I don’t know about you, but there have been many times throughout my life that I have just wanted to find a spot away from everyone and disappear. I have never wanted to hurt myself or anyone around me, I just want to get away from the world and shut out all the noise and make my brain shut off. Am I the only one? I can’t be, can I?
You know, sometimes, when you try to be everything to everyone, or life has just gotten completely sideways, or you still feel like you aren’t enough, your brain will start talking shit. It will tell you all kinds of nonsense, and sometimes you start to believe that nonsense. Sometimes it festers and corrodes at the very core of who you are, getting into the finest crevices and digging in until it causes so much pain that you can’t stand it. Life has a way of stabbing you in the back and then wrenching the knife around until it finds the most painful spot. This is the point when we want to escape. We want to dig ourselves a proverbial foxhole and climb in, and shut the world out.
Lately I have found myself in this position…a lot. Leaving the military, moving to a new place, and trying to reestablish old bonds have proven more than I even want to deal with. Life has officially gotten sideways, and I honestly feel blindsided and unprepared for all of it. How many of you can relate? How many of you have stood there and taken it as life just steam rolls over you? Plenty of us have dealt with any number of hardships, we deal with relationships falling apart, loved ones walking away, deployments, money issues, home issues, you name it we deal with it. But there are ways to work through all of that crap.
Like many others, I have found ways to cope and escape. The Air Force pushes resilience and the four pillars, mental, physical, social, and spiritual. While I think resilience is an over played buzz word, I do believe that those pillars can help us deal with whatever we have going on in our life. If you understand your mental health and are willing to talk through any of the baggage you may be carrying, it can help you deal with the noise. Physical health and exercise is important to me and normally helps clear my head. Getting in the gym and working through whatever is going on and clearing your brain can help you tremendously. Every Warrior and my team here have helped me to create a social network of people that I trust and who will support me through whatever issues I am facing. Building a solid core of friends and family can be instrumental in getting through life. Spiritual has many different meanings to many different people, whatever you find to balance you spiritually can also be a key component to getting your head straight.
If you’re like me, please know that you are not alone. There are plenty of programs that can help you get through whatever you are dealing with. There are organizations like Every Warrior that care and are willing, able, and dedicated to taking care of you no matter what you are going through. My challenge to you, when you start feeling the world closing in, and your brain just won’t shut off, don’t dig in and hunker down in the shit. Life may be a war, but you are not in it alone. Call on a friend, call on a family member, call me, just don’t do anything you can’t take back.
Sometimes life sucks, and sometimes life can kick your ass, but you have to be able to stare life in the face and tell it to kick rocks. You can only deal with what you can deal with, I have learned and grown from having a supportive team around me. Never did I think I would be spilling my guts for you to read in a blog, nor did I think that anyone felt like I did. Knowing that there are people that suffer with the same issues, and that there are agencies, companies, and networks that will meet you where you are, and walk through hell with you to get you to the other side has changed my view and has altered life’s path for the better.
We are here for you, and many of us have been through the same challenges you are dealing with right now. If you need help please reach out, please let us help you, and please know that you are not alone. You matter, and no one defines you but you. Build a supportive and loving team around yourself, believe me, it makes a huge difference. Join the herd and meet the storm head one, don’t try to do it yourself, and don't be afraid to ask for help. We are here for you, we support you, and more than anything, we got your six. And, when you find yourself feeling alone in your foxhole, you can step back, breathe, look around, and find that you’re not really alone.
Together we are better,