Better Me (4 Part Series)
So if you're randomly coming across this post or you've been checking in on my daily gibberish, you might be wondering "Why is he writing all this?" Well aside from my belief that writing things down or telling people you're going to do something can help make it happen and my need for change to be a better me, I'm really just enjoying sharing my thoughts and experiences with other people. I hope that in one way or another, I can help people by lending advice or just letting them know they don't have to be alone. I was alone for a long time, and it's definitely changed me as a person. But I've finally decided to be proactive and apply some changes to make myself healthier, happier, and more importantly, proud of myself.
Now when I say I was alone for a long time, I mean that I was emotionally alone. I've always been able to make friends quickly, but I've never put forth a lot of effort for people that I don't see often. I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend for a little over four years now and we live together, but I wasn't being honest about my feelings until very recently. My family is a long story, and we'll address that some other time.
Having a support system in place is extremely important to be happy and healthy. When I was in the Army, there were people all around me checking if I was ok or doing the right thing, mostly because that was their job. You always answer to someone in the military, and it's a good leader's job to check on their subordinates. I made a few good, genuine friends in that mass of people, and some of them are still very close to me. It's tough to keep track of them all though since we spend our careers moving from place to place, and sometimes we lose a friend but have to continue forward.
This habit of leaving people behind comes that much easier to me, as I grew up moving and leaving friends behind all the time. Through all of elementary school, I would move to a different state every few months because my stepdad worked with a golf course construction company. What I'm getting at is that I never nurtured the idea of a support system of friends because I "knew" things were short-term. But because of that, when I needed help, I had nowhere to go.
My girlfriend and I have had a rocky relationship, but a strong and enduring one. The rocky part is my fault, as I've taken some time to mature and get rid of bad habits. Without diving too deeply into that, let's just say that she's been my best friend through it all and I've been hers, but things happen and we march through them. But because I couldn't be honest about my thoughts and feelings, when I left the Army and had few to none local friends, even she couldn't tell that I was going through a depression as I transitioned from the structured life of the Army to being a regular civilian.
Be honest with yourself and be honest with others around you. It can hurt sometimes to be honest, but holding it in and attempting to deal with it alone can hurt way more. I wasn't even entirely sure what was wrong with myself, but I wasn't happy. It took an absolute breakdown for me to finally ask for help, but it shouldn't have gotten to that point. But now, little by little, I've been working up the courage to write these posts. I've been strapping myself in for the ride, because it is bumpy, but it's worth it to me and those around me. In later posts, I'll prattle on about what that entails. But in short, I've had to make changes to be a better me, and some of those changes included reaching out and establishing that proper support system.
So in this season of cold and loneliness, reach out. Tell your mother you disowned years ago that you love her. Call that buddy you haven't seen in a while. Check in on people that used to ask for your advice. They'll appreciate it, and you'll feel better too.
Remember to keep the good vibes going. Next weekend, I'll explain why I joined the Army, why I left, and why I stayed in North Carolina after. Thanks for reading, I'll see you tomorrow!