Mental Health Recovery

I am not ashamed to say that I have struggled with it being Armistice day on November 11th. It has been a hard thing for me ever since 2007.

So let me tell you why. My first job was running shops and bars for the armed forces. This was a proud thing for me because my cousin was a Marine previously so supporting our troops was something that I felt proud to do. However, the job is only good in one of two situations;

1) You are transient and move barracks every few months or so;

2) The military personnel were transient so you do not get to know people too well;

I spent 3 years on one barracks and I got to meet and know the lads. This was not good. In 2007 6 people I knew including some of their families were killed in action. I was devastated. The response I got from people on base "You're just the NAAFI staff" or worse "they don't need you, they need us". The 2nd statement I fought back on because it wasn't officers the lads were calling at 2 in the morning wasted and unable to find their way from the laundry room to their own rooms it was me. My boss basically told me to get over it but I couldn't. I hit a crisis point when I started self-harming.

I soon left the organization. I could not hack it anymore and the only option I had would be to move to a barracks in Germany or leave. I left.

Armistice day is particularly hard especially the festival of remembrance. I am better than I was by a long shot but it is still so hard for me. This year, because of the forced isolation, I just became very lethargic. Thursday I struggled but was a little better and Friday better still. It does not change however the fact that when your mental health goes out of wack it causes a body impact. This is normal. However, when you finally start realizing that you're getting better you realize how much there is still to do to sort out.

Some top tips for working on your mental health recovery;

1) Get as much sleep as you can;

2) Focus on certain obstacles to work on like "on x day I will sweep the floor and put on a load of laundry" or " on x day I will change the pet cage";

3) Be kind to yourself, you have these setbacks for a reason so forgive yourself;

4) Reach out for help if you are hitting a crisis point;

These things work for me, but they may not work for you. It is important for you to find out what works for you with mental health recovery.

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