This morning just as with every other morning, I smile and I am thankful for another day. I woke up with a clear mind with no worries or thoughts to alter my mindset. I am not one bit concerned about how much work is ahead of me today. My mind is free. It was not always like this.
I joined the military when I was 18 years of age. I remember watching the events of 9/11 occur on television. I was sent overseas twice: once in the middle of my four year term and the second time was about a year from the end of my service contract. During those time periods I was married and that was not working out so well. It was inevitable for the marriage to not work out; I was young and was not ready for marriage and neither was she. Then I learned of my brother’s passing. These events seemingly happened one after the other. It was too much. I remember having only a year in the military and thinking about how happy I will be when I can see my assigned duty station in my rear view mirror. I would day dream of it and make plans of what I would do when I “got out”. Life seemed so simple during my first year of service. I received a paycheck, somebody would tell me when to go to work, and they even fed me; all in a days work. It was simple. Things became complicated after. The day finally came, when I could see my assigned duty station for the last time in my rear view mirror. I remember my first year thinking how happy I would be, this was not the case. I was relieved to finally finish my contract of military service, but I was not whole. I was not happy, I was defeated. I had nothing. My first marriage was ending, my brother was no longer here in the flesh, my family was torn apart from the residue of war. I would spend nights alone in the fetal position wanting anyone’s company. I was alone. I would wake up most mornings still intoxicated and hung over. On the outside from the eyes of spectators, I was a well put-together military man. On the inside I was crumbled. I finally was able to get away from the over use of alcohol, but I picked up another comforting habit. I would eat and eat. I would eat junk food and I gained weight. I slipped further into depression. I remember spending my weekends locked in my own apartment. I would not go out. It was tiring to put on a mask and be who I thought people wanted me to be. I wanted people to see that I was okay and not struggling internally. I did not want anyone’s pity, because I did not want to be reminded of anything military related. I did not want to have to speak of what I was going through or been through. Every morning was robotic for me. My body was controlling my mind, not my mind controlling my body. I was on autopilot. I was going through the motions. I did not have enough money to watch cable so I bought DVD series and put it on for background noise. I did not want to listen to music, because music made me vulnerable. I avoided music, I was afraid to hear a song that would crumble me. My days were alone and dark. I had no one. Then I saw her.