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Head Games

This is the story of an Air Force war veteran in his late thirties wrestling as best he can with a misdiagnosed mental illness compounded by post dramatic war syndrome going untreated due to a self-destructive combination of arrogance and a sinful amount of pride. Not only can he not admit to himself he may need professional help of any sort, but he self-medicates and compounds his problems with alcohol. His growing paranoia causes him to leave a great career in a half-baked attempt at self-employment. His growing paranoia makes it evermore impossible for him to face his co-workers, who he feels despise him behind his back, but laugh with him as he puts on a glib facade. In the attempt to streamline his life, Steve resigns from the fire department in order to raise the capital necessary to go into business for himself, despite the protests of his wife, family and friends. A disastrous turn of events leaves him penniless. Disgraced before everyone he knows, a full bottle of sleeping pills seems to be the only solution to his problems, still refusing to seek help at the VA hospital because his bipolar state refuses to allow him to humble himself and his paranoia won’t let him trust the government.

After spending time in the hospital, he discovers the true sources of his problems and what he can do to overcome them. Fortunately, he has the love of his wife and daughter to give him emotional support and new found faith to give him guidance.

--S. J. Ateca

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