I just watched American Sniper. To say that I have been affected is an understatement. I watched an actor portray a man who had a “dream” albeit a small one, but a dream nonetheless. One thing-an “Outside Force” as my mom calls them-changed him and his dream. It was a blip on no one’s radar. One no one saw coming. He did the honorable thing, the noble thing. Then another blip on his radar. A good thing, a lovely thing, a grounding thing.
Then came the time to fight. For duty. For country. For life. For Freedom and Justice and for fucking Honor.
And in the fight, he got lost. He got lost inside of himself. How do you fight your way out when you keep going deeper and deeper and deeper inside? You watch friends-brothers and sisters lose the battle, and you still keep spiraling downward.
And he sees a small tiny pinhole light. And he fights. He fights like hell. For duty. For freedom. For life. For honor.
And he wins.
We all know how the story of Chris Kyle’s life ended, how he was taken from his family, his brothers, his Country, His wife and children, the Veterans he was helping to get some semblance of life back.
I want you all to think about what it was like for him if you’ve seen the movie. I don’t know the perils of war, but I know the perils of MY war in my head. I can see how I spiral deep into the nothing and admitting there’s nothing wrong, that I’m fine and I don’t need help. Because there are others that need saving more than me. Then I’m given a pinhole light and I fight my way back. And I want to fight so that I can help others get better, get back to life-whatever that may be.
I sat with my hand over my mouth for two hours because of a brave man who got lost and nearly didn’t come back, but fought and he came home. We need to realize that we can come back from hell, not to be normal, but to live.
This is in no way to say my mental illness is just like what I soldier goes through in a war zone, because I know that it is not. Not in any way, shape or form. I can not begin to fathom what our soldiers go through when they are active duty. I think they need to be thanked and honored more than what they receive. So to every soldier and veteran, Thank you, for all that you have done. I am inspired even more to fight and to come home and to live.