A Wounded Warrior Reflects: Two Years in Purgatory and Seven Years of Steps
by Boone Cutler
Not a drop. Not an ounce. Not a molecule. Not a bit…of comfort. The war didn’t make me feel that way but I felt that way after the war. The hospital and the two years of Starship Reed purgatory didn’t help, then the zombie dope follow-up finished me. Dead man walking.
Dead but not dead-enough to stop the pain, the insomnia or the anger. Suicide was my flirtation and my only desires came from war porn. Alcohol was relief because it brought the sadness and sadness was an improvement. Not even God wanted me anymore. Salvation lost.
This month is the seven year anniversary that I left the hospital. I can still “touch” every lack-of-emotion that I felt then and the two years that followed. I crossed over.
It was two years of the hospital, two more years of zombie land and five more years to get here. Finally…I’ve found “comfort” but it’s been a process of renewal, resolution and redemption. None of it was fast and all of it hurt. The quest for comfort; hurts.
I detoxed from the zombie dope in late 2009 and soon after that I met my wife. My wife and I have been together for five years now, I learned about redemption with her and taught her the same while she watched me hurt; she was God’s way of telling me that He still wanted me. Salvation found.
I learned about real love in this way; step-by-step-by-step. My wife and I walked Redemption road together because He knew I couldn’t do it alone and God was there. At first I hated Him. HATE. HATE. Hate. hate. And hate lessened. LOVE grew where hate had lived. Pain became hate, then hate met love and compassion emerged.
The first step was “on me” then came a constant flood of so many more things. The Spartan Pledge was a healing step, getting on stage was an enraged step, the Warfighter Symposium was a bonding step and an immature fall, the Tipping Point with Boone Cutler radio show was a big step with many falls, training cops to help Warfighters was a huge step with enlightening falls, promoting the Warfighter Community is a step that builds other steps. It’s all a process and bruises come with big steps.
If you take the first step on your own, not-so-soon after, life will get better. Step-by-step-by-step.
My first step was getting off the zombie-dope. God made me do the first step alone because I needed confidence to rise from the falls that big steps bring. It sucked but it worked. The more steps; the better “it” gets. It never gets easier but you’ll get further from the trauma if you move away from it and you can’t move away from it without going through it. Head up and step.
PICK A DIRECTION AND GO. Step-by-step-fall-rise-step-by-step-fall-rise-step-by-ever-moving-step. Never lie, not even to yourself, about what you CAN do and then do what you can-do.
There will be constant corrections no matter what direction you choose… but start stepping.
What is your first step?
Do that. The first step will be completely alone because you will need the confidence to rise from the falls that success brings.
All the way, Boone
This article first appeared in The Havok Journal 17 July, 2015.