I never thought I would find myself sitting down to write in a diary. It's not something that comes naturally to me, but lately, I've been feeling the weight of my past bearing down on me more heavily than usual. The memories of World War II and my time as a prisoner of HYDRA haunt me constantly, and sometimes it feels like I'm drowning in them.

I've always prided myself on being strong, both physically and emotionally. As the Winter Soldier, I was trained to be ruthless and efficient - a killing machine without empathy or remorse. But underneath all that programming lies James Buchanan Barnes, a man who has endured more pain and suffering than most can imagine.

It's easy for me to hide behind my gruff exterior and push people away with sharp words and cold indifference. Opening up is difficult for someone like me; vulnerability has never been one of my strengths. But recently, I've come to realize that there is strength in allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

Talking about your feelings doesn't make you weak - it makes you human. It takes courage to confront your demons head-on instead of burying them deep inside where they fester and grow stronger by the day. Admitting that you need help isn't a sign of weakness; it's a testament to your resilience.

For so long, I believed that showing any sign of emotion meant exposing myself as weak or flawed somehow. But now I see that vulnerability is not synonymous with weakness; it takes true strength to let down your guard and show others the scars hidden beneath the surface.

I may still struggle with opening up completely - old habits die hard after all - but each small step towards embracing vulnerability brings me closer to finding peace within myself. And maybe one day, those around me will see beyond the facade I present and understand the man beneath all the armor.

So here's to embracing vulnerability: may we find strength in our weaknesses just as we do in our triumphs.