American Legion or VFW posts, they probably point you in the right direction.  If they don't have someone there themselves, but they can definitely help you out with that type of stuff too.  So, let's, let’s switch gears a little bit here.  You went to go get help and back in the days of your military career, there was definitely a stigma around mental health, and there was a lot of the just toughen up and stick it out, suck it up, that type of thing. I want to say that things have probably gotten a little bit better than it was back then. These days there's still a little bit of that attitude lingering around especially in the military.  So, there's a stigma there surrounding posttraumatic stress and stuff like that. So, what would you say to someone who feels like they need help, but don't want that negative stigma attached to them?

Tracey Brown:    00:20:25     I completely understand, I was there myself? It's just like, I don't want the label <inaudible>. And I think part of it is definitions. I'm big on definitions in my life. And one of the things that you see PTSD and posttraumatic stress disorder, I think we've said that this part of it, it really is just PTS. Everybody, every human being and even animals deal with stress after a stress, after a trauma, everybody does, we do it. We deal physically, physiologically, emotionally. We deal with it on every level. There is always some kind of stress after a trauma. Now, whether it’s ongoing, whether it's a chronic thing or depending upon the trauma and you can't judge a trauma, what I go through is completely different. I mean, we can go through the same trauma.

Tracey Brown:    00:21:28    We can experience it differently. Everybody is different. So, one of the things that I did for a long, long time, I was in combat. I wasn't getting shot at the time. What do I have to be traumatized about myself, on the things we went through? For somebody picking up a dead body may not bother them but pick up a 50 or a hundred of them and they might be or not. Everybody deals with their own <inaudible>. So, the first thing I would say to anybody, don't judge it. Don't put the judgment on the trauma, look at where you are and look at how you're functioning. And if you're not functioning I just looked around me and I go through a situation whether I was in traffic, whatever it was my reactions are not the same as other people; in Maine, it's generally the same, it wasn’t.

Tracey Brown:    00:22:25    I would fly off the handle for something that was a big reaction to that. You know, self-awareness is a big thing, but don't judge yourself. I would say try not to put a stigma on it. Try to understand that you <inaudible> stress after is very normal, just like fight, flight, or freeze. It's a normal thing that we go through. And some people sit in it for a week or a day or a year or years, but don't put a judgment on it. I don't like to say don't, but try not to; try to understand that one of the tools that I used was somebody told me, it's like, would you talk to a five-year-old the way that you're talking to yourself, your inner talk, “you should be over it, that was 30 years ago; you get over it.”

Tracey Brown:    00:23:17    And it's like, I would never say that to the five-year old “Oh, you skinned your knees that had happened five minutes ago, forget about it, get over it. I would never talk to five-year old like that, you know.  So, maybe talking a little kindlier is a way to navigate. That's always been a tough one for me, because I've always used tough love, suck it up and deal with it and move on. But you can't because you've got this block.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:23:46    I think I’ve talked about this in other episodes, but if you are having a problem of any sort whether you broke your arm or you had a concussion or whatever, you're going to stop and you're going to take care of yourself and it's not selfish to do that. If your job is to lift heavy things and move them and you have a broken arm; well, I hate to break the news to you, you're probably not going to be able to do your job very well. So, if you take the time to go and heal your arm, the proper way, you'll be able to get back to work much quicker and not have lingering problems that are associated with that. It just makes sense. Now, if you have a job where you're seeing dead bodies every day, or maybe not every day, but you know, on a regular enough basis, and you're off to pull them out of the water and you're dealing with terrible fires and other things like that, whether it's a first responder or military or whatever the case may be, you have to prepare yourself for that.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:24:48    You know, it's going to come at some point you don't know when or where, and that's another issue too, that could come up, is that surprise factor as in your case, you might have pulled up to a situation where you were expecting that there would be some survivors and it turns out there were none. And that's a surprise and it's a shock to your system as well. But if you didn't take the time to build up that resiliency in your own mind, then it's going to be harder to bounce back from that.  and same thing going forward once when you've experienced that trauma that seeing the dead bodies, or whatever the situation was going forward, it's going to be hard to do your job, knowing that I might be rolling up on a scene where there's more dead bodies, and I don't want to deal with that.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:25:43    So, if you're not able to handle that in a healthy manner, it's going to make it hard for you to do your job and hopefully people hear that message, especially in people who might be in a leadership position where they might have subordinates under them who might be dealing with this type of situation where they’ve had acts or exposure to traumatic events and you want those people to be able to do their job and do a good job. And if they are dealing with the mental health issues on top of also doing this difficult job, they're probably not going to do as good of a job as they would if they were able to help in the healthy way, handle the, the mental health issues.

Tracey Brown:    00:26:35    That's absolutely right. I don't know. I think, for us to be really helpful in this world and contribute in this world, it's really important for us to allow our leaders and allow those first responders and allow these people that are serving us to be served without stigma.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:26:55    What did you end up doing after going through your treatment onto be able to reconnect with people or find a purpose in your own life?

Tracey Brown:    00:27:07    That's a great question now. It's really interesting because it took a lot once I went through the therapy that I went through, I felt as though I didn't have to keep a secret anymore. I don't know if that makes sense, but the trauma and all this stuff, and all the pains that I was going through, there's a lot of shame around that. And so, you tend to hide those things. And so, you're never allowed to fully be seen.  There's a great woman, who's got a really wonderful thing called a call to courage. Her name is Renee Brown, and you've probably heard of her.  She has one of the greatest things. When I heard that it was like, “Oh my gosh, the only way that we can really reconnect with people is to allow ourselves to be seen, is to see others and be seen because otherwise relationships don't go very deep.”

Tracey Brown:    00:28:02    And for many years, after getting out of the Coast Guard, people could only see so much of me. I'd only let them see so much because of the shame that I had around all the other crap it's like, “okay, you can see this part of me. You can see where I'm doing well and I'm working out, I'm doing this, but you don't get to see these dark places. You don't get to see this stuff, which unfortunately it was a very large part of my existence at that point in time.” And so, they only got to see a small portion of me. So, the reconnecting is really in the being seen. And that's really, really scary when you've got, what you think are a lot of secrets, even though I talked to my friends and they're like, “yeah, there was something going on there”, but I was pretty much oblivious. It's good. So, allowing seeing myself first and learning about that helped me to take the steps, to allow myself to be seen. And in that came the connection.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:28:57    Yeah. And that's one of the things that I tried to do on this podcast, by sharing stories like yours, to allow people to be seen, to be heard, I guess, in this case, to share their stories and their side of things.  We were talking about this a little bit before we started recording, but that lets people realize that they're not alone.  Other people who are hearing these stories, they might resonate with a story like yours, for example, or mine or any of the other guests that I have on the show.  They might resonate with that and realize that they're not alone, that there are other people who have experienced these same types of traumas. There are things that can be done to get you through this.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:29:47     These issues are temporary.  We can get you through this, get the help that you need to get you over that hurdle and a lot of times people might see them as being a permanent situation where they're never going to fix a situation they're never going to get better or whatever, but with the right treatment, whether it’s therapy or medications, or things like that, you can usually get through a lot of this stuff, and live a happy life and not have to suffer with what it is that you're dealing with.

Tracey Brown:    00:30:28    One of the things that I mentioned in the book and even mentioned with people, I know it's even if the thought of therapy is scary to you, I encourage people. Find someone you trust and at least talk to them, start with a baby step, start somewhere. But talk to somebody, tell somebody your pain, tell somebody your shame, or talk to somebody about your fears and find somebody that will be kind to you and try it because I'm telling you just saying things out loud and it sounds cliché but you're not alone. It seems so cliche to me for so many years, but really, you're not. And knowing that somebody else has gone through this is a huge comfort.

Tracey Brown:    00:31:16    It's hugely beneficial, but just saying things out loud takes a weight off of you. It takes this burden, and it lightens it. And every time you say it, it lightens the burden more. And if you can get somebody that understands and can navigate you through that, it lightens the burden even more. And so, if we can keep lightening this burden,  I just think that our Veterans and our first responders have so much more to give and so much more to serve. And I think they have so much more that they want to give and serve, and they feel, I think myself, I know, I felt like I was shut down. I was boxed in; I didn't know how to express myself anymore. And just getting that freedom was huge.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:32:03    And I know for my own personal experience, when I first got back from Afghanistan, I was having a rough time. And ended up calling the Vet Center to get some help to talk with someone and just the act of picking up the phone and calling and making an appointment and verbalizing, that I'm having a tough time and talking about what it was that I was going through. When I hung up that phone, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I'm not carrying this by myself anymore. Someone else is there, that's their job. They're there to help you. They're happy to do it and help you through the situation that you're going through. And as soon as I hung up that phone, it really did feel like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:32:59    Didn't mean that I was instantly cured or in a magical sense or anything like that. But it was like, I still have to carry this thing, but I don't have to carry it alone anymore. I have somebody else who can help me out and carry it. So, it's not quite as heavy of a load to carry anymore. So,  you know, I really do encourage people to follow in your footsteps, following my footsteps and just pick up the phone or whatever schedule an appointment with someone or if you don't want to go that route, talk to a friend or find somebody that you can trust that you can talk to and have a conversation like that. So, Tracey, it is been a pleasure speaking with you today and hearing about your story and your background and the journey that you went through.  I briefly mentioned in the beginning that you have written a book and I’d like for you to maybe tell us a little bit about that book and let people know where they can go to find out more about it and where to get the book.

Tracey Brown:    00:34:18    Yeah, the book is called Rescue to Recovery. Veteran's Story of Hidden Scars and Personal Discoveries. And it really is that just that it's my journey on how I came to understand where I was and get through it. And it was the beginning really. I believe that we all have a purpose on this planet and a lot of times these traumas are what shut us down. And so, the book is my journey, but it's the beginning part of the journey. And to me, the whole point is to reconnect with family, with friends, with life, with dreams, with things that we want to do, and the reconnection, and really it all comes down to we all have a dream or a desire or something that we want to accomplish in this life, even if it's just, I just want to breathe and be free and not have pain.

Tracey Brown:    00:35:17    You know, my heart, that's a great aspiration, but it all comes down to once you start, once you realize that. And I think, and it's not just the first responders, I think a lot of people have a lot of traumas that they're dealing with or not dealing with that are holding them back from the greater things that they can do in their life. And so, the book, the journey, but at the end of the book is the question of what do you want in this life? And what do you want in this time that you're here and legally and ethically and morally, what are you willing to do to get it? You know, for me, it's like I wanted more; I wanted more than just the pain I wanted more than just the nightmares.

Tracey Brown:    00:35:55    I wanted more than just getting through the day. I wanted to be able to contribute somehow. And I think our first responders and our Veterans are those people that stepped up already they really wanted to be a part of something they really wanted to help. They really wanted to serve. And I think that they still have that desire in them, but they've been shut down by these traumas. So, let's take a look at the traumas, get that out of the way so we can move forward into the things that we really want and then define what do you want? You know, so my life has really shifted from, writing the book because I really want people to start asking that question, what do you want and what am I willing to do to get it? And also, now I not only have the book, but I do consulting.

Tracey Brown:    00:36:37    I help people find their path and I help people find ways to express that stuff, different paths. It's like, “Hey this is a way that you can go, that you can really contribute or that you can do this and really contribute.” And so, it's just been a natural progression for me to serve in that way. So yeah, the book is a journey and it gives some practical things. There are some stories, there's some Coast Guard stories in there because you can't write a book without story. And so, there's some good stories in there. And I just hope it really helps people to go first. You know, like you said, understand that they're not alone, that this is really normal stuff. Stress after trauma is normal, fight flight, or freeze are normal. These are normal physiological and emotional reactions. So, you're not crazy. You're not different than everybody else. You're just dealing with it the way that you're dealing with it and there is help for that. And so that's the hope of the book to help people to do what I can to do this. And not only that I can actually go back to my dreams and follow them. So that's my hope.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:37:48    That's great. And where can people go to find out more about where to get the book and the consulting work that you do?

Tracey Brown:    00:37:58    Yeah. They can go to my website, it's, they can go there. And the book is for sale there. And also, they can contact me and if they want to talk or go through some consulting and I'm pretty reasonable as far as my fees are concerned. So, I don't like to kill people and stuff like that. So yeah, they can contact me and send me an email and we start the process that way.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:38:28    Perfect. Okay. And there will be links to all of this in the show notes too. So, anyone who is in the car driving, please don't get into an accident trying to write this stuff down, click on it later. So, thank you again for joining us and sharing your story and telling us about your journey that you went through. So, thank you again.

Tracey Brown: Thank you so much, Scott. I really appreciate it.

Scott DeLuzio:  Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website, We're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ Drive On Podcast.


  1. John Strickland on 30 September 2020 at 11:25

    Thanks, Tracey, for telling your story. I have ordered your book and look forward to reading it.

  2. John Strickland on 24 November 2020 at 14:04

    I have read Tracey’s book and highly recommend it to anyone with a history of Post Traumatic Stress or their support person. I recognized myself several times as she tells her story. Some things linger and just do not go away. Discovering the path to get help is a very important step. If you have not already done so, take that step. You will be a better person for having done so.

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