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03 February 2013

Staying positive, and staying warm

This past week I’ve been able to get a few things done even though I’m isolating myself lately. I often question myself, trying to figure out the right thing to do. I think I should force myself to get dressed and walk down to a store to pick up an Ace bandage or two, so I can wrap my right hand and wrist. Typing isn’t so bad, but the trackpad on my laptop isn’t so much fun. I’ve been putting up with the pain for a while now, since before Christmas. Every day I remind myself to go to the store, and every day ends with my wrist hurting.


Amazon.com has a deal for students where a Prime membership costs ~$40, which includes free two day shipping. Turns out that Amazon sells Ace bandages. We’ll just renew that Prime membership and add that three pack to the shopping cart. Fiscal responsibility suggests that I shouldn’t be spending $40 on Amazon Prime right now, but dammit my wrist hurts.

My cellphone service was cut off way back in August, and I’ve been operating with WiFi and VoIP since. Being either close to or on campus most of the time has meant I have access to WiFi most of the time.I use a VoIP app that gives me a phone number, so it’s almost like cell service-- but not quite. So, while I was looking around on Amazon I found a prepaid SIM card that works with my phone. Five bucks for the SIM card, ten to buy some airtime, and now I have a phone that works again.


Displaying such adaptability is an indicator that my brain is at least powered up. Online ordering meant I didn’t have to go to the store (and in doing so, be out in public), but I did get what I need.

I also ordered and received a new woodland camo M-65 field jacket, so now I’m warm when I go outside. Back in the day, I had two field jackets, I was among the last to get the old OD green fatigues, so when the AF switched to woodland camo BDUs I got another one. They both disappeared years ago; I suspect they were “borrowed” by my ex-wife’s family. Whatever. Those field jackets are comfortable, warm, indestructible, and they have lots of pockets. Win, win, win, win.


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One of the hardest things to cope with, considering the PTSD and depression and all the fun (not) that’s included in the package is self-esteem. I don’t tell people at work or in classes that I live in a homeless shelter-- I do try to tell myself that it doesn’t matter. Living here is a step up from sleeping in my car, but it really is only one step. Being on the street is possible, a very real thing that can happen to me.


In a campus environment where everyone is all about success, it’s hard for me to stay positive sometimes. Home is the vets house, but not everything at home is positive. Everyone here has a unique set of problems, and some are more willing than others to share those problems with anyone who will listen. I let guys vent, because if we don’t vent, things just get worse. I know we’re here to help support each other, and I want to help, but I don’t have any experience doing time, being on parole, going through rehab. I’d much rather hear about a classmate landing an internship at Google.


Life has (seemingly) always been that way. I’m on the top rail of a fence, one leg dangling on the side I’m trying to escape and one leg on the side where the future is better. I’ve been knocked off the top of this fence so many times, and I’ve always been able to get halfway over.



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