I’m currently serving as a Master at Arms in the Navy. My first duty station was to Bahrain for 2 years from 2017-2019. Nothing in my life could’ve prepared me for the the struggles I’d face there mentally and physically. There were days where I didn’t want to get up and go on shift. I’d have to muster all the strength mentally to get myself out of bed and go to work. I went through a rough few months when I first arrived, I had never been away from home for more than 2 weeks with the exception of boot camp and A school. Now all of a sudden I’m half way across the world, away from friends and family. At the time I had a girlfriend that I had been dating for 2 and half years but the distance and depression put and end to that relationship which made things worse. I couldn’t get myself to even go to the gym which had been part of my life daily since high school.
Not working out or talking to anybody outside of work and secluding myself only made the depression get worse and I became lonely even though I had plenty of people behind me willing to help. As time went on things got a little better and I continued to suffer in silence while off shift in my barracks room. Then around November of 2018, I considered taking my own life. I sat there and asked God to help me and guide me in a better direction. He answered my prayers and I was able to pull myself out my depression and get after it everyday. I was consistent in the gym and at work. I started to excel at work and became one of the most reliable petty officers in our section. I then left Bahrain in June of 2019 and went home on leave before reporting to my next duty station in Poland.
While I was home I found out my grandma, who is a second mother to me, had been diagnosed with colon cancer a few months before I got home but she didn’t want to tell me until I was home and she could do it in person. I also witnessed for the first time my youngest sisters PTSD from a previously abusive boyfriend my mom had a few years back. They always talked about it but being overseas for 2 years I had never seen it first hand until one night I walked into the kitchen and she was sitting on the floor crying with a knife in her hand. Luckily she didn’t harm herself and I was able to get the knife from her and comfort her until she was calm enough to go back up to bed. After getting through my depression and coming home in July to find out all this terrible stuff my family had been dealing with while I was away and would still be dealing with while I was sent overseas yet again was starting to bring back the depression. I refused to let it take hold of me this time and continued on until it was time to leave. Now a few months after finding out about my grandmas cancer and everything else in my life I’m happy and back in the gym on a daily basis with a wonderful girlfriend and great friends at work here in Poland. It’s through Marcus’ books Lone Survivor and Service and the TNQ podcast I was able to find strength to get through all the hard times in my life and get to a place where I’m happy for the first time in years. Thanks brothers keep up the great work!