I frequent sites such as these and read the posts and so identify with most stories but have never written or posted anything of my own but lucky you I'm about to write my first one so bare with me because I do not know the proper etiquette so I'll just drive in as is my nature. I'll spare the details of my childhood and young adulthood but I will however gloss. My childhood was by all counts and 'standards' can best be described as idealistic. Two parent loving home with sisters with whom I still enjoy a great relationship with all and a big close family. Raised in a small town in Texas and although growing up in a stereotypical southern small town, I knew no prejudice wether it be racial, sexual or station in life as I was raised and still wholeheartedly believe that everyone is equal which based on everything I've ever seen, read or experienced elsewhere seems to make me and all those I know and care for firmly in a minority of some sort. Although raised in this seeming paradise, I like everyone as a youngster probably feels or at least thinks at some point wanted nothing more than to 'escape'. After graduation, I enlisted in the Army and found myself in Germany (pre 911) and again loved every second of it I guess owing to my while albeit quiet demeanor I am or at least was quite extroverted and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and having new experiences everyday. I spent 6 years in the army and of course after 9/11 I deployed to Iraq for about 14 months and although being a combat vet, I enjoyed almost every second of that as well. I regret ever getting out and often wonder what life would be like now as I would be fairly close to being a retiree but circumstances led me to believe I was needed closer to home so I chose a career as a firefighter/emt another job I enjoyed almost every second of. While in the military I had never so much as gone to sick call, when I got out I decided to go to the VA to see about some help with some constant and nagging aches and pains that ibuprofen and water (standard military cure-all) wasn't having the desired effect any longer. Due to my faith in the military and by association the VA I fully expected some sort of physical therapy and things of that nature. Instead, after my first visit during which although lasting maybe 5 mins which no physical examination occurred just questions, I soon started receiving bags upon bags of different meds in the mail. I take full responsibility for not questioning what and why I was being prescribed I just took them because the VA wouldn't do me wrong surely. In these bags there were Xanax, hydrocodone and many others and since you only went to appointments every 3 months, these bottles were quite large and contained vast amounts of pills. It took awhile but inevitably I soon found myself addicted. Fast forward to the present and now I find myself a four time rehab loser, extreme introvert who has all but destroyed any possibility of ever working a job I love because how can you be trusted to help save lives if you can't control your own shit. I've become a shell of what I once was. I've stolen from, alienated those I care most for and have reached a point where although that former tough as nails take no shit and care more for others than myself comes through, I am and always feel like I'm only a drain on everyone and everything around me. I lack the constitution to end my own life but feel no fear of anything else. I have a 5 y/o son who although does more for me than he'll ever know and hopefully never will. He's never seen any of this other side of me and in his eyes I can do no wrong and it's beautifully heartbreaking. I don't know what I hoped to accomplish by writing this as I can't end it with a heroic overcoming of my flaws but in my head there's always time to turn it around but I fear that for me the only and maybe best solution for all involved would be just for me to fade or somehow remove myself from everyone I care about. Although the real me is selfless and concerned only with the well-being with those around me, this monkey or monkeys as it were on my back has turned me into a selfish, dishonest piece of shit excuse for a man. I'm not looking for pity or even a response from anyone I just wanted to put these words out there.