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See, I’ve had to learn a lot about this country, its people and humanity in general this year. January began for me on the job. 

In military boot camp. 5 months training down, one to go. January was to be my last month in training before commissioning.

All those months of pre-dawn jogging, hours and hours of perfecting parade, weapon drills, spur of the moment mandatory frog-jumps, crunches, double-ups, fatigue, locked in an enclosed facility for 6 entire months. January was finally here. The expectant air was palpable.

Commissioned at the end of January.

Unfortunately, I happened to be one of the offficers who got deployed to Maiduguri in February.

Borno.

Middle of a senseless war.
Heat.
Sun.
White sand.
Heat.
For months I saw deaths. 
Tasted loneliness. 
Heat.
Fear was a Barrack-mate.
Knew courage.
Heat.
Fought Hopelessness. 
Grew in faith. 
Comprehensions of depression.
Became desensitized. 
Heat.
Somehow kept faith through it all. 
Became stronger.

In April I questioned everything about life when a colleague close to me was brutally ripped out from this realm. I lost all faith. Lost strength. 

In April, I left. Redeployment. Home.
Enough.

You heard of PTSD? Yeah. We snuggled together in the same body; ate, slept and woke together from April till June. 

Man, those first couple of  months? I was the poster child for silence. 

Lots of Introspective revaluation. 

From the first half of 2013, I had gained a new understanding and appreciation of (for) life however, so I wasn’t in silence for long.

Gradually learned again how to laugh completely. 

Gradually learned to walk without feeling the need to do a jackie chan tuck-dive-roll into the nearest unoccupied bush for fear of stray bullets.

Gradually eased into the acceptance of this semblance of normality as reality. 

First attempts at socialization were bad. I had nothing (normal) to say to people I used to know and I couldn’t relate with mundane gist. 

August found me settled at my new command. Peace of mind, that which had seemed like a myth, was starting to know my name. LOL. I was becoming Dammy again, albeit wiser, more tolerant. About 500 years older in spirit. Less inclined to sweating the small stuff. So much more reserved. 

My ability to laugh (at and) in spite of myself or conditions never faltered though and for that I’m grateful to God. 

I actually wrote several happy, funny (if you say so) blog posts during my travails. Some of the posts were written while my spirit was at its lowest. 

Thankful to Kelvin (the monster who severally made me make myself laugh with my own posts) and Terdoh (for actually coming to witness my commissioning ceremony). 

By October/November I had (faithfully) gotten back to my Church, and gym, and resumed my saturday French classes.

I even sat for an examination certifying proficiency in French earlier on in December.

I don’t have all the answers (yet). But I’m learning how to ask the right questions. 

2013. The year that tried to live up to the year that broke me. Yeah, as Crinkum-Crankumish as this year was, it wasn’t even the second worst year that’s happened to me in the past 5 years. So go figure.

I learned how to accept bullshit to reduce aggregate bullshit this year. 

Learned the value(s) of silence. 

I also learned never again to ask the “Can things possibly get any worse?” question. They usually do.

Most importantly, I have learned (now more than ever) to look out for my own interest as well, instead of acting like Father Theresa all the time. 

Because when you find yourself needing to either move or sink in shit’s creek? You’re the only one who will be there to wonder why you have no paddles.

And oh yeah… December 31st of this year will make it exactly ONE entire year since the last time I drank Alcohol.

Like, No Alcohol.

Like, at all.

Like, 365 days.

Like, Not even one drop.

LOL. Get it or nah, it means a great deal to me that I was able to decide to drop a habit and I was able to. *Highfives Angel Michael*

Here’s hoping 2014 will be better to me. And to you too. Amen.

Reviewing my year here with you guys has been all sorts of cathartic. 

Thanks Efe for having me on here. Hope you understand now why I couldn’t write as I had proMISED THIS TIME LAST YEAR AS I WAS SORTA KINDA IN MILITARY HELL AT THE TIME YEAH? OKAY. 

BYE GUYS AND PEACE, LOVE AND A CARTON OF THAT FISH FLAVORED BISCUIT TO YOU AND YOURS. MINE TOO. 🙂 

**OFFS CAPSLOCK**

Sent from TheBatmobile®

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God was your strength this year. Welcome back. Had no idea you were in those zones in 2013!  Had no idea you were even commissioned! Thanks a lot for sharing Dammy.

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