After my post yesterday, I received a lot of emails of encouragement. “You can do this.” “You’ve fought before, you’ll fight again, but you never crumble.”
But, the one that stuck out the most was, “Why don’t you just calm down?”
Suddenly, I noticed the stillness in the room, as though I had been in a panic, a frantic tizzy and someone finally walked up and slapped me.
You breathe deep. And you snap out of it, and realize why the panic began in the first place.
I am a different man since the days I was homeless. Financial issues, especially those regarding the home and the security of a domicile, can cause your mind to move in dark places of remembrance you purposely avoid on a daily basis. But, when you’re in a position where you are even slightly confronted with those old challenges again, the memories come out like demons and screw with your head. You get terrified, you get wide eyed, you get destructive and nothing anyone can say will help bleed out the pain from yesteryear. Nothing will ever erase that from my head, from my memory. But, when reflecting on it, it shouldn’t ever be erased, it should just be coped with. It will always be chronic. It will always be ghostly. Those years without will always be with me.
I’ve built for myself a nice little life, born from the ashes of a moment that went down in flames. Fortified with yarn, strengthened by my optimism, I have a place to live, food to eat, and people that love me. I have talents, I have ambition, and I have hope. And I am so protective of those things. I know that I deal with a certain kind of PTSD that….changes the way a man views the world. You are particularly on edge if you think you’re about to lose everything again.
Hence the rather simple and poignant statement, “Why don’t you just calm down….”
And it mattered. It really mattered. Quietly it brought to the forefront where we ARE going, rather than where we’ve been. It reminds of the simple light inside that shines with self reflection, rather than the bright luminescence of ego. You are in pain, and probably will be for quite some time, but don’t let yesteryear guide your emotions, let tomorrow lead the way….
Just sit down for a moment, listen to the quiet of right now, not the panic of memory. Listen to the quiet reminder that you have conquered more than many will ever be able to claim. Know that the memories you run from, are the same ones that could also keep you safe. If you fear being in that life again, then do everything you can to avoid it…..but, whatever you do, do not let go of hope….
In other words, “Pull your shit together, Gregory…..”
I’ll write more tomorrow.