Another wave crashes
giving quite a scare
when you wake from dreaming
and awake is a nightmare
Grind me into ashes
you took him in your care
never really had a chance
we all get our share
Enduring constant lashes
my heart will never share
how the darkness grows
gasping for some air
Shadow's teeth are gnashing
it's so much to bear
Lord only knows
I crawl through despair
Love family with all your heart; you never know when their last day is.
It's been one year since the blast, since I nearly died.
I walk through life
with these feelings inside
memories of death
and how I almost died
Is it wrong
to trick my mind
into thinking it's right
if I believe the lie?
When I close
my tired eyes
it's so clear
a great divide
Who you want me to be
sits on one side
yet on the other
is Mr. Hyde
He's writhing in pain
especially because he survived
But when the reaper came
with arms open wide
Not today, he said
My only wish denied
And here I am
with bleary eyes
What to do instead?
I'll take it in stride
#survive #DOL #ptsd #mentalhealth #specialforces
It's like a deployment: moments of nonsense and fun but lot of sitting around. Gotta make life fun each day or else you're just one day closer to dyin'.
Scootin’ with dad.
#sturgillsimpson @justin.lascek @themilesmiller @brotels @sturgillsimpson
Sturgill Simpson's "A Good Lookin' Tour" is kicking off in a few days, and my happy ass is gonna be there. I'm one of the few people with a consistent backstage presence, so you'll get to see a smidge of nonsense every now and then.
This band is amazing live and I highly recommend you get to a show, even if you're not a fan (only British people who write for The Guardian don't like them). A portion of ticket sales go to the @specialforcesfoundation_ , and you can, of course, donate directly through their profile.
I'll speak at the shows, vulnerably tell a little bit about my story, and introduce the band like a WWE wrestling superstar. And I'll interview folks along the way for my new podcast. And generally I'll aim to annoy the wildly talented band members @sturgillsimpson @bobmanactual , @themilesmiller , and @brotels every day (Sturgill is too nice to annoy). Don't worry, I'll annoy you too @madassistantjanice. And get the scoop from fan account @wherethefuckissturgillsimpson while you're at it.
I'm not sure why I'm still on this Earth and how I made these friends, but I'm so grateful. Using these experiences will allow me to reach more of you. At the very least, it can show some of you that being a breath away from death doesn't mean you won't enjoy life again. The journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step, even if you ain't got the feet to step with. (Video is from rehearsals before the Sound and Fury release tour we did in fall 2019)
#DOL #SturgillSimpson #AGoodLookinTour #specialforcesfoundation
#SpecialOperations #specialforces #GreenBerets #18D
It's been 11 months since I all but died. It seemed like it would hurt forever. Maybe I will, but it won't be at the bottom. But it all still haunts me.
My physical trauma bonded with my existing emotional trauma. It's so easy to be sad or feel sorry for myself. It's so easy to spiral. But I work on myself every day. It's painstaking, but it's what matters. After almost being granted death, you start to learn what truly matters. And nobody can do the work for us.
I always think of that person, hugging their knees and crying against the fridge. Alone. In despair. Just wanting the pain to end. How can they muster the strength to do anything? How can they start to put the self-work in feeling like that?
I wish I knew. But if that's you, I understand. Yet, hope is possible. It almost feels like a crime to have it. You can and will get through this. Start anywhere. Make your bed. Drink a glass of water. Each act is a deliberate piece of love you give yourself. And they will build to eating something, exercising, meditating, or journaling.
You're worthy of that. And I am too. That's why I bawled my fucking eyes out writing this.
Start small. Start with anything. Hope isn't spontaneous. We have to cultivate it by putting the work in. I promise it's worth it.
Edit: Everything is relatively fine with me! This came from journaling about how could someone convert over from being at rock bottom to doing something about it. I wanted to at least try to show them a way.
#DOL #mentalhealth #ptsd #depressionhelp #emotions #trauma
A warrior fights
that much is true
full of might
we expect them to
If you ask around
you might find
they're too proud
to let you in their mind
Instead they're tough
a warrior's decree
Yet the heart is shut
hiding from thee
It's the ultimate farce
go fight for me
Our closing remarks
don't consider their feelings
Warriors always answer the call
they steady their hands
despite the odds
They look like gods
above it all
Well, I have news for you
they're no different
from me and you
I've seen you fight
and you're a warrior too
#DOL #warrior #warriors #poetry #poem #poetsofinstagram
Before I got hurt, skiing was a big part of my life. When I stepped on an IED nine months ago, my life changed. I had two amputations, scrotum blown apart, three epidurals, countless pain crises, bowel impactions, raw wounds, and pissed blood. Despite the skin flaps, grafts, and agony, I told anyone that listened I'd be skiing this year.
I wish I could say something about being strong. I wish I could say "fuck the people who tried to kill me". But, it was very discouraging when we started a couple days ago. I wanted to quit.
The instructor suggested the outboard rigger hand skis, and it helps with initiating turns given the pain I have in my sockets. And when I finally cruised, I cried.
The only thing that remains is gratitude. Gratitude to be alive. Gratitude in sharing this moment with one of my best friends, who was my ski buddy before we deployed, and one of the teammates that put tourniquets on me.
There are so many beautiful things we get to do in life. Because they're normal, we may even take them for granted. Take a moment to appreciate them, and be present with them in the 'now'. And may you get to enjoy that activity or pleasantry without pain for the rest of your life.
I'm grateful I'm on my feet, and I'm finally cruisin' again. Thank you for letting me share.
#DOL #DTTL #Skiing #amputee
These videos are from day two.
This is an abbreviated post. See link in bio or story for full text.
Thanksgiving is a weird fabricated holiday that has its origins in genocide. However, giving thanks – or said another way – expressing gratitude, is wildly beneficial for the brain. There have been a variety of studies exhibiting this, including on participants seeking mental health treatment.
In one study, the group that wrote a letter of gratitude to someone each week for three weeks had significant better mental health at four and twelve weeks compared to the control group and a group who wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. In other words, doing just several sessions of gratitude had a persistent emotional improvement for months after doing it.
Gratitude inherently has more positive words and feelings associated with it. Specifically, the association with using fewer negative words seemed to contribute to the results above. As someone who can spiral with negativity very easily (pain, loss, sadness, anxiety, etc.), this is very interesting.
My personal experience with expressing gratitude to someone I care about is scary, yet it is the very definition of ordinary courage that Brene Brown talks about in “The Gifts of Imperfection”. Doing so strengthens the connection and bond with that person.
Expressing gratitude promotes more positive thinking and less negative thinking. It’s difficult to do in the throes of suffering, which is why I recommend dedicating time to express gratitude. Today is a perfect opportunity to start, but it shouldn’t happen once a year. Regularly contemplate what you’re grateful for and explore why. I find journaling to be a great time to do this because it allows a better organization of thoughts and is a deliberate practice. Set time aside for gratitude as it will have monumental effects.
If we can do things in our day that improve our brain physiology resulting in hundreds of improvements to include disease prevention, then why wouldn’t we regularly do those tasks in the same way we exercise for our hearts, blood vessels, and muscles?
Pretty fucking good question, huh?
#gratitude #expressgratitude #DOL
I sit with the natural light because I want this to be pure. I write how I feel because I went so long without feeling. I meditate to keep myself in check. I eat food because it nourishes the body and mind. I exercise because I should and I like looking decent. I sleep to heal everything.
I write because I have to. Because I’d be dead without it.
We’re all intimately aware that IG is a place where “pain doesn’t go”. But that’s not life, and we all know it. It’s okay to not be okay; we don’t need to feel upset about feeling upset. It’d be disingenuous if I led you to believe otherwise.
I’m alive. And I’m grateful for it. With that comes PTSD, reliving dying, anxiety, anger, and numbness.
Blast, machine gun, patient movement, and dying.
Blast, machine gun, patient movement, and dying.
Blast, machine gun, patient movement, and dying.
I’m working through it. The emotions come in seasons and hit in waves. I show up and make progress, but even if I don’t, I’m still enough. At least I’m trying to tell myself that.
I appreciate all of your messages and comments. I’m unable to answer all of them the way I’d like, and I often need to take time for myself. Just know that I appreciate you.
Posting here is cathartic for me, but the real reason is I hope it helps you. Does it let you know that other people understand? Or influence you to have self-compassion and care? Through pain and loss we can know love, but we need to understand the pain and negative emotions. And we can’t do that by numbing with work, shopping, substances, and so on.
My mind works through poems; I have well over 50 pages of them. You’ll continue to see them because that’s just how things work nowadays.
Life can be chaotic. Even if you accomplish nothing today, tell yourself you’re enough.
#DOL #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealth
I am your friend and understand all of the imperfections you previously listed. After all, it makes a lot of sense. You are the sum of your experiences and you’ve been through some shit. The idea that others may have it worse is irrelevant. You even say that pain or suffering is relative and you would never hold it against someone for not sharing your experiences. It’s hypocritical to do that to yourself.
If must be so hard for you. From the depths of loneliness and weakness you hardened your mind but also your heart as you grew up. You craved strength to cover up what you didn’t understand.
You found yourself in a tumultuous relationship and never understood it was mostly with yourself. And then you went to war and triumphed and lost deeply. You learned to hate yourself without realizing it. And the pain was so much, you almost chose to die to escape it.
As you started to learn about this and finally took the first steps to love yourself, you stepped on a bomb. And the two major traumas of your life – regret, shame, and fear with the acceptance you would die a tragic death – are intimately linked.
You’ve suffered incredible loss of body parts, a potential family, a way of life, capability, and very dear friends. Any one of those things would be quite a challenge. But you’re here. And you get through each breath, each step no matter how agonizing they are.
You may have the imperfections you detailed, but those lie within all of us. Those don’t make you a monster nor do they make you bad. They just are. They don’t reduce your worthiness of love or belonging. Accepting them only makes you ready for the love you are so scared of.
Despite these “flaws”, I love you. I wish I could take your pain from you because it breaks my heart to see anyone in pain, especially you because you feel so much of it. Despite the pain, I accept and love you. My hope is you can continue working through and feeling these things so that you will some day love yourself.
Nobody deserves pain, but happiness, love, and worthiness are not automatic. When you feel up to it, continue cultivating this acceptance and worthiness. (Continued in comments)
There's something there
behind those eyes
Clear in the mirror
telling no lies
I've been at war
in and out of my mind
I've been at death's door
with the reaper I dined
I've seen life begin
with the first breath of air
I've seen life end
with no time for a prayer
I've heard the last heart beats of love
I've felt my death minutes away
I've heard the silence above
and hated myself along the way
So when I tell you
about these eyes
I don't recognize the view
because they're hardly mine
But it's wrong to plateau
and this lesson is a guarantee
You don't know what you don't know
You can't see what you can't see
I'm capable of learning more
old ways don't make me a slave
I'm not the same person anymore
since I ascended from the cave
There is something there
looking into my eyes
Finally, finally I'm aware
that I'm glad they're mine
I awoke to snow
a wonder to be shared
Yet the wind blows
and nobody cares
Nature's little thief
took the aspen leaves
The sun is full of grief
now those leaves no longer gleam
The mountains are frosted
with a cold that's numbing
The animals are exhausted
because winter is coming
I retreat to the warmth of home
and keep the house locked tight
It's the only thing I know
when there's no strength to fight
I know there's a solution
in getting out of the house
It's a must for absolution
and working through my doubts
I need to face the elements
they're the same as the feelings
It's vital for development
and maybe finally healing
Remind me when my heart splinters
and I wish I was dead
No matter how cold the winter
there's a spring time ahead
I see you locked away from it all. It's okay to feel this way; I feel it too. Try to reach out to someone, anyone. Message me if you need to and I'll do my best. It's hard and it takes courage, but it's somewhere inside us all.