Feeling worthless after leaving the army
I just got out less than 2 weeks ago and now I'm living with my parents doing nothing. I'm going to check out a trade school on Monday. I want to get a job but I don't know if it would interfere with school so I'm stuck doing nothing until I start school which could in a month or few months depending on how often they start the program I want to do. I'm feeling like I'm less of a person since I got out and I want to be on my own already. I shouldn't be in my parents house at 23 (IMO). idk, I know things take time (like getting into college and whatever), but I want to DO SOMETHING NOW. I just feel like I'm nothing. I mean I get 4 more paychecks from the army but after that I'm on my own. and on top of that, all the people I knew before I went off to the army are gone from here so all I have my family to hangout with and talk to. can someone make me feel a little better about this :(
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Most Helpful Opinion
It's a hard transition to re-integrate into society after being in the military. Don't feel worthless at all, considering you made an incredible sacrifice for your (unappreciative) president Obama and your (appreciative) country of the United States. You're only 23, and have a lot of time ahead of you so don't worry at all. Check out those trade schools and absolutely set yourself up to live whatever of the American dream is left to the fullest. Thank you for your service.
What Guys Said 7
I understand what you are going through. Transitioning from military to civilian life is a very difficult thing and most people who haven't gone through it don't realize that it is more than just changing jobs. It is important that you realize that there is no right way or wrong way to do it, and there is no set timetable or schedule you are required to keep. It isn't written down anywhere that you should have a new job after so many weeks, and have your own place so many weeks after that.
As you get reacquainted with civilian life, you will see that the military has a different tempo than civilian life, and that you will deal with a far wider variety of people, situations, and frustrations than you ever had to deal with in the military. While the "let's get stuff done" attitude that you seem to have can be helpful at times, it is not always an asset in the civilian world, and may leave you cursing under your breath as you try to deal with others that don't share your sense of urgency.
I wish I could say that you may not run into this, but it is pretty much guaranteed that from time to time you will have to deal with incompetence, idiocy, and aggravation that is worse than anything you had to put up with in the army. I know that may seem hard to believe, but you have to remember that unlike the military, civilians don't go through a weeding out process to remove undesirables.
Now it may seem like I have gone off topic, but bear with me. Being in the military is like running a foot race on level ground, everything is pretty clearly laid out for you and everyone is generally moving in the same direction. There are people cheering you on and helping you, and even though it can be a very grueling pace, there is a degree of certainty that makes things easier. Civilian live, on the other hand, is like a bunch of people hiking through the woods. People are not necessarily going in the same direction, some people aren't moving at all, being content to sit on a log, and some people are running as fast as they can. You may think you want to be one of those people, but do you really? What happens if you sprint through the woods? You trip on a root, or twist your ankle, or run into a tree.
Civilian life is too littered with pitfalls to approach it with the same intensity that fits so well into military life. That is why when I got out of the Navy my dad told me to take some time and "civilianize" myself. I didn't do anything even remotely serious for about 6 weeks. I felt restless, even bored, but I think that it is important to slow things down a bit. Realize that your life is now advancing at a different pace, and accept it rather than fight it.
Don't be hard on yourself for living at home or not making forward progress. This is a temporary, but very important phase. You have no timetables or procedures to follow. Learn to relax and enjoy life again, then, when you have that mastered that, tackle your goals with gusto.
Yeah my life is a living hell right now. I am 27 and I'm living at home, I totally f***ing hate it mainly because my parents are having marital problems and I have to wake up listening to them fighting, I feel worthless as a man so dating is out of the picture...ugh!
lol yeah but you're not alone. I am in a vocational program at my community college. When I'm not studying I'm either working on my therapy (I have bipolar disorder), exercising, doing odd jobs or cleaning/cooking. I'm in "apartment-mode" right now, where everything I do revolves around getting the f*** out of here. All my money goes towards essentials for my future place, and I'm just clinging to the hope that it's going to get better in a year. I seriously can't take this sh*t much longer, I've never moved out because I saved money by commuting to college/university, my bipolar got in the way too until I withdrew from all of my meds about 2 years ago, now I think much more clearly and have a plan to make things better.
So I feel worthless for dating, but not for employment. It's terrible seeing all these people happy when it's something I've never experienced...I just don't want to finally move out and then become bitter and stingy. It'll probably happen though, haha
I think the problem is not situation so much as the contrast. You were very active before with very clear objectives. That dropped away very suddenly. You're in good company with the millions who graduated from college and can't find work and also are forced to live with their parents. This is very unfortunate but it largely out of your control and doesn't affect who you are as a person. Surely you wouldn't look down on other able people your age who must rely on their parents until their opportunities improve, so you shouldn't look down on yourself. In the mean time, since you have a stronger than usual need to be active, there are plenty of things you can do to fill the time until training programs begin. For example, there's volunteer work, learning new skills on your own through library books (for example, learning to program or type faster), personal advancement. It seems like it probably is a good idea for you to do something meaningful so you don't drive yourself crazy waiting for something to happen.
Get a job at a restaurant in a fun area. I say this because the employees will usually know what is fun to do around that area, and in my care, 90% of them are women. So, best of both worlds I guess.
My brother inlaw was the same way when he left the Marine Corps. Ended up getting a great job at an oil site.