Have I experienced life before I have lived?
From time to time, I tend to find civilian life so laborious. I often wonder what life is really all about. Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing girlfriend who is very supportive and puts up with a lot of my s**t, and I have a great family who is always there for me. Yet, everyday life seems so pointless.
I’m like a Tiger cooped up in a very small cage with no room to move. It sounds cheesy reading that back but that’s the best analogy I can use to describe my current state of mind.
While carrying out the most monotonous and soul-destroying tasks in my new civilian life, I often find myself daydreaming or maybe even fantasising over my memories of Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s almost like a burning desire to re-deploy. Applying silicone to my customer’s new shower basin or punching hundreds of nails into the new wooden floorboards induces the zombie within. From one boring task to another, this mind-numbing cycle generates frustration.
From the cracking of bullets whizzing over our heads and smashing the dirt at our feet. On the edge of our seats as we patrol through hostile environments. Adrenaline coursing through my veins like a buzz that no drug on earth can ever replace. Feeling like I was going to die was when I felt most alive.
With all of that firmly behind me, I can’t help but feel as though I’m stuck in limbo; caught between the military man and the civilian. Is that why we are branded with the title Veteran? Because what we have been through and what we have done means we can never completely transition back to civilian? Or am I one of those who simply can’t let go?
Am I alone, or do I share common ground with other fellow Veterans?
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