The world is constantly changing. In fact, change is the only thing that I have come to count on. But, when you leave to a theatre of combat you miss all the change. It is almost as if your world stands still. While your children grow and develop, while your family builds a routine that no longer includes you. While the newest iPhone goes to market. While movies are released and music is created and businesses open. You miss it all. I left the day after my son’s 2nd birthday, 2 months after the birth of my daughter, 6 months after purchasing our first home. I came home to a 3 year old son, and a 1 year old daughter that didn’t know me, and a wife that had developed a routine that didn’t involve me. It was a very hard time for me. I didn’t sleep well, actually I didn’t sleep at all. Maybe once every 3 or 4 days, for a few hours at best. I still don’t sleep well and have used multiple prescriptions to try to help, with little success. DoTERRA Vetiver has a permanent home on my night stand to help with sleep. It only took my children about a week to become afraid of me. I was hard to live with. Angry, crabby and filled with hate. Often starring into nothing, physically present but mentally gone. The VA called it an adjustment disorder at first. Now, almost 3 years later they call it PTSD.
I injured my lower back and knee overseas. Along with that came acute and chronic nerve issues and now a problem with my hip. Along with all of that fun I was also diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which the VA believes developed from an acute infection acquired in Afghanistan. Thanks a lot Bin Laden.
Looking back on it now. I can tell you that I was clearly depressed. My outlook on life was very negative. I remember having days where I could barely get out of bed and Melissa had to help me get dressed. At times tears would pour down my face as I as sitting because I was in so much pain. It is a horrible feeling to believe that you will never be able to play catch with your son, or be able to help your daughter learn how to do a handstand. I was defeated. I had given up. The person I saw in the mirror was not me, rather a hollow shell of my former self.