“Why can’t I move past this?”
This question and many others caused me no end of stress as I progressed through my walk in darkness. The more I attempt to wrap my head around the abysmal state of my life, the more I realize just how powerless I am.
“You will never overcome the mess that you have made. There is no hope, you might as well quit now!”
The first step in righting your ship is to stop the negative self-talk. At some point you must realize that when the chips are down, you must believe in yourself (also, it helps to believe in God). The more I belittle myself, the worse my predicament becomes.
Everything that I touch implodes. Take my marriage for example, the more I try to correct the mistakes I make, the worse the situation becomes.
“Stop being an idiot! Don’t take everything so personally! Be pleasant!”
Nothing works in my favor. If I attempt to be pleasant, I take her snide remarks personally. If I don’t take things personally and I was pleasant to boot, I act like an idiot. There is never any peace in my marriage.
Sometimes you are the windshield, and other days you are the bug. It is a fact of life that no good deed goes unpunished. Another truth is that when it rains, it pours. In my walk in darkness, these two truths are a constant.
“I don’t need anyone or anything. I got this!”
The truth is that I think I can handle whatever life throws at me. Boy, am I ever wrong! The strongest people need someone to lean on. This lesson I learn the hard way. When life finally gets done beating the brakes off me, and I lie broken and battered on the floor, I realize how powerless I am.
“God are you there? Do you hear me?”
My questions often had no answers. it seems that the more questions I ask, the only answer I ever receive is silence. I hear that silence is golden. This is not true, especially when you are suicidal. I feel tormented by the endless silence that is my only companion. My prayers feel like they bounce off the wall. They seemingly go nowhere.
Speaking of prayers, I hear that the effective maximum range of thoughts and prayers is zero meters. However, in my experience they are highly effective. Mine must not be, however, I know some people who can touch the throne of grace on my behalf. Dialing my mother’s number, I ask her to pray for me.
“Mom, I don’t know what to do. Everything is breaking apart. How do I make my wife love me again? Why won’t anything go right?” My mother listens as her oldest son unburdens his heart.
“Son, I don’t know. I know that God hears every prayer that is uttered. Lean on Him and let Him be your refuge from the storm.”
I try. Somehow though, I can never break through. Perhaps, it is my failure to follow through. Or perhaps, it is the fact that I prayed once, and when it didn’t happen the way that I think it should, I quit praying. Either way, I am still sinking in quicksand, with no way out.
Everywhere I look, people are thriving. My squad is doing great things in preparing to head to Afghanistan. I am lost back here on Rear Detachment (we can’t deploy so we clean among other things). I feel useless. In all my years as a soldier, I have never felt like I serve no purpose. My Medical board is proceeding, but I don’t want out of the Army. It’s out of my hands now.
“SGT Freeman, you are unfit for duty. You are hereby processed for separation from the United States Army.”
Standing at attention, I briskly salute my commander. I turn and exit her office in a daze. This situation presents a new question.