This story isn't over after all.
Since I was discharged from the army last November, I've gone through a difficult cycle of emotions. At times, when I'm the busiest or the distractions of life and relationships take center stage, my time in Baghdad and Robert's death are just significant events in my past. There are times, though, where it becomes more than that. Sometimes the stream of thoughts and questions become so constant that they almost hijack my senses.
Now as I'm coming up on two years since my injury and one year since my discharge, the feelings are surfacing once again. It started with a renewed pattern of thought. Thinking about school, thinking about the army, thinking about Robert. I booked plane tickets for November for my first trip to see his grave at Arlington. Gradually, the thoughts begin to intrude more and more; not just thoughts about the army and Robert but questions about what I did, what I should have done and of course, the deadly and unforgiving what if's. For the most part I retain my rationality. I know the sensible point of view and try to explain it to my self. I tell the thoughts that they're wasting they're time cause there's no reason I would take them seriously. Still, gradually they get me.
I don't know what it is at first. I'm not getting enough sleep but it's only cause I'm not going to bed when I should. It's okay though, I'll make it up tomorrow, or this weekend. I don't though. I'm staying up when there's no reason to or when I do go to bed, I can't fall asleep right away. Most of the time I'm not even thinking of anything significant. I get tired and irritable, some times I'm so tired that I'm sure I'll be in bed at 8:00; at 10:00 I don't feel so tired.
It comes and goes. It takes a few weeks to get bad. Eventually as the fatigue worsens, the feelings get more intense. Perhaps emboldened by my weakened mental state, the feelings start harassing me more frequently till they become my default line of thinking.
I don't know, as I type this it's sounding, in some ways, worse than it really is. Still it's a significant issue. I've been seeing a vet counselor on and off for a while now and I'll be starting to go to a group meeting soon. It's just something that I'll have to accept as a very real and significant part of my life. As such, I'm going to start writing in Rebelcoyote again. Not often but whenever I feel like this side of my life needs an outlet. I've had a few experiences that I feel like I should write about. I know that this is a problem that people have dealt with for a long time and now, a whole new generation of people are dealing with it. Who knows, maybe this will help some of them as well.