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?


Jamie in Afghanistan

Am I alone, or do I share common ground with other fellow Veterans?

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2 thoughts on “Disconnected

  1. Yaskinswaterproof on

    You ain’t alone brother. I still feel drawn back to the chaos of a war zone, even now when its been 9 year since Herrick 10. I felt so strongly about this at one point it drove me away from my family and transit of becoming an actual civilian to joining the circuit. I went to see Levison Wood Monday gone speak in Harrogate. He mentioned something called the ‘explorers gene’. This is a real scientifically proven thing, that has a technical name, just nicknamed the explorers gene. He said that it is found in 20% of the world population and found mainly in, adventurers, entrepreneurs and guess what? Soldiers!

    You probably have this gene brother which is why you felt so alive in some of the environments you have experienced. Unfortunately there is no cure for a gene which means we simply need to either learn to live with it or find something that quenches the thirst.

    I am finding my tipple by spending time outside, and trying to bring veterans back together as i imagine you will get the same appeasement through running VetNet?

    The good news is, I’m a firm believer that this gene will also drive us towards success which in turn means we can also try to help other vets/people find their ‘tipple’.

    Forward as one buddy.

  2. Ski on

    Cracking blog mate. 8 years ago this August I left Afghan behind, I still hanker for that life on a daily basis. Maybe we should be thought of as twice the citizen when we refer to ourselves as Veterans!

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