This I Believe

Eric - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Entered on June 9, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: setbacks

A Life Through Blood-Colored Glasses.

Our experiences shape the way we develop into adulthood and beyond. The human creature does not stop growing even though the body stops growing. I believe this to be true as I’ve experienced it.

When I was 10 a friend of mine was accidentally shot in my parents’ house by another friend. I won’t get into the details of the event as that’s not the point; but, after the funeral, a part of me died. Haunted by recurring nightmares reliving the events for years I closed off a part of me and became grey. I literally quit caring about things –including myself — I let my good grades of the past slip into mediocrity and my personal relationships during high school fade.

I felt no remorse about joining the Army, I didn’t feel like I belonged among what I considered “normal” people any longer. Granted, this was probably the proudest day of my father’s life. I even failed at military life as injury removed me while still in training, the sense of grey deepened. I returned home to a confused and chaotic point in my life.

Between that point and now I’ve been married twice, I have no children (by choice) and I’ve been hospitalized for severe depression and anxiety. My family has given up hope that I’ll ever produce children and I’m a disappointment to everyone including myself. I still have problems with relationships of all kinds — not just romantic — and I still have problems trusting. All of this I feel stems from that one single defining moment.

I’m still single now and trying to pick up the pieces of my life that I lost 26 years ago. I’ve found a rebirth of spirituality in my depression recovery in the teaching of Buddha, casting aside the beliefs I grew up with. I’m also working on the relationship aspect of my life by reaching out to those that I’ve harmed in the wake of my degeneration.

For all that’s happened since the age of 10. This I believe: a life through blood colored glasses is no life at all. Don’t succumb to the grey; try to reach for something brighter.