Finding purpose after the military feels almost impossible, doesn't it? It's not that you don't have skills to translate into civilian work. It's the underlying sense of why you are doing it that feels so off. Once you've been responsible for life and death, millions of dollars worth of equipment, or leading others into and through … Continue reading How to Create a Meaningful Life After the Military
It's that heaviness deep in your chest. That gaping void where part of who you were before is permanently gone. It's the sense of having done things that can never be undone, a burden of being responsible for having taken life and for having lost it. A burden you know is yours to carry. It's … Continue reading When You Feel As If You Don’t Belong
You miss warfighting. Miss war, miss your team, miss having life and death within your power. Miss the cohesion, the shared misery, the trust. Life was simple, fucking hard, and combat required all of you. Now nothing requires all of you. Warfighting is a spiritual calling, which means that tug on your soul doesn't go away just because … Continue reading When You Miss War
One of my Soldiers learned today that he lost a soldier to suicide. One of my Marines attended the funeral this week of a brother who went Home early. I'm sure there are many more of you who are dealing with this kind of loss right now. And many of you who are contemplating killing … Continue reading Suicide: Stop Believing the Lie That No One Cares
We spend a lot of time thinking that we need to let go of the past. "Let it go". "Move on." "Leave it behind you." "Try not to think about it." "That's not who you are anymore." These are phrases that are well intentioned and often eventually work for broken hearts, break-ups, job losses, and … Continue reading When the Past Feels More Real Than the Present
Okay, so the words themselves mean the same thing in your mind. Fucked up. Pain. Shit. Issues. Doesn't matter what you call it, right? Who cares? What if how you think of it is keeping you stuck? No, I'm not being "a writer" here and picking on words. On the surface, it doesn't matter how you refer to the … Continue reading Combat PTSD: F***ed Up or Wounded?
From the time I was five, I have lived with a body that subjects me to pain. Severe headaches at age five, joint pain that kept me on the sofa at age nine. Then an adolescence of debilitating fatigue, sensitivity to sound and temperatures, allover muscle and joint aches, flu-like symptoms. It would last for weeks, months … Continue reading PTSD: When No One Believes Your Pain is Real
You come home from combat angry. Stupid shit sets you off. You lash out at people you care about only to see pain and fear flash through their confused eyes. Sometimes you start fights on purpose. Usually, you just react. A stupid driver makes you snap, before you know it you're in a blind rage. In … Continue reading I Came Back from Combat, Why the #@!% Am I So Angry!?!?
The situation with ISIS is beyond infuriating. Their actions are designed to incite rage and blatantly offend the warfighter and the goodness within you. Their presence, however, is not surprising. In the big picture of the world, they are a miniscule force, creating havoc in a place that, for the most part, no one in … Continue reading Stop Letting ISIS Control You
It lines your inside, this presence you've become so familiar with that you're not sure where you end and it begins. It's just... there. Always there. Images. Scents. Sounds. Fear. Memories. Pain. You try to shut it out. It returns. You lock it up inside. It gets out. It wants you to stare into its deceiving eyes. And when you … Continue reading What to Do When You Just Can’t Talk About It
You came back different. Changed. You can't really describe it, but you're not yourself. Not who you used to be. You're angry. Blow up at stupid shit. Lack other emotions. Feel numb. Tired. Disinterested in stuff that used to be interesting. Tense. Sleepless. Have nightmares that scare the hell out of you. Forget shit. Can't … Continue reading PTSD, TBI, Sex and Relationships
You're thinking about it. Ending your life. Stopping the pain. Doing it because you think it's best for those around you. You're tired of your shit being the cause of other people's pain. Tired of fighting demons. Tired of... just tired. If you are in imminent risk of ending your life, please call 911 or the … Continue reading Before You Kill Yourself, Read This