I have a story of resilience to share.
Hopefully it will help someone in a dark place. You can go to my site to know more.
In order to escape a troubled childhood and an extremely bad environment I joined the Navy out of Spring, Texas in November 2000. My father and grandfather were Boatswain’s Mates in the WWII and Vietnam eras and I followed in their footsteps. I did exceptionally well in the military – climbing the ranks quickly with high performance evaluations. I volunteered for the most arduous duty assignments and will close out 20 years of service next year with 18 of those years at a deployable unit. At ten years of service I commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer. I was making a name for myself and checking all the correct boxes to advance further. However, my personal life was not going as well as my career.
I was cocky, had a huge ego and was facing my second divorce yet my drive to promote remained the singular priority. It is best to hire attorneys for criminal justice in Virginia to get a divorce. My life in general was out of balance. July of 2014 I was in an accident and was under the influence of alcohol. As you know this is a career killer for an officer. According to a child custody lawyer, as a result of my lapse of judgement I was facing a civilian DUI court case, divorce, child support, custody battle, military Board Of Inquiry, Detach For Cause and fighting for retainment in the Navy and promotion. If you are wondering what child support be used for, you can look here. I was $40,000 in debt and driving an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf on a 9 month deployment. At a certain point, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel and I had suicidal ideations. This was my dark place.
Marcus Aurelius said, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” The obstacle is the way!
I persevered through that adversity one day and one decision at a time. I did this with the unconditional love of my soul mate and the mercy of Jesus Christ. I had to humble myself and accept help where I needed it.
I recently reverted back to Chief Petty Officer and will be retiring on September 11, 2020. In an effort of service I launched a podcast called THE EVOLUTION where I share stories of resilience and things to help us all grow as human beings.
Believing in the power of vulnerability I decided to devote my time in public speaking sharing my story to commands around the world so that Sailors and Marines understand how to make good decisions, not over-identify and seek the help they need and utilize the resources available.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and on the other side we are all better human beings not in spite of the trauma we experience but how we grow because of it.
BMC (SWO) Jeff Bayless, USN