Joining the armed forces is one of the biggest responsibilities as well as privileges of being a citizen. When you make the choice to join the armed forces in whichever realm, you immediately become a protector of your home country and this should make you feel incredibly proud.
Of course, being in the armed forces is not easy and often you may not take control of your own health and wellbeing. This can lead you to feel recluse, depressed, and suffer from PTSD when you do finally make it home.
Adjusting to life back on the outside can be a difficult task and it may take a long time to get there. You’ll likely need a lot of support from family and friends, Veterans Disability Info, and support getting back to work. Here are some of the ways that you can help yourself adjust back into life once you have left the armed forces for good.
It is important in the first instance to acknowledge who you are and what you have been through. Life can be hard when you have lived in a different environment for so long and you need to acknowledge that you are not the same as everyone else. Own your feelings and understand them, and this will be the first step to controlling them in the future.
Talk it out
The best thing you can do whny ou come back and start to struggle with life is talk to your family. Never bottle up your feelings because all this will do is cause you stress and pull you further and further away from those who love you. Sit down and chat to your family and explain that you are finding it hard. They will be able to give you all of the support you need and you will have a whole network there to catch you when you fall.
Nearly two thirds of those who suffer with mental illness after being in the army and this can have a detrimental effect on their health. It is important when you come out and try to adjust to real life that you know where support lies and how to access it. Call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 for a free resource that can direct you to the support you need.
It’s not a sprint. If you have friends who live in the same town as you who also left the armed forces at the same time, don’t feel disheartened if they adjust to life easier than you. It is important to remember that everyone has different experiences in the army and it doesn’t make you any weaker than anyone else. Focus on your own progress and don’t push yourself too far too soon. Baby steps are the way to go and they will allow you to get back to your own life in your own time without any relapse.
Manage stressful situations
Be sure to watch out for your triggers. We all have stress triggers to be aware of and it is important that you think about what yours is and how to manage it. Learn to avoid high risk situations and prepare yourself for others. It may take time but you will get there in the end.