Living With The People In The Mirror

One day in the early nineties after a hard night of drinking I woke up and met some people who were living in the mirror with me. The first person I met was the same person I knew since the early seventies. This person blamed all his problems on everybody else and tried to find comfort and relief from drugs and alcohol. This person was not in complete control yet but was trying very hard to take charge of the people in the mirror.

The second person I met was the person who went to work everyday and tried his best to do a good job and take pride in himself and keep that first person at bay as best he could. This person fooled himself for many years thinking he could live with that first person and keep him under control.

The third person I met was a stranger to me at this time. The first and second person did their best to keep him hidden away from view and refused to let him have to much influence on the day to day operation of the person in the mirror. For many years the first person tried his best to destroy the third person. For many years the second person refused to listen to the wisdom of the third person and kept thinking he could control everybody in the mirror.

On this day the third person took control of the people in the mirror and put everybody in their place. The first person was banished from the mirror and sent to a place where his reflection could never again shine on the people in the mirror. His voice still lingers, but his reflection is gone.

The second person was sent back to boot camp to learn how to be a productive member of society and take full responsibility for all of his actions. He was given instruction on personal and professional esprit de corps. While the second person is not perfect, he tries everyday to do the best he can at being a productive member of society live and within his means.

The third person is in complete control now. The person in the mirror is 54 years old, same weight as day he got out of boot camp in 1982. As fast and agile as he was back in those days. Eats one good meal a day, no fast food and drinks a lot of coffee. He pays all his bills on time and has great credit. Lives by his want/need list. Want list is long, need list fits on a post it pad.

Everybody needs to come to terms with the people in their mirror. These people can be your greatest allies or your worst enemies. Your personal enemies in the mirror are more fearsome than any soldier or terrorist in the world. Use the strengths of your allies to defeat your enemies in the mirror.

Remember who you are.

Guy Hollis is a U.S. Army Veteran of the 101st Airborne and 25th Infantry Divisions.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

18 Comments to “Living With The People In The Mirror”

  1. Brenda Hayes says:

    Thanks for your post. I enjoyed it and glad you met the third “person”.

    Continued blessings for you now and in the future.

    BH
    Vetwife Advocate

  2. Debra Mahar says:

    I totally believe in your statemeent…
    Thank You for sharing it!

  3. Rob Johnson says:

    Very well said!

  4. Can says:

    Just we must know that army are keeping;just people must not use wrong way,people must not use wrong life.Best life army life.

  5. Terri says:

    Guy thank you for sharing your insight. I look forward to reading more of your writings in the future.

  6. CINDY FLEURY says:

    VERY NICELY SAID. MY HUBBY SERVED IN NAM 68-69 WITH THE 25TH. INFANTRY DIVISION 1/5 MECH….BLESS YOU AND WELCOME HOME…

  7. Jason Shattuck says:

    That, is so encouraging thank you.

  8. Lawrence R Lilly Gurley, AL says:

    I have been using the VA in Huntsville and Birmingham, AL since 1977 and when they opened in Huntsville. I served from Dec 61 to Dec 63, was injured in 62, worked till Nov 71. I am 100% rated. I like to talk to anyone that will listen to me, about anything, especially the BIBLE. I have found that a lot of Viet vets are opening up and talking of thier service and thier problems. This seems to have started after the first gulf war, and when these GI’s and vets were more open about thier experiences. I help vets and anyone applying for SSA, SSI disabilities to fill out thier apps. I found out that just letting them talk, helps them and me. The Viet vets seem to trust the services, DAV,VFW, or American Legion, more today than they did in the 70′s thru the 90′s.

  9. Rick Wheaton says:

    Thanks for putting it in perspective Guy. You sound just like me, except my third guy didn’t assert himself until I was 58. Feels good doesn’t it?

  10. Charles Cauthen says:

    Great post, Guy.Everything comes from within, even the tinnitus crickets in my head. I’ve spent 40 years running from the pain of combat in VN. I’m 61 and can’t run anymore. A good look in the mirror is quite comforting.

    God bless,
    C. Cauthen

  11. Robert Bundrick says:

    I appreciate your story very very much!! Seeing this has put so much into perspective!! I have lived life as the second person for so long!! The first person shows himself now and then, he seems to becomeing more and more of a stranger. The third person seems to becoming more and more into everyday life, i havent let him take total control yet but his grip on my life is coming stonger and stronger. I am 44 years old retired 22 years of army service. Most people dont have a clue as to what it takes to adjust back to civilian life, because outside the military, there is no other form of life that even comes close to the life and commradery that we so enjoy, as we do in the military. Questions arise problems persist, but my life outside is getting better everyday, it just takes persistance, dedication to making life work.
    AGAIN thank you for your comments, it has been so very helpful for me to put things into perspective

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I took an early retirement from the USAF in 94, 4 yrs short of 20. People don’t understand why I left early. I have all my benefits, and lost 4% of my pay. I have a hard time missing all the people I loved in the military. I still have lots of people in my mirror, but am undergoing counseling thru my VA hospital, and that helps. It’s very hard to explain to non-military people about the life you had, and all the hats you wore, and why you miss it, and why you don’t. It’s SO important to admit you need help, because my experience in the military was that you couldn’t go for treatment unless you wanted a black mark on your record. Thanks for your post, it’s opened me up and will help me at my appointment tomorrow.

  13. X-Squid says:

    Wow . . . bud, you nailed it. I’m between the 2nd and 3rd person right now – 46. Served in Desert Storm. I personally know all three of these people, they all live in me. I’ve recently accepted 90-day rehab in Big Spring, Tx, VA – scared to death . . . not sure what is next . . . just know 1 and 2 can’t stay in charge. Thanks brother.

  14. brenda hayes says:

    XSquid,

    Thanks for taking control of your life and getting help. Is that 90 day program at PTSD program or a A/D program; or do they address all three in that program.

    Excited for you. When you get better; than you can help other Vets.

    Best to you.

    BH
    Vetwife Advocate

  15. MSGT FOSTER says:

    The mirror person is a good thought. It brings to mind the way our GOVERNMENT AND CONGRESS AND VA look at the AGENT ORANGE VETERANS..WITH THEIR BACK TO THEM AS IF LOOKING AT US IN A MIRROR. A good AGENT ORANGE MEMORIAL TO THE MILLIONS OF VETS KILLED BY AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE FROM THE VIETNAM WAR WHO SERVED IN COUNTRY VIETNAM, ON SHIPS, IN THAILAND, IN GUAM, IN CAMBODIA, AND LAOS AND OKINAWA AND THE PHILIPPNES SHOULD BE A MEMORIAL THAT YOU HAVE SEE BY LOOKING IN A MIRROR..JUST LIKE OUR COUNTRY HAD DONE TO US.

  16. Mike M says:

    I love what you wrote about the Want / Needs list.

    “Want list is long, need list fits on a post it pad”

    I’m teaching my kids that concept early in hopes it will serve them well.

  17. SMEBS says:

    Thanks for your post. I enjoyed it and glad you met the third “person”
    ————————————————————
    Best Regards;
    SMEBS B2B Directory india;Aloe vera leaf extract

  18. Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……