Turn the page

4 min read

It has been nearly 8 years since Afghanistan and in that time I have slid further and further into hell. I have lied to myself. I have acted like it would go away on it’s own. That if I just kept moving and ignored it that it would finally go away. The things that have happened in those 8 years, the people that I have hurt, the loved ones I have treated terribly…it all breaks my heart because at my core it’s not who I am and not at all who I want to be. I am crippled by the fear of looking in the mirror and seeing the reality of what I’ve become by my own prideful choices.

As soon as I can get my car clean of ice and the roads are in a little better condition to drive on I am headed to the local Veterans Affairs office to seek out help. I don’t know how long this process is going to take. What I do know is that I am so crippled by all of this I am unable to move forward with my life and be the best version of me I can be for me and for others.

I want to give a shout out to Kris Gage. Your words, they cut through my BS. Mostly they made me come to realize how terrible I am to myself and how that reflects in my relationships. Thank you, really thank you.

To my mom: I love you. I don’t ever say that nearly enough and dammit all if you aren’t the strongest woman I know for having put up with my unstable ass. I can’t thank you enough.

To my best friend and the woman I love with all my heart: I am sorry. There are not even words to express the sorrow I feel for having treated you the way I did. I didn’t even know I was like that with you until it was far too late, it’s no excuse though. You deserve better. You deserve the best. You always have had my best interest in your heart and have consistently called me on my BS and talked me off that ledge. God blessed me beyond what I ever deserved when he sent you into my life. You were the angel he sent to me and you are an angel to me. It has never been a pick up line or said without all that I hold in my heart for you: I love you.

To my best friend since I was 5: When you told me “I’m scared and worried about you, I’m worried I’m gonna lose my best friend” that’s when it got real. When someone who has known you that long tells you the reality you are ignoring. I love you like a brother and thank you.

To my cousin: You have become a brother to me and you have been there through some tough times. I love you man and I love that beautiful little girl so much, she lights up my world. I love Miller and his farting too. Thank you to all three of you for bringing so much joy into my life.

I turn 30 next week. I don’t want to spend the next 30 living in regret and hurting the people that I love or I will end up just as alone and isolated as I have continually made myself over the last 8 years. I want to get better and be the man I know and want to be.

  • No more lying to yourself.
  • No more ignoring the problem.
  • No more regretting.
  • No more bitterness.
  • No more traveling down the rabbit hole.

You do this now Cody, you learn to forgive and love yourself right now.

~ Cody 🚀
Cody Brunner

Cody is a Christian, USN Veteran, Jayhawk, and an American expat living outside of Bogotá, Colombia where he works as a Senior Frontend Developer for WAO Fintech.