Posting College Essays I have Written
“Blood, Sweat, and Tears.”
Having PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) given me many hardships and new outlooks. Life may be one huge lesson and today I know it’s not an easily learned one. When I was in my cockier stage of life, the good old high school years back in 2008, I acquired the wondrous idea of becoming an army infantryman for this amazing country. Like vultures’ scavenging for weak minded prey, the U.S. military’s finest recruiters came searching for me in a storm. Within one week I was convinced and had signed up for a hell I could never imagine.
Most people who suffer from PTSD probably can’t tell you when they succumbed to its grasps, but I know the exact moment I fell into it and would never ascend from its reach. Day one of basic infantry training we were lined up into squads or teams of four or five people, then sent to what I will always remember as “Shark Week.” Thirty or so battle hardened veterans and two hundred trainees walked into a field of sand and were broken down so far you felt that the light of home and family might not ever be felt again. The drillers (Drill Sgt’s) could glance at you and a cold and dark feeling would appear where the light had been.
The measly sixteen weeks were metamorphic; we had evolved from weak, free thinking juveniles into stone cold killers. The training videos we saw the time would always inspire us to be like our teachers, but they also had the eternal effect on us always wearing the dark as a shield instead of the light we had once known. As boot camp ended we ventured on to our bases and tours, not knowing that the little dark inside of us was building up and on; no matter what we had done or where we had been.
In 2009 I was deployed to Afghanistan; unbeknown to most people as a dry and cold place much like Colorado but it wasn’t the home I had grown up to know and love; this was a war zone. I don’t hate myself for going but I was wishing I had never gone. I have a symptom of PTSD called “Trance Awake” which I had received from the eighteen hour shifts of waiting for the battles to start. It’s a feeling in which you can almost half sleep; your body is off but your mind is always racing away. Every now and then we would get random ecstatic adrenaline rushes while in trance; causing our worst fears to evolve in our minds.
Although I was only on tour for a short five months, I left with ten years of memories; some that I will never forget and others I wish that I could. Now that I have been out for awhile I have been diagnosed with social anxiety and hyper adrenaline disorder. I am living with myself though in peace, finally. I still have major sleeping issues, but I get better and better as I move through life day to day. I will never get rid of these effects that I had caused myself through my juvenile state in high school. If only I had known the consequences of the decisions I had made back in ‘08. After writing all this on paper, I’m happy I did it. I lost a lot of friends and family but I also gained knowledge for the future and I will always have my "Trance Awake.”