Should I tell them I don’t feel very strong at this very moment.
Everyone is always telling me ‘Oh, you’re so strong…”
‘…when the Army had you and your husband living in two different states for the first three years of your marriage.’
‘…when you had to leave your one-year-old daughter to deploy for a year to Iraq.’
‘…when you lost your twin girls at 22 weeks pregnant.’
Do I tell them I didn’t feel so strong then and I don’t feel so strong now as I fight through these emotions that are stalling my transition process?
Is this something you think about too?
I know my friends and family meant well by saying these words. And they probably truly believe that I am strong. The truth is there are moments I have to be strong, the situation truly depends on me being strong and I muster up the strength. Then there are times like now and the above situations where ‘being strong’ was the farthest thing from my mind.
I feel confused and angry because this is an unfamiliar place for me. I was a Soldier for 22 years. When I entered the Army a beast inside of me woke up and that shy girl I used to be disappeared. I grew into a Leader. So being in this vulnerable space is not fun, familiar or enjoyable.
I get angry, mostly at myself, because I should be able to just ‘shake it off.’ At least that’s what I thought. According to maketheconnection.net it is common for someone transitioning from the military to feel or experience:
Uncomfortable with the lack of structure and order once they transition to civilian life
Become easily irritate with others who seem more easy-going or less detail-oriented than you
Feel isolated and alone, thinking no one understands you
Difficulty connecting with people who do not understand the military lifestyle
Have you experienced any of these feelings during your transition? I did. The good news is that we are not weird or strange. This is a normal occurrence for Service Members transitioning to civilian life. It’s not comfortable and it does not feel good. The good news is it is only temporary. If you survived a military career – you possess the skills needed to successfully transition and live a wonderful life outside of the uniform.
Pushing through these feelings you are struggling with and getting to that life you desire is totally dependent on YOU. It may even require you to do things you are not used to doing like ask for help. I tapped into resources I had never used in my 22 years in the Army – I sought mental health counseling. You know what? – IT HELPED. Once I broke through that initial wall holding up my transition, I got a few coaches, mentors and consultants to help me fully transition into civilian life as a business owner.
I found that when I asked for help there were plenty of people there to offer the help I needed. Now I am in a position to help others. There is no honor in suffering, suffering alone or in silence, or struggling when help is available.
It’s your turn #BattleBuddy…What’s your next move going to be?