When you say “mental health” people often immediately associate the phrase with something negative. I’m not going to lie, I used to think the same thing, but it is actually very far from the truth. Our mental health has to do with how we feel about ourselves and how we deal with everyday life events. See, mental health doesn’t just deal with the BIG stuff like depression, but those everyday feelings like being overwhelmed with life or coping with changes.
A few months ago, after my husband deployed I started having those feelings of being overwhelmed and not knowing who I was anymore. I had gotten lost in the roles of wife and mother and I couldn’t find who I was anymore. On the outside, I was the strong military wife and mother, taking care of the homefront, but inside…I just didn’t know anymore. I expected someone to just come up and ask me if I was okay, because that was what I had always done for everyone else. Why weren’t they doing that for me? I had become a little bitter and angry and that just wasn’t who I was. I knew something wasn’t right and I knew that I probably needed to talk to someone about it. But who? Who do you trust with some of your most personal feelings of not being enough?
At our base, we can go see a Military & Family Life Counselor (MFLC) free of charge, so, I did. Walking into her office was terrifying and I doubted myself through the whole first session. But, you know what, I made a second visit still unsure but knowing that deep down I really need this for my mental wellness. That second visit turned into a third and I continued seeing the counselor weekly for almost three months. And you know what, it was freeing. I could tell her anything and she really got me thinking. Thinking in a whole new way, giving me space to work things through on my own and seeing the big picture. Talking to her was so helpful and I want other spouses to know that going and talking to someone is one of the most brave and courageous things you can for yourself! There is no shame in admitting you need help. I can now proudly look in the mirror and say “I MATTER”. I have found my voice and purpose. I want you to find yours too. If you find yourself feeling the way I did, please reach out. YOU MATTER!