Unlock Your Reintegration
Aug 07, 2017
That's what it took for the switch in my brain to process the world around me.
3 years prior to the switch I began the journey to reintegrate. I was sick and tired of not being able to hold an intelligent conversation. Living in constant fear was wearing me out. And, honestly, I wanted to live for more. I believed in my core there HAD to be more than the shell of my previous existence.
So, after 9 years of living in a mental prison I finally broke through the chains and took back my life. On the outside I functioned well. At different times during that decade I led teams, became a wife and mother, continued my education, and made a few friends. Inside my head, every single day, I battled with doubt, insecurity, hateful self talk, survivor's guilt, and flashbacks. When I had good days I only dealt with a few of these.
Some truths about reintegration I discovered:
- Difficult to find a quality company
- Job skills didn’t translate
- The culture was very different
- Loss of mission and purpose
I was exhausted mentally and emotionally, longing for something more. I needed so much more for my life. As a survivor there had to be more. My first steps to reintegrate:
- Say YES when someone who cares for you suggests trying something new --- I was so deep in my head I couldn't see the world around me accurately. There were 3 times in my journey saying "yes" changed the trajectory of my life and they led to unlocking my brain again.
- Build your OWN support team. Either invite one or two loved ones in to your journey or a combination of a loved one and new friends. Tell them when you're having difficult days, share the moments of celebration, and try your best to not put up walls. I have boundaries with the rest of the world but there are a handful of people who have full access to my head & heart. They have *earned* this trust through years of friendship and decades of family ties. Starting with one or two people will be a paradigm shift, we become vulnerable again and emotions are brought to the surface we may prefer to keep locked away.
- Took responsibility for my actions & future. This step was really difficult and continues to be a process. It involves my thought patterns, how I design my days, the way I treat my loved ones, show up to my profession, so many aspects to taking ownership of our lives. The step that catapulted me on this journey was going to work for a team I believed in and trusting them. Some really bad-hard decisions were made by higher leadership; however, I never lost faith in the team I served on. That reminded me a lot of the military so I was able to embrace the ups and downs of the job, which helped my brain and emotions to integrate into the civilian world for the first time since being in the military. This was my 4th job in the civilian world and while I performed well at the previous 3 they were not positive work environments and my brain was unable to adapt. I believe a critical piece for my reintegration was taking responsibility for my thoughts and actions AND joining a team I could trust.
I'll leave you with the first steps to my reintegration process. They took 3 years and can be quite overwhelming in the beginning. Who am I kidding, they can still be a lot to process!! Our brains are never the same after trauma and we shouldn't try to make them "as they were." We have a new way of seeing people and situations, let's continue exploring it and unlock our own lens to view the world around us.
If you found this interesting, please share. There is more to the reintegration journey and I believe we all deserve to find our *new normal.* Want to chat? I'd love to connect! Email Me :)
One of my joys is being able to show women how to streamline their days so they can leave a legacy. Another passion is adventuring with my 3 littles in princess quests and epic dragon battles while pursuing an 80+ year marriage with my supportive husband. The online space has become a great journey and I’m delighted to be here with you all .