We struggle with new situations; with challenges for which we are not prepared. And it feels worse if we think that others are seemingly dealing with it so much more easily. Don't let yourselves be fooled - some of us are just better at keeping up appearences than others; and that isn't always a good thing.
Filling in an application form doesn't get your adrenalin going the same way pre-deployment exercise did. Sitting alone in front of a computer can't give you what training with your mates has given you.
You are going through a major change in your life - having a bad day every now and again is okay. Even if you've been through combat and back - the struggle in civvie street can still get to you; especially if you've not been given enough training and guidance
Do you know what the most stressful life events are - outside the combat zone?
- major changes in one's financial situation (gaining as well as losing money);
- additions to the family
- personal illness or injury
- illness or injury of a close family member
- children leaving home
- changes to one's job (not just losing it)
- family / relationship issues
- going on holiday
- moving house
- separation from a partner
- being made redundant
- death of someone close
There is only so much you can do in order to prepare youself. Moving house might become easier once you've done it for the forth time - but it's always stressful. The third broken bone doesn't make medical treatment less stressful. And the death of someone close - well, I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
Even changes which we choose to make will be stressful - but coping is much more difficult when we did not choose the change; for example, in the case of losing one's job. But you can do something about it:
- Accept that it is okay to have a bad day, occasionally, even if there might not be any one particular reason; sometimes we simply need to recharge our batteries and refocus.
- Don't try to keep up appearances - you will eventually act it out on the people around you; which is the last thing you want.
- Talk about what bothers you. Just because you no longer belong to a regiment doesn't mean you're now on your own.
If you struggle: Don't blame yourself! Don't think you have to manage on your own!
If your "bad day" turns into a week - if "bad days" keep recurring - or if you experience physical symptoms which begin to interfere with your life and which you did not experience previously: please talk to your GP urgently.