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The Jigsaw Aftermath

Did you know that depression affects fewer during war than in peacetime?  I know this because I read a study about it.  During war, you rub the sleep from your eyes with a sense of purpose.  You know what you have to do and why.  The larger picture may be frightening, but your day-to-day struggle empowers direction and drive.  You don't have the time to think about what you are worth, or what to do with your life, your focus is keeping alive.  Amid chaos, every single move you make is loaded with meaning.

I survived the hardest year of my life, thus far.  It wasn't the hours I put in at the office, or finding that tiny lump in my chest, it was internalizing my parents’ separation and the self-loathing I experienced as Captain Lieutenant of the ACOD ranks like a General shouting silently but proud about generalizing "adult child of divorce" in some way, one soldier at a time.

Almost immediately after hearing the information and before it was news, I entered into some sort of crisis mode and nothing mattered but the well being of my immediate family.  My job came second, my social life disappeared (I am a hermit), my life-long aspirations were put on hold, and my only goal was to work through the devastation and come out alive. 

My life was drowning in unknowns.I was at war with myself and the background racket echoed like a broken record, not a deafening noise but one could go nuts.  I was confused, I was scared, I began conversing with my loony self and I had no clue what my future would look like.  

Since, I have made some form of peace with the idea.  I stopped fighting reality.  My world was torn apart and I know I have to piece it back together.  I'm ready to pick up the pieces, find my rhythm again.  I am prepared for my transformation back to normal, but I've been at war for so long that I don't remember what normal is supposed to look like.  Surrounded by pieces of what used to be my life, what were my dreams, what made me happy, I am not sure whether those remnants of my past truly belong to me. 

Everything has changed.  But really, nothing has changed.  The cold and ugly reality of it all is that the only thing that has actually changed is me.

I am an ACOD vet without a war to fight.  Left with the aftermath of divorce, I am still drowning in unknowns.  I came out alive, but my survival produced a different person.  Without an emergency to rise to, you have to create goals that have meaning.  The problem being, those things that used to have meaning now seem like insignificant rubble.  I used to question what do to with my life, but now I’m left asking, who am I?


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