When we leave the armed forces, we are leaving a situation that has been perfectly designed to work synergistically within itself and to unlock fulfillment. You probably were not completely fulfilled doing whatever you were doing in the armed forces, but you were invariably doing a few very important things that made life much easier and simpler and that helped life make more sense.

Furthermore, life was so much more intense, rich, and vibrant overnight cialis delivery. Things made so much more sense over there in combat. It was kill or be killed, and that was it. Coming back to the United States and learning to reintegrate with the civilian population was most painful simply because there was no place for the me that was created during the most fulfilling time of my life. My new, high-speed, low-drag identity served no purpose back here. Combat had been the most fulfilling and validating time of my life, and I had created, or should I say, had to create, an identity that was much stronger, much faster, and much harder than most people that I was forced to deal with in the first civilian division on a regular basis. So the atrophy of identity began to get to me.

I had built this strong, high-speed engine and could go from 0 to 150mph, completely ready to fight for my life at the drop of a hat. Most civilians have no idea what it’s like to fight for their lives against another human being or entity, and so they just aren’t able to achieve that level of intensity. There’s just no reason for that level of intensity over here in civilian life in most cases. I was like a Lamborghini who was stuck in a school zone and was forced never to drive faster than twenty-five miles per hour for the rest of my natural life, until my engine eventually atrophied and broke down.

It was like eating steak for your entire lifetime and then being forced to eat vegetables one day. I love vegetables, and my diet is mostly vegetables, but you get the point, I hope. Life had lost so much of its vibrancy. I felt like an adult who was forced to watch cartoons for the rest of my life as I listened to everyone and their first-world problems over here. I had a hard time taking people seriously. Naturally, I hated excuses, so I had a hard time respecting most people I interacted with outside those who shared a military background. The identity that I had forged in the fires of combat, the one that had kept me alive all those times, was my prized possession. The one I loved, whom I felt was my best, could not find his place in society. I found myself surrounded by people yet all alone because, naturally, no one could understand me, and it wasn’t their fault. It’s just the way life had become.

As I tried to set the side of my personality that I will call Corporal Rodgers on the shelf, I began experiencing a faint, dull, waning pain. At first it was easy to ignore because I just stayed busy. I was traveling the world, and I had lots of responsibilities and experiences to have. Day by day, week by week, and month by month, as I watched Corporal Rodgers sit on the shelf and atrophy, I realized I was experiencing a slow death of something sacred to me. I believe it is this slow death of our identity that is killing us.

Corporal Rodgers was a hard charger, though, and at this point, he was surviving like a POW (prisoner of war). He would gather up a little bit of nourishment every time I watched an action movie, played video games, or talked with old military buddies about the good old days. He did what he had to do to survive. Having fantasies of combat, carrying weapons around the house for no reason, playing with weapons constantly, going to the range, role-playing, and constantly imagining fake combat scenarios in my current environment were just a few ways that Corporal Rodgers tried to keep his edge and stay frosty. He survived on that shelf in the back burner of my life and mind for quite some time. I was as good to him as I could be by going to the gym every morning and doing other things to try to help keep the discipline up. For the most part, he really had to just shut up and figure it out.

Who are you without your military identity?

Whom do you see when you look in the mirror?

Whose are the hands in the gloves, and who is the person that has been wearing all these uniforms over the years?

Taken from the book “Finding Meaning After the Military- A combat and service manual for every veteran facing the new battlefield of life when entering the first civilian division”