I wrote this on a Friday afternoon after a long week at work. This is a thinly-veiled description of my last couple of months.  Work has been stressful and I also made an international trip a month ago and haven’t completely processed all that happened. I’m exaggerating and taking creative license with events and my state of mind to make a bigger impact. I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m just trying to relate a struggle I’m sure many of us have but keep tight-lipped about. We don’t want to expose this particular brokenness to people out of fear, pride, rejection or a myriad of other reasons. Long-story short, it’s a story. Don’t freak out.

I am tired. Not tired like I didn’t get enough sleep last night. No, I mean tired like my soul has been run through a meat grinder. There is a physical component but that is just a manifestation based on the state of my soul. If you’ve ever seen Saving Private Ryan, I feel like Matt Damon’s character during the final German onslaught. Bullets and rocks are flying, men are dying around him and all he can do is curl up and scream because he can’t do anything to make it stop.

The enemy lobs round after round, day and night, and I’m on edge. He’s dropped propaganda over my position for months. These creative pieces of psychological warfare tell me the situation is hopeless. Telling me I’ll never make it out of this battle alive. Telling me I should never have joined up.

It feels like my line of communication with HQ has been cut or at best the messages are getting garbled in transmission. I know HQ is aware of my predicament. They never leave a soldier behind. I can’t tell if they are prepping for a D-Day assault and then I’ll be relieved or if I’ve got to endure and hold the line with what feels like no ammo and meager rations.

I’ve got buddies in other divisions. They’ve had it just as bad or worse and have made it through. They have the same weapons at their disposal. So it makes me wonder. Am I just a bad soldier? Or is the enemy sending in spec ops to sabotage my weapons and resources to demoralize me.

Some may say I’m a paranoid head case who suffered too much shell shock, seeing enemy troops around every corner. They might be right. Just a little bit. But if I were my enemy and had intel on me and my unique set of skills, it’d be better to take me out before I ever get in the fight.