I was reading something recently and it said that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything comes at a cost. This is true. But to go deeper, I would suggest that in our lives, Newton’s Third Law of Motion is more apt: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Not only is there no such thing as a free lunch, but everything we do has a response, not just in physics, but in life as well.
Everything I’ve done in my life has had an impact to my surroundings and or to myself, be it subtle or profound. This was a topic of discussion in my most recent session with my psychologist. I’ve been seeing a new psychologist for about four weeks now and I think it’s going well. He’s kind of a dick, but I like him. Here’s why:
Doc: “What do you want to talk about today?”
Me: “I don’t know, what do you want to know?”
Doc: “That’s up to you, it’s whatever you want to talk about.”
Me: “I don’t want to talk about anything. Why don’t you ask questions and I’ll answer them.”
Doc: “Then why are you here?”
Me: “Because I need to be.”
Doc: “Ok. Then what do you want to talk about?”
Dick, right? No, quite the opposite. He’s making me think throughout the week of what I need to talk about instead of just seeing on my calendar that I have an appointment. This is an approach I had not experienced before. But I can see how it works. However, with this approach, there will be reactions. When I talk about something that happened, it causes me to think about it even after therapy. I spent time trying not to think about certain things, but there those things are again, rolling around in my head, bouncing off the walls of my mind. This is the reaction to this approach to therapy, I have to get it all out and deal with it and learn to put it back where it goes.
Same thing with my writing. I’ve shared a lot of stuff on my blog. Some of it good, some of it not so good. But some things will never be shared here. Each time I write about something, I experience the emotions again. The hardest one I’ve written was my post Battlefield (February 2016) where I walked you through my attempted suicide. It took six months after the attempt for me to be able to verbalize it like that. It was very rough. Re-living that time disrupted my sleep for days, changed my mood, and gave me a feeling of vulnerability. But on the other hand, it gave me an outlet. Writing has become my therapy. It may sometimes take me to bad places in my mind, but I’m getting it all out and learning how to put it back where it goes.
One of the most obvious reactions to any of my actions would be serving my country. I volunteered both times I deployed (once to Iraq, once to Afghanistan). The reactions for those actions are very profound. I traded my physical wellness and my sanity. I have problems with anger, relationships, crowds, driving, focusing, memory, anxiety, loud noises, and memory (ha ha, I put that in there twice because I still do have some of my sense of humor, though it’s probably darker than it’s ever been before). I can’t run anymore, I have problems breathing, and my body aches.
But the thing I miss the most is who I used to be. I used to always be able to find something good in most circumstances, make the best of any situation, and find something to enjoy in each day. I don’t see those things in me near as much anymore. I try. I fake it sometimes, but I’m far from the old me. I traded all of that that to go war. But I am still here and I know that some traded their whole lives to go war. I only traded part of mine. A lot of us that have traded part of our lives have had thoughts at one point or another that it would have been better to trade our whole life, instead of living with the pain and craziness of the reaction of our action. I was one of those people. I was one that tried to finish the job myself, like 22 other veterans a day do. I had a very hard time coming to grips with the fact that I was no longer the ‘me’ I used to be. I’m getting better with that now, but it has been a hard process to go through.
And I will continue to navigate this process. My life will continue to be subjected to Newton’s Third Law of Motion. I will continue to get things out and deal with them and learn how to put them back where they go. Thank you for taking the time to read the Story of My Life. I welcome your feedback.
Oh, and I have a lot of stuff to talk about during my next appointment with the doc.
Good day and God bless.