"I" is truly a lonely word


Defeating the Monster
Bitter – So full of pain
Fear of going insane
No one else to blame
Conceal all the shame

On the edge – fall to fall
My heart seemingly does stall
Misery – my name does call
He that I am – I do appall

Besieged – I battle hard as I might
Complicated – wrong from right
Ominous the day – the night
My soul yearns to take flight

Times of yore I cannot sever
A part of my persona – forever
Obstacles – I must climb over
Defeat the Monster – Will I never?

The above poem is one of several that was written during a dark period about 8 to 10 years ago.  A time in my life when I was filled with anger, regret and pain.  I had and have physical pain (I’m getting older, everything hurts.)  But the pain I’m speaking of is “Heart Felt” – “Soulful” pain.  The kind you have in the very core of your being.  The kind of pain that causes you to make bad decisions.  It doubles you over backward and makes you blind.  Typically we (men) don’t cry or try to work through our pain.  We – I had become accustomed to holding it in and letting it eat away at me.  It festered and infected me with sin.  Sinful thoughts led to sinful actions and of course these sinful actions became sinful habits and hang-ups.  My sin, my attitude and behavior was contagious.  People closest to me were affected.  I lashed out (and still do at times), I wanted others to feel the anguish I felt.  I wanted to share my pain.  Misery truly does desire company.

I consistently took my medications like a good trooper, attended every PTSD group meeting and kept my Psychiatry appointments.  Most times I would come home from a meeting feeling worse.  The anxiety level was extremely high.  Other Vets expressed lots of rage, disappointment and frustration.  Many, to include myself, would avoid painful issues or attempt to justify previous questionable or ethical actions.  Healing seemed impossible.  Managing a Mental Disorder, all the emotions, all the hurts, habits and hang-ups is an impossible task to perform on your own.  And that is exactly what I was trying to do. 

During an interview for a job, I was asked the following two questions:  “What would you consider to be your strong point?”  “What would you consider to be your weak point?”  I answered each of these questions in the same manner.  “I am my own worst enemy.”  Of course, I elaborated a bit by explaining how I held myself accountable, how I scrutinized my work and my performance.  Failure and poor productivity was not an option.  After explaining how self-critical and unforgiving I was, I was sure I would not get hired.  But I did. 

Did you notice how many times the pronoun ‘I’ was used in the above paragraph?  There in that pronoun; I, me, myself, lies the problem…


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