Depression has many negative side effects; the worst of them, for me at least, is procrastination. My brain becomes something like a magician or illusionist, bending reality and blurring coherrant thought. Long before experiencing PTSD, I was a world class procrastinator, now, after, the condition has become life altering–and not in a good way. Putting off till tomorrow what absolutely should be done today, has resulted in a great deal of personal damage, some of which can never be undone. With procrastination come paranoia. A mental condition that twists reality into a distortion that seems to always present the world in the worst possible light. It may only be possible for someone suffering from this disease to truly understand? Am I incurable? Is the only option suicide? Do I even want to live this life? It’s such a privileged, first-world question. I realize many people suffer far worse than I, nevertheless, that fact doesn’t lend me the strength to fight any harder.
According to Hollywood these days, soldiers who have endured combat, downrange and often under attack, feel compelled to return to war once their tour is up? From the few I know including myself, this is simply not the case. It’s especially not true for soldiers coming off punishing 12 to 18 month deployments. In my opinion, for most, but not all, these commando types selling that story are most likely men and women who were not on the front lines, therefore, only experiencing war in a tangential sort-of way. Like I said though, there are some who might want to return, but it’s a minority. Why the fuck would you want to volunteer for that shit, especially in a war without a credibly defined mission or support from the country?
I think some of us want to go back because that’s the last place we had the will to fight and survive. Surrounded by people who understand what you’ve gone through. Doing missions with others that we trust with our lives. That doesn’t seem to be the case for some of us when we get home from multiple deployments. Maybe I’m in the minority.