TALK…Well what did you think?!?
Seriously though, I would say talking more about my concerns really helped me move through my transition with progress. Especially when I encountered struggles processing my emotions.
So what do I talk about? Who do I talk with? Good questions. I talked to specific people about specific things. Not everyone is privy to every aspect of your life or your thoughts. The only person who came close to ‘all access’ status was my husband and I even found there were things I couldn’t talk to him about initially, until I worked up the nerve to share.
Society would tell us that it’s weak to talk and ‘share’ about our problems, especially men. Really? That is one of the biggest lies circulating right now. How is anyone to help if they do not know you are struggling.
According statistics on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) website the suicide rate is 4 times higher among men than women, 77.4% of those who died by suicide in 2014 were men and 22.6% were women. White males accounted for 70% of ALL suicides in 2014.
I would never minimize anyone’s struggle with suicide because I don’t know that struggle. When I hear the reports though, I always wonder – ‘Who did they tell?’ I always wonder if speaking up would have changed the outcome.
I know for me and my struggle with depression and my emotional struggle during my transition from the military, speaking up changed my outcome. It literally changed my life. I discovered THREE key things when I finally decided to speak up:
You are not alone. Many Veterans struggle during the transition to civilian life. They miss many things about the military to include their #BattleBuddies and the structured lifestyle. While many of the Veterans I personally asked admitted to having an emotional response to transition, many also admitted to having never discussed their emotional struggle with anyone.
You are on the right track. When I opened up about how I was feeling about transition with the mental health counselor, I found I was on the right track to pushing through the struggle. I shared with her some of the things I implemented into my life to create some normalcy. She assured me I was on track for success, which encouraged me to keep pushing through the tough times.
You will make it through the struggle. The good news is that I made it through and continue to make progress every day in my transition to create a comfortable life outside of the uniform. As trained, former Military Members we possess many skills, skills that will allow us to succeed in life after the military. Skills necessary to move through life struggles with confidence.
Will there be difficulties? Yes. Will you struggle? Possibly. The good news is, if you keep pushing #BattleBuddy, you will reach success. This is good news indeed.
Lila Holley is a retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer Four, two-time Amazon best-selling author and certified life coach specializing in helping Military Members and Veterans through the emotional process of transitioning from military life to civilian life. Her book ‘Battle Buddy: Maneuvering the Battlefield of Transitioning from the Military’ chronicles her own struggles with depression during her transition process. Contact Lila at firstname.lastname@example.org or at her website http:becomeabattlebuddy.online.