The caps homeless veterans face on their happiness are extremely painful

It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’ve had when you’re a homeless veteran. It’s always going to end the same. When you go to bed in the park, or your car, or even a shelter, when you lay your head down you’re still not home.

You’re still a homeless veteran.

This is a painful reminder I’ve had to face every night since it happened to me. It doesn’t matter how many housing applications you filled out, or how the weather was that day, when you close your eyes, you’re still alone.

It stings. And then your consciousness has the audacity to allow you to dream that you’re not homeless. I had a dream about a happier time in my life last night

And then I woke up. I didn’t want to stand up this morning. I wanted to shut down.

I supposed these caps on happiness, while very disturbing, are a good thing. These painful reminders discourage complacency. That’s something I see in the people around me that I try to avoid.

As ridiculous as a it sounds, I try to have a forward looking perspective on my homelessness.

There have been a few times when I’ve been searching for a job or filling out paperwork, to find tears coming out of my eyes. Someone will ask me if I’m okay and I didn’t even realize it was happening.

I remember when I foolishly got out of the army so long ago. I was certain I was going to take over the world. And then there were times in uniform when I went to bed after a hard days work and felt a satisfaction I’ve never felt to this day. Working for my country was the most honorable thing I’ve ever done.

Right now that is limited. Because no matter what I do, I’m still a homeless vet with no job, no car, and no support. I would give almost anything to go back and warn my younger self. Sometimes we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be and we don’t even know it.

But I’m not defeated. I remember the song Lost by Coldplay, and it gives me a little lift.

Just because I’m losing
Doesn’t mean I’m lost
Doesn’t mean I will stop
Doesn’t mean I will cross
Just because I’m hurting
Doesn’t mean I’m hurt
Doesn’t mean I didn’t get what I deserved
No better and no worse

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