• Betsy Ross

Mental Health Recovery

Should I open up to someone?

There are many forms of sadness, depression, PTSD, loneliness, anxiety; you name it, there's a mixture of all the above that many of us FIGHT with on a daily basis. When many veterans hear "mental health", they turn to walk away. Why?

  1. They've been burned before.

  2. Fear of being judged/criticized.

  3. The "they won't understand" stigma.

  4. All they can think of is the bullshit powerpoints that were repeatedly drilled into every service member's head.

Where to go from here?

Many veterans think that getting their DD214 is a chance at freedom again. Many veterans see it as an open door that they don't feel ready to face. Many veterans all but sped out the parking lot on post once they completed their final-out process.

It's a bs lie to ourselves. All of it. There's a lull in between the time of the weight of the DD214 hitting your hand and when the reality of it all suddenly hits you. What now?

Many veterans forget a lot of what was said as they were being "trained" to be a civilian again. For me, I was so confused and lost, everything being said in those "classes" flew right over my head. I was like, "What?" "What am I going to do?" "I can do that? Well, not sure I can." "Why did I get out again?"...On and on...the doubt and utter confusion festered, then once I packed up my truck to head to my parent's house (because I had no where else to go), I started driving in the wrong direction. Granted, it was an 11-hour drive, but still, I had made the drive home before. But it was a surreal moment that I realized, "What the fuck am I going to do now?"

Beginning a new journey

I was drinking heavily. I was in a bad marriage. I couldn't find a job. I had no where to live. I felt stuck, I felt lost. But I had the nerve to jump back into school, too. To some, that sounds like a good idea, but I'm still not sure if it was the right decision just because of 1) dealing with students--my peers--who thought the worst part of life was taking Finals....pretty sure I was a jerk to them. 2) My life was crumbling all around me, and I was to make good grades? Yeah, not a very good idea.

BUT, I eventually trained myself to just stop the drinking. My ex finally stayed gone; though, it lead to a 2-year-long divorce. When I got to the other side of being sober for a while and being divorced, I met someone new, started a career, started a family.

I'm a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. Begin your journey NOW. Doesn't matter where you think you are or what you have done, CHANGE can be done. Surround yourself with good people you can look up to.

  • Say or vent one thing a day to someone about yourself

  • Count 3 good things that happen today--even if it's just finding a penny in the parking lot

  • Focus on one goal for the day; it can be something simple like a making a phone call to a buddy or taking out the trash, but make today count



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