My life after door kicking. I’ll be coming up on 10 years post military life. I thought I made the transition within a few months of seperation. Now, almost 10 years out, I have realized that in some ways I am still transitioning. From my expectations of co-workers, the way I attack both my personal and professional problems, and my recent diagnosis but obviously not recent development of PTSD. In these ways, and many more, I am still trying to carve out my place in the world.
I have come to gain some appreciation for my position in life. Partially because I’ve realized that while I am not where my civilian counterparts are (in some respects that may not be a bad thing) but my journey has taught me to weather the storm. I can say I am not where I thought I would be, in almost every aspect of my life. Adapt and overcome is still the motto, and most of my plans to this point haven’t survived first contact.
Selfless service is one of those core army values sometimes during our service we start to become a little cynical about. How ingrained these values become inside of us and our work ethic is something I was somewhat oblivious too until I transitioned. My first experiences post military were in the educational environment as I tried to use my GI bill. I had some expectations as to the level of investment some of my fellow students would have. Some of them impressed, while most showed that they weren’t bankrolling their education. Most of the ones who were clearly devoted to their education were later in life students. This level of enthusiam and investment continues to show itself in the professional world. A world in which I can’t say I excel to be honest.
I have found that the problem solving skills I aquired in the military have left me better prepared than most of my peers to deal with problems. Whether it be backwards planning or just simply attacking problems head on, I seem to be on a different wavelength than most of my coworkers. Many problems I see as easily accomplished my coworkers would find them insurmountable. Running off to find the boss for guidance. Somethings however aren’t A to B. Addressing some problems with the “soft knock” have side effects not easily apparent.
Trying to figure out how I fit in this civilian world has been a challenge. There is quite a few reasons why it took me this long to get a diagnosis of PTSD. I will get into some of these issues in a future blog. For the purposes of this blog though I am addressing some of the issues that have made me feel like somewhat of an outsider amongst the civilian population amongst whom I now reside. I have some issues in crowds that make me uncomfortable in normal social settings. Places like concerts, movies, and to some extent even shopping malls while social hubs for some people are places of discomfort and paranoia for me. My issues with driving cause me to minimize my involvement with other people. I have obliviously become more and more of a recluse over the past decade.
I am now making strides towards getting help. I have always found writing therapeutic. Getting things out of my head and onto paper. So while I work on the professional end of things I thought I’d share some thoughts. Feel free to reach out with your comments or questions.