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Anxiety

I felt anxious again today. It both beguiles and befuddles me, lending much annoyance to the latter, because Im unable to pinpoint the source of this bothersome malady. It flits in randomly with a gust of unforseen emotion. One moment Im relaxed, calm, at ease. Then, at a moments notice, something will anger me, remind me of a troubling event from my past, or simply irk me somewhat, and my anxious temperament returns. Is it the girl that tortured me with unspoken words and denied chances all through July and half of August? Of course not. Ive since been introduced to true beauty, a radiance that permeates deeper than the surface of the skin, emboldening the soul. Yet the fear that those crippling considerations, baseless as Ive accepted them to be, will once again manifest is sickening. Could it be the one that essentially jilted me at the altar? Impossible. We were wholly incompatible in spite of our connection, yet the betrayal still stings some rare days. Perhaps the culprit is a book I purchased today while perusing Barnes and Noble.

"Redeployment" is a collection of short stories and first person narratives regarding the feelings, thoughts, emotions and experiences of servicemembers returning from combat overseas. I have to admit that it struck a nerve. Although I never had the honor and privilege of seeing combat directly, nor serving on the front lines with weapon in hand, a fact that I will alwayd consider a blemish on my wartime service, I recall acutely echoing the sentiments expressed by the book's contributors. The sense of alienation, the abandonment of ones purpose, the inability to "turn off" and relax your guard, and the relatively foreign feeling that normalcy carries all resonated deeply with me. A few memories made their presence known and their effects prominent. Sitting with my family in Coronado eating actual, restaurant quality pizza, prepared professionally and safisfactorily. There was no explosive rumbling overhead, the panic inducing chatter of the ships unhinged innards as they rattled sporadically when another bird landed with a racuous thud reminiscent of an earthquake. I remember seeing my beloved California for the first time in 8.5 months. The seas were calm and a crystalline aquamarine as the sun rose higher in the clear autumn sky. We moored, and we all rushed excitedly to finish our last remaining duties, eager to see our families. When I finally seen mine, there were no tears, which both surprised and disturbed me. Instead I involuntarily wore a composed, stoic mask. My emotions retreated inside me, forming a catatonic ball under the pressure of my unease. There would be no tears. That night, as I lay splayed out in the first real, King sized bed Id enjoyed in over 3 months, I felt unsettled. I was home, but it didnt feel like it. I was a man out of time, a 24 year old that aged 15 years under Neptune's gaze. I don't know to this day why there was no great overwhelming outpour of emotion from me, and it gnaws at my conscience daily.

I think my biggest problem is that I fear the absence of issues more than the actual issues themselves. Serenity triggers paranoia in my backwards head, and conflict breeds peace of mind. I need to learn to relax and not fear my own shadow so much, to stride, rather than sprint, through the pitfalls of life, knowing that I will always overcome, because God is on my side. I recall Herschel Walker, my all time favorite athlete, admitting in his book "Breaking Free" that he suffers from DID, or Disassociative Identity Disorder. He finally sought help for his previously undiagnosed condition after playing several games of Russian Roulette simply for the thrill. After diagnosis and surmounting the intial grief and shock, he not only accepts his illness, but owns it completely. It doesnt have him, he has it. He is the General of his life, as he states so succinctly, as are we the Commanders of our respective lives. While Im in no danger of putting a loaded gun in my mouth anytime soon, I found reading and absorbing Mr. Walker's advice very beneficial and inspirational. I can psychoanalyze myself, my wisps of unresolved emotion, and their origins all day, but it will be fruitless. Life isnt about perfection, its about struggle. I may not have the answers to everything, but theres no point in searching for the answers when the question has mitigating importance in the first place. Sometimes its best to take a deep breath, exhale self righteously, and say outloud, to no one in particular, "I dont give a fuck". Its a lesson Im going to start implementing immediately. Life's too short to sit on the sidelines waiting for the meaning of life, enlightenment, or knowledge of the one true way. Im going to fight, toil, fail and ultimately succeed, flaws, mistakes, regrets and all. Thats a future to look forward to, one to give a fuck about.

My eyes grow weary and my eyelids are weighed down by cumulative fatigue. A fast, freeroaming lifestyle may not be ideal for the long term, or healthy, but I couldnt care less. Life is lived in the little moments, and seeing how these are filled with workouts, tea, whiskey, friends and one special girl, I consider them far more important. The feelings I wrote about prior have dissipated and abated completely. I always feel refreshed and clarified after writing, my mind emptied of clutter and my vision recalibrated towards the metaphorical North Star. Will I face these issues again? Yes, I will, but their severity will continue to reduce until they are rendered inconsequential, just like they always have. I didnt ask for my proclivities regarding obsessive, unconscious overanalyzation, but it doesnt define me. The waves of life and adversity are rising in the swell, powered by the pull of the moon. Fear is a taste of death while breathing. Fuck that. Its time to dive in. The water may be bitter, but its bracing. Join me.

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