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He Matters

By: J.R.

My husband of 15 years suffers from combat PTSD. He recently started getting help and our family has seen so much improvement. He is my inspiration for this poem because I see him struggle every day and no matter what kind of day he is having, he matters to me and my family. I hope that readers can feel comforted by reading this story if they feel similar or know someone who feels the same way. I also hope to make others aware of what mental illness can be like for those struggling with it. Mental health is important and I think it is important to make others aware. I used a story because I personally feel this is the best way for me to express myself and share my thoughts with others.

3rd · Adult Writing (2020)

He matters on his worst days.
The days when he struggles to get out of bed and only does so out of obligation.
The days when he doesn’t want to be bothered and wants to be alone.
The days when he pretends to be happy for the sake of others.
The days filled with fake smiles and small talk.
The days when his children want to play with him, but he doesn’t.
The days when his wife needs him, and he can’t be there for her.

He matters on his darkest days.
He has seen the worst in humanity, and he can’t forget it.
The memories of the things he has seen and done consume his mind.
These are the days when he struggles with guilt.
The days where his stress levels are high and his adrenaline is pumping all day.
These are the toughest days for everyone around him, especially those who love him.
The days where rage and anger get the best of him.
The days where he is mad at the world and sees good in no one.
These are the days where he can be most hurtful to those around him.
The days that end with apologies.

He matters on his best days.
The days when he plays outside with the kids.
The days when he helps his wife clean the house or helps with dinner.
The days when he’s up for a walk at the park or a drive to get ice cream.
The days when he can sit with his wife in a restaurant and be comfortable.
The days when his smiles are sincere.
These are the days when he lets in the light.
The days where he seems hopeful.

Mental illness matters because he matters.