Evolution of Roles

As we grow, from birth through adulthood we change; physically and psychologically. From an infant to a toddler, toddler to child, child to teen, and teen to adult- each phase coming with its own set of milestones. We  anticipate these changes as we watch others grow, but often such changes are difficult for us to work through ourselves. Most often people are resistant, for whatever reason, to change.

Life as a military spouse also goes through evolution’s within our roles. Marrying, taking on the couple role being the first. Adding in the roles and responsibilities of being married, and then multiplying it by the sometimes daunting role(s) of a military spouse. This can all seem overwhelming.

Our roles within our relationships (marriage, friends, as parents) cannot remain the same, they evolve- our lifestyles demand it. This can be seen as a period of growth and learning, not only for the relationship but also for oneself.

Rather than deflecting the evolution of my roles, I am learning to accept the changes. As most of you know a year ago, I began my journey toward mental health recovery. I became more focused on taking care of myself so that I could truly take care of those within my family. This was not something that I was accustomed to- for 12 years I had been first and foremost a wife and a mother, I was now learning to become me. Then this past September my husband was in a life altering motorcycle accident, suffering life threatening injuries (TBI, SCI just to name two). My role went into another phase, the caregiver. Had I not gone through my own personal struggles earlier in the year, and learned to care for myself I do not think that I would be able to handle his accident in a healthy way. For me that was relying on the help of others.

I have often been told, “You aren’t given more than you can handle.” I don’t think that is true. I think that we are given more than we can handle, as a test of strength and our ability to rely on others. Life is not meant to lead alone and we should also understand that it is not meant to stay the same.

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