10 Apr When you fall, get back up and keep going
I served our country for eight years in the Navy. I’m currently a student but also work full-time. The hardest part of my transition was becoming a civilian again because, in the military, you come out expecting different things. I didn’t know that transitioning would take so long for me. Everything is so structured in the military. When I got out I had to learn how to restructure the way I live, restructure the way that I raise my children, restructure the way I do things. At one point I got into a really depressed mode. I felt like no one understood me, neither my family or my parents. The military really became my family. When you come out you don’t have the same friends. When you get out, you’re by yourself. It’s very depressing and difficult to admit that something is wrong…this was a very difficult thing for me. My depression became anger. I didn’t know how to get what was inside my heart out. With the help of others, I was able to control my feelings and emotions and not let those things get to me as much.
I will never forget the day when I was home with the kids and I had just graduated from nursing school with my bachelor’s degree. I was looking for job because I was on the verge of homelessness. I didn’t have money for food. I didn’t have money for rent. I wanted to give up. But something always sparked inside my heart, and told me that I have to love myself before I can love anyone else, and I had these children looking up to me. My children, they became my motivation. When I think about my kids, I think about how I want them to have a better life. I want to have resources available to them because it’s difficult to ask for help and get help. All I want is a better life for them than I have.
I met a female veteran who showed me that there is a brighter side to coming out and being a civilian. My confidence started to grow and more opportunities became available to me. My past made me stronger. When you fall, get back up and keep going. I teach my kids to be humble and not only to think about yourself, but to think of others. You never know when someone else is going through a bad time.
-Julie, San Antonio
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