From the U.S. I guess I’ll start with the fact that I’m an Iraq war veteran. I don’t think that has anything to do with my issues but I’m not a doctor. For a few years I would on occasion feel like I didn’t belong anywhere, I cannot really describe the feeling, but I didn’t feel depressed. Those moments would only last a few days, maybe a week. Now I’m stuck, I feel like a part of me is gone and I don’t belong anywhere,I feel like I want to go somewhere but don’t know where.
My wife has noticed that I’m not “there”; that I’m somewhere, and I know this is upsetting her but we can’t figure it out. I have a good paying job, not a very satisfying one, I have a lovely home and beautiful wife. I have everything, on paper that is. But I don’t feel complete, it doesn’t make sense, people have far worse problems. All of this “nothing” that I am has made me sad, confused, and angry.
When I drink a little too much I become angry, everything bothers me. This is new, I’m not always like that. I get confused and frustrated all the time, and it’s over nothing of importance. I’m slowly losing my mind and unraveling faster and faster each day. One of the worst things find a therapist, I don’t know who’s in network or where to even go. Everything has this complicated system that blocks people instead of helping them. So I guess I just feel like I’m not here completely, I cannot keep focus for to long, but when I do and something interrupts it i get very irritated for no “real” reason, it’s unnecessary to act that way. Whats my deal?
Thank you for writing. And thank you for your service. Please do not minimize the effects of combat. You have done extremely well since discharge but you may still be having a reaction to your time in Iraq.
One of the ways that some people cope with challenging or traumatic situations is to emotionally distance themselves to some extent from what is happening. It’s a normal protective mechanism that helps people make it through. But sometimes it’s difficult to turn it off once out of the situation that made it necessary.
Drinking certainly won’t do it. Will power alone won’t do it. Even the support of a loving partner, family and friends often won’t do it. You need the guidance and support of a counselor who has experience with helping vets.
The place for you to start is with your local VA. Most have counselors available for veterans like yourself. If they don’t have counselors on staff, they may be able to direct your to local counselors who have experience with vets.
You didn’t mention what arm of the service you were in. Every branch has support services: Every program serves both those who were physically wounded and those who are experiencing mental health issues.
Army: Wounded Soldier
Navy: Safe Harbor
Marine Corps: Wounded Warrior
Air Force: Wounded Warrior
Please follow through and contact the appropriate program. You deserve the support. Some sessions with a counselor will help you enjoy the life you and your wife are building.
I wish you well.