Life Altering Events
I’ve experienced my share of life altering events. At times more often then not, my life is bokeh! And, working on this blog is helping me in so many ways. I hope it helps you too!
Marine Corps Enlistment
At age 17 with my Mom’s approval, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. (Viet Nam Era veteran here), where I experienced life altering events that still affect me today. Someday I’ll share those things but, right now I’m not capable of expressing those things that linger on.
I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1977. Not sure if I was ready for the civilian world nevertheless forged ahead I did.
Homeless At Times
You know, I could be down and broke homeless without hope yet still would not ask for help. I’ve been homeless and slept in my car behind a catholic church and amongst other places. I washed up at local jack in the boxes so I could go on interviews. Thank you Jack!
I still have that same car. Although it’s been in a garage for a number of years, I plan on getting it back on the road.
At Times I Did Not Work
There were a couple of years that I did not work and living from day to day was a chore. I’ve had good jobs and bad jobs. At times I’ve lost both. I’ve never felt worthy enough to keep jobs because I was and still am afraid of success. What me success? Yes I’ve had some minor success and would jump in with both feet and learn along the way. Before the internet, libraries were my learning lab.
Any kind of job.
Bartender, 7-11 type of convenience stores, government employee, poured concrete, construction, data entry operator, computer operator, network engineer and programmer. I’ve failed at many business attempts. I have a suitcase filled with thoughts and ideas about many topics that are just that; thoughts and ideas that I’ve never taken action on. Those are for you son. I’ve not really been able to focus on one thing since my discharge from the Marines.
I drank and smoked during parts of my life and have had DWI’S and DUI’S, 2 while in the Marines. All risky behaviors. Indeed. Met my wife in 1978 and got happily married in 1980 my son was born in 1982, but 1985 – 1989 were not emotionally good for me. I pushed my wife away and got a divorce, my mom passed away and I drank heavily. In 1989 I had my last DUI. It was time to get sober for me and my son.
Luckily for me I had family but did not want to burden them with my troubles and issues. I eventually stayed with my brother’s family for a while and was super grateful for that time.
Recovery Is An Ongoing Challenge
Climbing back the best way I could, I went to AA and NA meetings. Sometimes many a day. I needed to learn a new way of life without the insanity that went along with drinking. Still day to day as it should be, but those days have added up to equal about 11,315 days. It’s been about 11,000 days since I’ve quite smoking too. Things are still a little insane but being sober is much better.
My Friends Still Don’t Know
My friends. Well, the 3 I think I have, still don’t know these things about me. I push friends away as well and never stayed in touch with my buddies from the Marines for which I truly regret. I don’t mean too but I isolate and haven’t had friends visit my house in over 12 years. Need to clean for that. Trust has also been an issue when it comes to my emotions and who I am.
Up And Down Experiments
My career has been an up and down experiment. I really can’t call it anything else as I’ve always been looking for something to be comfortable with and a place to fit in. I don’t think I ever fitted into many things. But still made the attempt. I was once told by a friend that I looked scary. I was always in deep thought about issues that bothered me and never smiled much unless I really, really knew you. They don’t think I’m scary any more. Good thing too. At least I hope not.
Friends Until The End
Even though I divorced my wife, we remained very lose and were good friends. And, when she passed away in 2009, all my thoughts and feelings sent me into depression that I still suffer from. She was the only one that I’ve ever shared my Marine Corps experience with and her passing brought out all those emotions once again. That same year, I lost my Job at Microsoft and that validated my not being worthy, again…
Loss Of A Brother
3 years ago, I also lost my Brother, also a proud Marine, whom I stayed with. Due to shame I was never ever able to share with him my experiences. When he was home in hospice I had the chance to share but never did. I watched his last breath and I miss him dearly. Shame guilt and insanity, again emotional feelings that compounded my PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
Life Altering Events
I had no idea that events I experienced in the Marines would have such an effect on my life. It’s like throwing a rock on a still pond and watching the ripples expand until they are no more. But, my ripples are still going long after I’ve struggled to find a place and to fight back when I realize how shattered that I’ve been. Game face was on most of the time. I’ve tried to use my time during the past few years to look back and make sense of the events I experienced.
Making Amends Is Vital
I owe many explanations to those I’ve caused harm too before it’s too late to do so. Lots of family and friends and yup making amends for things I’ve done has been on the top of my list. I’m working on it but it is a slow process, well the slow part being 47 years in the making. There are still some things I want to share with a longtime friend and will do so…Someday…
My Long Post ᖳ ᖲ
I suppose one of the reasons for this long post is the fact that my blog as hosted on wordpress.com was to be deactivated due to nonpayment. Too many bills hit all at once. I’ve wasted away so much money the past few years that I feel exhausted and frustrated at my lack of planning at this stage of my life. Spending habits will be in another post.
However, I took a chance and wrote them and asked for some a little extra time to get them paid. And, they responded back saying that they normally don’t do this but extended me just the same! I have 2 extra months to do so but am behind on getting that squared away. But, I’m still grateful for that as I’ve been using my blog as a way to expand and hopefully get out of myself. And, I would have been sad and more depressed to not be able to post under josephkravis.com. Or post at all. If you read this send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for me thanking them for their understanding. I feel humbled that they are allowing the extra time.
This blog is slowly starting my therapy for personal recovery. And, is very important for me.
Struggle For Hosting
But, now I struggle as to find a way to help pay for my hosting. And, I ask for your suggestions and ideas on how to monetize my blog. It’s only 300.00 a year. But, I tell you that can seem a damper when all other bills have hit at the same time. I wish WordPress would take monthly payments.
Always Starting Over
I’ve given up and started so many times, that I’ve lost track of where I am. I had to retire because my issues were keeping me from concentrating on tasks that I was assigned when doing projects and jobs for others. I’ve burnt many bridges and left behind friends. Perhaps someday, I’ll get another opportunity.
Still, I have lots to offer but, if I didn’t retire and start working on me, time could have ran out before I can feel good in my own skin. If that’s even possible. And, when I do go, I want to go out on a high note. That’s if there is such a thing.
Working On Me
So, I’m working on me and my issues so I don’t become another veteran statistic. It’s difficult and draining and after all these years, perhaps I’m starting to like myself enough to never give up. Maybe not but I must try to stay positive.
Depression has taken its toll on me far more than I’ve realized. I suppose the key for me is a phrase I leaned in 12 step meets. “Progress and not Perfection”. Getting honest with where I’m at in life and learning to trust is a big step forward.
I’ll be writing more. Not sure how large the posts will be but, I have stuff you know “Thoughts and Ideas” to share.
Semper Fi Marines and to my friends the same.
Life Altering Events
Thank you! For visiting this post! Your time and interest are truly appreciated. If you found the content engaging or thought-provoking, please feel free to share your thoughts or insights in the comments.
Thoughts & Ideas, Joseph Kravis 🙂
Categories: Thoughts and Ideas