Normalcy

I’ve been sitting on this project for some time now and thought today might be a good day to post it.  It’s an exploration of a combat veterans everyday life and struggle.  I don’t think there is much else that needs to be said.  Thank you for reading:

Some days are better than others.  It’s hard to know what each morning is going to bring.  With every breath you hope for the next.  Just keep breathing, the rest is easy.  You tell yourself that anyway.

Just get through this.

This feeling creeps up at random.  What brings it might be something small, something mundane.  It’s subtle at first and there is little reason as to why it’s happening.

The mind wanders a little too far and a memory of some small detail leads to another memory of something a little larger and a little larger and a little larger, just waiting for that spark to let it engulf your day.

Then the spark hits the fuel.

Your mind races from moment to moment, memory to memory.  Sometimes the memories don’t coincide, other times you’re reliving a day as you live through the current one.  It’s not like one replaces the other, but more like it’s playing on the television in the background and you can’t help but watch even while you’re trying to have a conversation or do something mundane.

Memories of violence surface quickly.  There’s no way around seeing the things you’ve done with your own two hands.  You simply have to own them.  These things happened.  Yes you did them.  No, there is no taking them back.

It was a matter of you or them.

It’s surely showing by now, at least from the shorter breathing, the pursed lips and furrowed brow.  Not that anyone is paying much attention to it though.  Crowds are suffocating.  Grit your teeth and pop your jaw to get through.

Sanctuary.  Breath.

Breath.

Breath.

You think you’re safe at home.  It’s your home after all.  This place you’ve made as comfortable as possible.  It’s hard to imagine that it could be so much worse here.  But it can be.  This is where the walls break down the most.  This is where it comes creeping in from the television on in the background and becomes all you see for hours at a time.  It’s here that you realize you’re not safe from it.  The finger of the past is wrapped firmly around the triggers that will send your mind reeling.

There were so many close calls, and they all slowly fade into mental focus as you play them through on a loop.  The cuts and scrapes and holes in the gear you still have bundled up in the garage show how little you were spared by.

You never slept better.

Now it’s hard to sleep.

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7 thoughts on “Normalcy

  1. Aaron, this is amazing stuff. Haviing never suffered with PTSD, I am saddened to see what you and other veterans have experienced; however, especially on Memorial Day, it serves as a reminder that we as a nation are forever grateful for your service. Thank you for sharing this. Love, Donna

  2. Aaron, this is great work. I’m glad you found an outlet to put this into, today and always I thank you for your service. Keep up the drawing, it is amazing work.

    • Sorry for the late reply but thanks, your blog is really a great thing for all vets to take a second to realize if they’re having issues back home they aren’t alone. We all suffer through something, even if it’s small.

      Thanks for taking a few minutes to check out the work I’m doing.

  3. Aaron, Your art work is awesome.. The simplicity of showing how P.T.S.D works is astounding! Thank you so much for sharing this. As I have never left the country and gone to war.I know what it is like to live with this disorder. All my best to you and yours, Carolyn ❤

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