There are days when I absolutely abhor being me. Introspectively, it is not that I am a brutish individual, nor is it that I suffer from schizophrenia or psychosis. Further analysis reveals that I am loyal, friendly, steadfast and other “good” traits. I possess the ability to sit in a room by myself and not commit suicide due to self-loathing. It makes no sense to me, why I dislike my personage.

When confronted with days of dark thoughts, I find that my self-hatred stems from my inability to process certain emotions. Situations arise that I can’t impact, therefore it renders me impotent to change it. Fear plagues my mind on dark days, and there is no way for me to shut it off. Silence is as deafening as a cannon blast to the face. Anxiety creates scenarios that are not true. My greatest challenge since returning from war has been the battle to retain my sanity. “If I can make it one more day….”

Every day is not like this. There are moments of ecstasy. Days blow by like chaff on the wind, then out of my blind spot comes the darkness. It doesn’t matter if it is a near or far ambush, both hinder my forward progress. Maybe it is my imagination playing tricks on me, but every unexpected sound seems like a threat. Paranoia spurs hyper vigilance into action. It is just a trick of the mind or is it….?

There are days when I truly abhor who I am.

There is another side of this story.

Some days, I truly like who I am. The dark times has forged a strength to try again. It has developed in me a heart that loves on a deeper scale. Emotionally, I am stronger than I have ever been. Mentally, I have been pushed to the limit, but I am still standing tall. Physically, I have ailments, but I am in better shape than most.

I am blessed beyond measure. My life has not been easy, but I am still living. Thriving even. Complaints have no place in my blessed life. I don’t have everything I want, but my needs are fulfilled. What else could I ask for? My children are beautiful, healthy, and talented. I have more now than I ever have. Who foresaw a day when I would have four vehicles? Another house? 20 acres of land? After losing everything, I have been blessed to start over anew.

Sure, PTSD is a horrible affliction. However, it doesn’t define who I am. Nightmares plague me most nights, but I get sleep. Epilepsy doesn’t keep me from living my life. Neither pain, illness nor behavioral disorder keeps me from being thankful for the goodness in my life.

“You will never be well.” These words were spoken to me by my doctor. Okay. Then I will live my life without limitations. The key is to recognize that if people are going to limit you, you must unloose the shackles which seek to hold you back. Why be a slave to other people’s expectations?

Be bold. Stand tall and unflinching in the face of adversity. You can do it.

29 November 2019

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