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Meet Jeremy Caquelin. He is an Army E.O.D. Combat Veteran and this week’s giveaway winner!

He has several tattoos — In fact, his entire upper body is covered in ink as well as part of his lower body.

Giveaway Winner
Giveaway Winner
Giveaway Winner

Jeremy also suffers from many different ailments, which led him to almost take his life a few years ago. Although he’s still in a constant battle with his conditions, writing poetry helps him during his coping process.

We are very fortunate that he was willing to share a very personal poem with us, where he talks about his time as a soldier and the day-to-day life he now lives.

Jeremy hopes his poem helps someone who is also struggling to know that they are not alone.

The Norm

I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted
But I do know what it’s like to be afflicted
The tightness in my chest breathing constricted
My brain and my heart are so contradicted
My body told my soul “you are evicted!”
If I die, could it have been predicted?
I just want a happy life, unrestricted
I just want to breathe without it impeded
I want to speak without it being encrypted
I want to think without it being twisted
I want to know the truth without it being sifted
I want to feel good and stop feeling so wicked
I use these pills to keep from being committed
Everyday trying to get by with this medication
Failing to be happy like the wrong prescription
Look in the mirror and don’t know the reflection
This is my life, all I feel is frustration
I’m so lost, but “I’m fine” my depiction
Want to go on but feel eternal damnation
Try to breathe deep but only feel deflation
Death and I… no relationship just flirtation
She’s a shapeshifter, many mutations
Belly dancer with sexy hip gyration
Luring me in with the right narration
She’s a 1st person shooter on my PlayStation
I’m playing for my life, no spawn regeneration
Maybe she’s cool…might be my salvation
She can stop the pain, make it go on vacation
Sit back with a Mai Tai and enjoy the sensation
Sand on my fingers….
*BOOM*
Flashback to deployment
Lives slip through my fingers just like my enjoyment
Both youth and faith fill me with abandonment
I want revenge as their bodies lie on the pavement
“How can you just stand there as your friend lays dormant?”
“Why aren’t you helping, you’re such a disappointment!”
Their eyes screaming but their mouths silent
I guess shock is real… imagine my bewilderment
His soul escapes, rage fills me in the moment
No bandages, no CPR no magic ointment
He’s fucking dead, you don’t have to be clairvoyant
The worst days of my life are this fucking deployment
Day after day another happiness replacement
Suicide without any dismemberment
I should be dead, my soul now forever poignant
Happiness is crystal clear, my soul now limo tinted
The old me gone, now completely infected
Army changed me, innocence redacted
Can’t ask for help that shit is protected
Not showing weakness is inherently insisted
“You are a soldier stop getting it twisted”
“Move forward, the mission is dependent”
When is the mission me? I contradicted
Push those thoughts out, focus redirected
“You’re fine, drink water” was transmitted
“Lima Charlie, Oscar Mike” I communicated
Suicide bomber trying to get his cell connected
Looks me in the eyes as he’s trying to end it
In this game, Death is pissed I cheated
Others not as lucky as connection completed
Pick up the pieces of my fellow enlisted
Put the pieces in a bowl as I was directed
It’ll be a pretty empty casket I admitted
Can’t dwell on that, another order printed
Time to go get the Humvee shifted
Nerves fried, pistol ready “Are you addicted?”
“Fuck NO! Just don’t want my life ended!”
Inside my head I’m treading water with my clothes on
I flail and kick, these sorrows feel like a ton
Battery acid through veins as my lungs struggle open
Water over my lips and getting in my nose… start chokin
My limbs turn to cement no longer floatin
I’m sinking. I can’t do it anymore, please throw a rope in
From water to the darkness, one swift motion
I know it’s the beast and he hasn’t even spoken
I’m still alive but feels like my soul has been stolen
No longer underwater but lungs still struggle open
Every little thing triggers anger and frustration
Void of happiness there is no light in this location
Watching my body as a lifeless reflection
I’m watching the puppet master control my attention
As he controls my movements all I feel is humiliation
He’s the director, I’m the animation
I’m in control of nothing, my minds desperation
How can I be a husband, a father or any combination?
Looking through red tinted eyes all I see is aggravation
My focus is on nothing but obliteration
Rage fills all the voids, complete renovation
No psalms, no proverbs, just this revelation
I’m not a man anymore, I’m the Beasts incarnation
Darkness taken over, complete transformation
No more humanity, nothing but desolation
Monster under the bed, nope, Step-Dad its classification
My spirit too weak to fight the Beasts domination
It’s so hard to hurt its power magnification
I’m so weak and tired, need assimilation
I don’t want to give up… I can’t give in…
I’m barely surviving… how do I win?
With everything I have I strike down the aberration
*GASP*
I can FINALLY Breath!
My lungs fill with air as the beast retrieves
I thought I killed it but I misperceive
Guess what? It doesn’t matter
the damage is done, the mood is somber
What did I do while I was under?
I’m me again… or am I something left over?
As I clean up the pieces, I don’t want to be sober
Meticulously try to put things together
Left over shards hard for this puzzle master
Making them fit back is harder and harder
it’s a tiny ripple in a larger body of water
a tidal wave in here, might as well be pearl harbor
You’d think by now I’d be a better swimmer
“How long will you last, how much further?”

“Don’t worry about me, I’m Fine” as I slip under…

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