You’re sitting alone at the bottom of a dark hole while the voices of your loved ones sound like faded, incoherent white noise. Anger swells, then remorse, then a sense of falling into oblivion and not being able to stop. Your eyes have tunnel vision. All the feelings you thought you had overcome from two decades of war have snarled themselves back to life and now you’re face-to-face again.
You snap out of it when you hear your child repeat themselves for the 8th time that they need more milk. Like a drone, you fill up the cup, hand it to them, and then with your hands holding your body against the counter, milk top still in your hand, you’re back in your hole. You see your daughter‘s face on the faces of crying children overseas. You remember the kids whose innocence was lost 6,000 miles away - dead with an AK as long as them, wrapped around their limp body.
The demons are back.
I’ve spoken to many veteran friends over the past week with similar feelings and stories. The veteran suicide hotline has skyrocketed as well, so know that you aren’t alone. Finding someone to talk to about these things really helped me. Be it a fellow veteran or a therapist, find someone. I went the therapy route AND talk to friends who also did the therapy route. Is it as sissy as you think it’s going to be? Yeah bro, I cried like a baby pretty much every week. But let me tell you - it helped so much.
Until therapy I put up this confident facade - and why wouldn’t I? I was a daggon Marine! Yut! But everything I did in my life was to run away from something. The confidence was actually just walls built from being screwed over so many times in life. Why did I join the Marine Corps? Because it's the hardest, most badass military branch on the planet - I was running away to prove myself. To prove I could do anything. And we did - whatever branch you are, you did it. We overcame the naysayers and made them eat their words. But that confidence is still masking those feelings you pushed down and bottled up. Those are the emotions overflowing currently like Mentos in a Coke. We have to learn to actually deal with these feelings instead of waiting for the foam to clear and screwing the cap back on. Because guess what, that top will keep exploding open until there's no Coke left - until you're an empty shell. And that's a dangerous place to be.
BUT...what now? As Randy Newman sang, it's lonely at the top. You are elite and did what others feared to do. We joke about the National Defense Ribbon, but it takes a
special kind of psychopath the join the military during a time of war. No matter what any haters tell you, YOU'RE BETTER than other people. Soft, paste eaters want to sing Kumbaya and say we are all equal and no one is better than another.
That's garbage and those people will always be losers - they will always be at the bottom, and they will die with regret. Screw them.
Civilians don't know how to relate to us - they don't understand the grief we feel for our fallen elite. They care and empathize, but they don't feel it in their bones - it doesn't flow through their blood. It's because we are a different breed. Skin tone doesn't matter, sex doesn't matter, sexual orientation doesn't matter - when shit hits the fan we all have the same ice flowing through our veins. We sweat, bleed, cry, and suffer together. We are closer than we are with our own families. We are different. We are elite. We are envied by the masses.
Now that I'm done stroking our egos, let me make a plea. Take care of yourself you elite bastards. Even Ferraris need an oil change. You're worth $400k dead, imagine what you're worth alive, and you don't even recognize it. You're more than a Ferrari - people would take a bullet for you. Don't pull that trigger.
Stay frosty Warriors 🤙🏼