Writing With Mental Illness Part 3

Posted by James Eyler on November 12, 2018
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Category: Blog
So, what do we do? That’s the big question, I guess. How do we overcome things like Traumatic Brain Injury, remembering that you used to be able to do things easier, and better, but now…you just can’t? That’s different than depression. Do we just learn to deal with what we have, kind of settle for what we got? I don’t think there is any single answer to either of those questions. Of course, we have to deal with what we got. To do otherwise is just ignoring the issue. But dealing with what we got doesn’t mean we are settling. Suffering from a mental illness is a fact of reality. Dealing with it simply means we understand that and learn to make it better. We all tackle the obstacles of life differently, and we are prone to tackle them with our passions. Those things we truly love to do. People

Writing With Mental Illness Part 2

Posted by James Eyler on October 26, 2018
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Category: Blog
I was fortunate and had an amazing childhood, raised by hippies. My growing happened when I thought I was ready to adult and took the plunge headfirst. My demons were birthed on the front lines of war. My childhood was the stuff of legend. Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Billy Coleman (Where the Red Fern Grows) all wrapped into one. I grew up in Napa, California, on the other side of the mountain that cups the valley. We didn’t have cable TV, only a couple radio stations reached us, and the closest store was a small convenience store called Lakeside Market which was about a 10 minute drive, almost as long as it took to get to Napa. My elementary school, Capell Valley, boasted an attendance of 32 students, grades 1–6, with one teacher (Mrs. Grey) and an aid (Mrs. Sammuel). My weekends were spent adventuring through the vast wilderness,

Writing With Mental Illness Part 1

Posted by James Eyler on October 18, 2018
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Category: Blog
What can I say? I suffer from depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from combat, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and probably a slew of other illnesses that haven’t been diagnosed. The illness I want to touch on is depression, and what it’s like to write on depression. Most people are fortunate enough to not have to suffer from that insidious illness. They often relate depression to being sad, and I get that. Depression makes people sad, and when you don’t have any empirical knowledge about it, you relate it to what you know—being sad. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Sadness is a superficial emotion that can last from a minute to a few days. Most of the time it can be cured with a simple joke or change in perspective. When we lose a loved one, the sadness can take a bit longer than a few days, but it

Row Your Boat

Posted by James Eyler on September 21, 2018
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Category: Blog
My favorite piece of philosophy is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. It’s deep. Please forgive the pun. Anywho, I feel the allegory encapsulates the learning process, coming into a greater and truer understanding of the universe, and how painful that process can be. However, I feel that it falls short on encapsulating Life itself. Life, I feel, is more like a river. It continuously flows downstream, through meandering bends, long lulls, and turbulent rapids. We travel down the river on rowboats, unable to travel upstream no matter how hard we row, even in the calmest lull. There are always choices along the river. Once shore might look better than another. We can go to one shore or another, but never both, and once we get to one shore it may not be as great as it had seemed from the middle of the river, while the other shore may now seem

No Expectations No Frustrations

Posted by James Eyler on August 30, 2018
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Category: Blog
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received came from my Army chaplain right before I returned home from my first tour of combat in Iraq—no expectations; no frustrations. But after having been involved with the capture of Saddam Hussein (as well as numerous other highly influential missions), not having any expectations was nigh impossible. I felt like I couldn’t NOT have expectations for the glory of our return, and it almost killed me. But, I feel that deserves a bit of a backstory first… I was a reconnaissance specialist in the Army (A Troop 1/10 CAV). The eyes and ears of the Army trained to operate deep behind enemy lines. My unit was the recon unit for 4th ID, and we were very influential during our one year tour. We were initially supposed to have invaded Iraq from Turkey, but politics got in the way and we ended up coming