Committing to Being Dead

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About Adam Polaski

Adam Polaski is a rising senior journalism major at Ithaca College, where he enjoys writing, reading, and procrastinating entrance into the big, bad, post-academia world. He also writes for The Bilerico Project and The New Gay. Email him at apolaski7[at]gmail[dot]com.


  1. Deborah says:

    My father landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and fought his way through France. My mother said he was not the same man she married when he returned. He suffered from PTSD and was very depressed initially. He took a job at a bank, but had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. He re-enlisted and spent 25 years in the army. Retired as a Colonel. Thank-you for this wonderful article because it helped me understand my father more.

  2. bradford heron says:

    i really appreciate the tempo and the shifting tone of your writing. Thank you.

  3. heart-breaking and perfect description of PTSD… (especially the re-enacting aspects of trauma… its so hard to explain/describe this to people; that its not masochistic and/or “crazy” but really a deep urge (itch) to “complete” horrific situations with an act of triumph (scratch), and find a satisfying peace… so, while the re-enactments themselves can be destructive, thats not the intention of the seeker… and this is often SO hard for people to understand (the traumatized AND loved one’s alike).
    thank you so much for sharing… I will pass on to my clients struggling to come up for air.
    P.S. I STRONGLY recommend EMDR as a way to speed up the healing/recovery process!!!

  4. I’m disappointed in this article. I expected to hear more about being committed to death, it’s a fascinating topic and one that combat experienced soliders have a great perspective on.

    I’m also a little disheartened with the way this article didn’t acknowledge Matt as a powerful resourceful man. Matt is not suffering from lack of opportunities in post-military life, he’s just lazy. It’s no one’s job but his to create the life he wants, and when we coddle our veterans by believing their “I’m a victim” stories it only hurts them more.

  5. It’s funny how war takes over your life. Thank you for sharing this story. Not all of us who have come back have the courage or desire to talk about it. @Dave if you didn’t serve you might want to keep your mouth shut. PTSD is serious and until you’ve walked in our shoes you wouldn’t understand. It affects everyone differently. I promise you Matt is not lazy, in fact he has probably worked harder than you ever have during his military career.

  6. “War robs you mentally and physically, it drains you. Things don’t thrill you anymore. It’s a
    struggle everyday to find something interesting to do.”
    I’ll take Audie Murphy’s word on the matter. Once you’ve been to war you’re damaged, in a way that we can’t yet fix. Vets will continue to do the best they can, because that’s generally who they are.

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