As someone who has served in the military, I know first-hand some of the personal struggles that can come with leaving the service and transitioning into civilian life. Especially for those of us who have experienced mental health issues while serving, this transition can be even more trying.
Though it wasn’t an easy process and at times I felt there was no end in sight, I was able to get through by focusing on one day at a time. Learning how to manage my symptoms and take back control over my life made all the difference. It didn’t take away the difficult moments but having more insight and understanding into what I go through gave me the strength to push through them better than before.
One of the most important things I did was make sure that I seek out professional help when needed. Finding trusted professionals who specialized in treating veterans has been a great benefit for me as they could provide the unique support that is tailored specifically for veteran experiences. Having someone understand firsthand what we have gone through can make getting help from mental illness much easier than had I not taken this route.
Even simply talking about it with family or close friends can be a huge stress relief. There are other organizations available such as mental health support groups that are open to anyone dealing with similar experiences which proved hugely beneficial for me too; being around others who had gone through similar things helped build courage within myself to keep pushing forward too.
Struggling with mental illness as a veteran isn’t something that will ever leave me completely but embracing it and allowing myself to access whatever level of support there is available, has opened up possibilities I never thought were possible before.