I really don’t have a specific message in mind as I write this. I mostly just want to get a few thoughts out in the open. Spoiler alert, I’m going to ramble a little bit.
I posted a while back about being capable of exploring all the different routes to take with a non-profit. My hope is that if we can make the goal of it to be focused on veteran suicide awareness and resiliency training for our young men and women in uniform. While I have several ideas in mind, and I know that I have the tools to overcome some hard times, I am having a hard time narrowing any of that down.
Tonight I had about an hour and a half conversation with a great friend and fellow Marine. We discussed starting a blog to get his own story out there, which is a remarkable one to say the least. This is a Marine that did his time, moved home and was diagnosed with brain cancer. The doctors gave him 6 weeks to live and here he is, still fighting two years later.
We didn’t know each other in the Corps, but his senior Marines were my juniors at one point. While we didn’t know each other at all, he reached out to me a few years ago to talk about what he was going through and we have since developed a pretty solid relationship. He was having some doubts about writing because he doesn’t feel his story is worth telling. Despite his doubts, Marines and strangers have been reaching out to him for help and advice. All of this is because at one point, he publicly posted what he was going through.
Obviously, my advice to him was to shut up and start writing. Hope to read something from you soon Hughes!!!
So what’s my point?
We all have a story. My wife has a quote from Les Brown that says, “Don’t die with that story in you”. I’ve always loved that quote but after all, I am the Gunny and those words might accurately reflect my thoughts on this, so here goes.
Shut the f*** up, pick up the weight, and f***ing carry it! If anyone asks you what that weight is, show them. You never know if they’re carrying that same burden and are ready to drop it.
I consider myself somewhat of an agnostic. Organized religion is a really hard idea for me to jump behind, but there is no doubt in my mind that there is a higher power out there. I’ve prayed and begged for a few things and when they magically appeared out of nowhere when I was in a dark place, the harsh reality that I am not in control. Things are going to happen to me and my family that I don’t get a vote on. Things are going to happen in the world, that are so far beyond my control, there’s nothing to do but carry it.
Whatever your idea of a higher power is, eventually, he is going to give you a great and powerful weight to carry. He’s not going to ask you if you want it. He’s not going to tell you that it’s ok to put it down if it gets to heavy.
He tells you to shut the hell up and carry it.
When I was getting sober I had Anthony Keidis’ autobiography, Scar Tissue. As I read this book, I was completely blown away by how much I had in common with a heroin addict. The self loathing, depression, and destructive behaviors were all too familiar to me. The fact that his weight seemed to be so much heavier than mine, and despite all of that, he found his way back to the light. This was nothing but pure motivation for me.
Before I quit drinking I was ready to end it all. I was in such a dark place and time in my life that I saw no other option. but I carried the weight.
I planned it out at one point. I held that weight over the edge by my finger tips. It was the testimony of another who had walked in my shoes that helped me see the big picture.
Two years later I married a girl I had a crush on in high school, started raising her two little girls and had a child of our own.
Four years later our lives were turned upside down in some legal problems that I can’t exactly get into, but I can tell you that it challenged our faith in everything. While I went back to California to pack up our house, which to this day was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, Heather set out to find us a place here in Oregon. When I came home I took one look at her face and just knew.
We were pregnant with another child. We didn’t plan on it. We couldn’t afford another baby and we didn’t even have a house. But we carried the weight.
The weight made us stronger.
We grew from it.
As we got stronger, people noticed.
We shared with others and soon, the weight got lighter.
We kept moving forward and after a while it was like the weight wasn’t even there anymore.
It turned into something else.
Now I can’t speak for my wife, but for me what it became is a culmination of a lot of things. It’s my kids, my marriage, my relationship with others. My relationship with myself and my higher power. My ability to drown out the noise at night when I go to bed, or in the morning when I wake up and tell myself to shut up, and carry the weight.
Do you really need to wake up in the morning and read a self help book or listen to a motivational video on YouTube? Is that really what all of this is about? Those things help, that’s for sure, but give your own story some credit now and then.
Reflect on where you’ve been daily.
Remember everything you’ve overcome daily.
Sounds crazy but after a while it stops bothering you. While you still have some feelings about it, you can’t let it stop you from the task at hand, which is always the same.
Carry the f***ing weight.
For my friend that I spoke of, one of the many weights he’s been handed is telling his story. You can’t give it back. You can’t set it down. Carry it.
Back story on the photograph. The wife and I took the kids camping for the week on the Oregon coast and on the way we passed about a dozen bull elk. The picture is my son and I looking at these magnificent animals.
Looking through my daddy’s binoculars.
At a dozen bull elk while sitting on his daddy’s lap.
Great picture right?
Now how would this picture even exist if I didn’t carry the f***ing weight?
Life sucks. Heartache, loss of a loved one, and drastic life changes, they all suck.
But carry the f***ing weight.
Keep moving forward.
Trudge. Trudge, Trudge. Be well friends.
If you liked this post, please share and leave a comment. If you hated this post, please share and leave a comment. Tell me I’m wrong and that you hate my face. You do what you got to do. That’s your weight.
Carry the f***ing weight.
Custom 3rd LAR Flag Raffle Ticket
If you're interested in this item, you are most likely a member of the pack! This flag measures 21 x 35 inches and I can add 3 lines of custom lettering! Normal price is around $175.00. I will sell a limited amount of raffle tickets. Proceeds will be going towards research and development of the Non-Profit I've been working on to help combat the stigma around Post Traumatic Stress.