Don’t Be Bitter. Forgive!

Don't be bitter. Forgive!

Bitter Feelings

I remember how messed up and bitter I was back in 2011, living day by day thinking death was right around the corner, hatting the fact I joined the Army. Seven years after war and it felt like I was still stuck in hell.

One moment I’d be fighting in a Wadi-Us-Salaam cemetery taking mortar rounds, the next moment I’m driving to work with chronic back pain speeding through traffic having flashbacks. Some days I just called into work because I was, quit frankly, scared to open the door because it might blow up.

In those dark moments my mind led me to believe that nothing in life was real,  believing  I died back in Iraq and I was in hell. That’s the reason suicide constantly ran through my head.

feeling bitter“You’re never getting better, just let go of the steering wheel and it’ll all be over.”

Engulfed in Bitterness

I hated the military for making me this way and my parents for how I was raised.

An overwhelming sensation to hurt my ex-step-father for the years of abuse he put me through enraged me. He once beat me so hard, an ink pen somehow got stabbed through my ankle. I had this overwhelming urge to kill because of the random flashbacks I was pushed and pulled from.

Sometimes I wouldn’t sleep for days at a time, I was used to it you know, from the 24-48 hours duties in the Army. I wished I was back in Iraq fighting on the front line again so I could feel normal. Like someone important again.

Anger turned into bitterness, which always led me back to suicidal thoughts, descending down a dark path.


“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6: 14-15 ESV

As soon as I softened my heart to the people that hurt me the most and tried my best to move on, life started getting better. I started talking to loved ones again and I served in my church as much as I could. I’m slowly remembering the person I was before the war.god is salvation


Things didn’t miraculously change in a week or even a month. I had to learn how to live with my pain as well as my PTSD symptoms. Since I started actively working on re-building my life in 2014, I’ve become happier with the fact that I’m alive and I have a loving family that gives me support and things to look forward to every day.


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23 comments on “Don’t Be Bitter. Forgive!

  1. Thank you for sharing, thank you for your service and inspiration!

    xoxo Christie

  2. Such an honest post. You sounds like you’ve been through many horrors that most people would never be able to understand. Great to hear you are doing better and moving forward. Thank you so much for your service.

  3. One has to channel resentments in a productive way to avoid being emotionally destroyed by them.

  4. Wow you have been through a lot. I like reading honest posts like this. You probably feel slightly better getting these things off of your chest.

  5. Tha I you for sharing this post, I can’t even imagine being in your place.

  6. PTSD is such a crippling thing to experience. Thank you for sharing your story and shining a light on just how deep the pain can be. I’m so glad to hear you’ve begun your healing process. Wishing you all the best.

  7. livvypb

    Wow, I felt the pain with every word of that. Thanks for sharing

  8. Very motivating!! Forgiveness is everything… but its not easy to forgive.. at least not for me !! Thanks for sharing your thoughts

  9. Thanks so much for your honesty, Samuel! Writers like you are going to help get the dialogue going around mental health in the U.S. Your candor is exactly what we need!

  10. Yes, Jesus holds us in the palm of his hand (if we let him). I never feel more at peace than when I’m praying in bed at night. I have to remind myself that I can feel that in the day too…when I’m upset, stressed or nervous.

    I was just listening to a woman talk today. She’s a friend of the priest (Lebanese) at the church I attend. She grew up in Rwanda and went through that horrible genocide. She experienced horrible things not the worst of which was having to hide under the dead to avoid being killed herself. She talked a lot about forgiveness and the role Jesus had in holding her and moving her to a better place.

    It seems that forgiveness (and it’s role in healing) is a theme today in my life…

    God bless you

  11. I used to think forgiveness was a one-step deal. I took a class in college called Human Relations though, that changed that mindset. I had to read a book about forgiveness and I realized it may actually be a long process, and it’s not about the other person. Forgiveness is more for the sake of the forgiver, and it’s definitely one of the hardest things to do (in my opinion). I’m glad to hear you’re starting to forgive others, and move on. I know it must not be an easy thing to do.

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