Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Returning to Civilian Life.

October 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Politics, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comJoining the armed forces is not just a career choice, it is a lifestyle choice that can literally change everything about you. But when you have finished your career, either because you want a change or because you have been discharged from your duties, returning to ‘normal life’ can be the greatest challenge.

Unlike the armed forces, civilian life doesn’t come with strict rules or timetables. You might find that after spending so much time with your unit, you become lonely living in your own home, even if you have a family.

The good news is that most veterans do adjust to a ‘normal life’ given some time. It might take you longer than your fellow vets and you might require more support, but you should be reassured that it is possible to live a fulfilling life after service.

Know Who to Turn To

Regardless of whether you have a mental or physical issue to deal with after leaving the armed forces, you should know who to speak to. Big life changes affect everyone in some way and what you are moving from and to couldn’t be more different! Speaking to a counsellor or even a trusted friend about your concerns can be a big help in adjusting.

You may also need to talk to a lawyer for veterans if you feel that you have been unfairly treated or you are struggling as a consequence of events after your service. Many veterans find that though their active service was uneventful, they may be more susceptible to conditions like drug addiction afterwards.

Whatever your grievance, a lawyer will be able to help. People claim compensation for all kinds of strange things so don’t feel that you are being silly or litigious by raising a concern.

Taking Your Time

Nobody ever manages to change their lifestyle overnight so you need to be patient. A gradual change is always easier to manage so don’t worry about getting to ‘normality’ instantly. Instead, try to find a situation that simulates or is very similar to your time in the military. For example, you might continue to work out with veteran friends, doing similar workout routines.

Over time, you will get used to your situation but don’t worry about how long it is taking. Everyone has a different experience so you can’t set the clock to it. As you adjust to your new pace of life and develop a new routine, you will find that over time things get easier.

Find Ways to Feel Fulfilled

Serving your country is an incredible thing to do and anything else after that might seem a bit tame. But this shouldn’t mean that you feel completely useless or unfulfilled now that you have returned to civilian life. Finding a way to give back to your local community could help you to adjust and keep busy during the day. There are lots of charities who can hook you up with this type of work – just google the type of activity you might enjoy.

Staff Writer; Greg Brown

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