By Eric Beach
I'm moving my pen. I've been staring at blank pages, watching a blinking cursor on my face book status, staring into a camera silent praying for my voice to speak. But nothing comes out. My fingers won't type, my pen isn't inspired to move. So now I'm making it move. These are uncharted waters. But I'm desperate.
My heart is heavy. I'm lost in mental paralysis. As I'm writing, my pen just ran out of ink... Of course it did... I'll finish this stream of consciousness in notes on my phone. Where there's a will there's a way.
This is my first day home after a 3 week experience unlike any I've ever taken part in. I was fortunate to support a class of veterans during the 3 week service dog/trauma resiliency program through ThisABLE Veteran.
This program is where I received my service dog Maddie in 2014 and took my first steps that have led me to this moment.
During the last 3 weeks, There were times I didn't think it was possible to feel more alive. I laughed, I cried, I healed, I helped, I challenged, I filmed a documentary, I yelled, I explored who I was, and held the space with wounded warriors. It was an honor. But still, sadness comes.
I wonder. I wonder if a day will come where these lows level out. I wonder if a day will come when my family can get off this roller coaster, not that they'd ask to. I've grown weary of looking into their eyes and seeing the pain I've caused. It's like looking into a reflection of my soul trapped in their eyes. A burden they never asked for but nonetheless is now there's to carry. And they carry it faithfully.
My mind is consumed with so many thoughts, if I could slow it down and focus on one, it'd be a good start.
Religion, elections, my purpose, the project, blogs, videos, parenting, marriage, PTSD, suicide rates and the debated statistic, videos condemning the obsession with the number 22, the perception of veterans by veterans... The oversimplification of everything and the poisonous, toxic infection that is certainty about the uncertain. Is it possible you're wrong? Lord knows I've been wrong.
Maybe I'll make a list of questions, or maybe you, the reader, can ask me questions and I can answer them from the perspective of THIS veteran. Maybe I just need some direction so I can unlock my heart and pour it out. I can't be silent anymore. I just need help to find focus.
Silence is the killer of souls and the protector of shame.
I have things to say, but at the moment am frozen. Help me. What do you want to know? I won't claim to speak for all vets, but I can speak for myself. The dialogue starts now. Please join in.