Choices

So, I am recovering from a bought of depression and gaining a little hope if not confidence. I am still not motivated to do anything. I don’t know what is driving that other than a sense of burnout between my civilian job and the Navy. I know some of my lack of motivation came when my wife blew up at me when I transferred back to Cargo. She doesn’t want to ask me to leave the Navy, but she is done with it. She despises the amount of work that is required of me outside of drill weekends. She said if I didn’t quit she would probably resent me for not focusing on the family. I replied that I’d probably resent her for forcing me to quit.


I’ve tried to shift the balance and have been spending more time with the family, as well as more time for myself. It’s not enough for my wife. To make matters worse, I am losing what little control over my company that I had. My Sailors are becoming more and more undisciplined and tasks are falling on the floor. The only thing I’ve been praised for since joining are the administrative requirements. I feel like I am in a catch-22. If I focus on the family, I fail in the Navy. If I focus on the Navy, I fail my family.


But, I don’t want to quit. In fact, anyone I’ve mentioned this to in the Navy, urge me not to quit. They advise me to give it time. Uniform rotation is coming back from deployment – there are some strong Sailors in that rotation that will help lighten the load. The Commanding Officer is sending another officer to the Company to serve as my assistant. That should lighten the load a little. I am up for Lieutenant Commander next year. That is a little incentive to stay on. But at the cost of my family? I am reminded of the lyrics “do I stay or do I go.” What’s my decision? Yes, no, maybe – I don’t know.


The only thing right now that gives me any sense of motivation is my writing. I look to it with a sense of hope, anticipation and excitement.  But even that is a source of anxiety and frustration. I study, I gather information, I read blogs about writing and pin articles in Pinterest, but I have so far failed to execute. I inch closer and closer to actually doing anything – fleshing out characters, plotting out the story, actually writing – but stop just short of executing. I think I know exactly why too – I fear failing. I am so afraid of not being good at writing, of not being entertaining, that I cannot commit pen to paper. So, I dance around the concept, writing little vignettes, little scenes for my story, but nothing more.


I don’t look to my writing as a career option. I hope that maybe it will turn into that, but I am too much of a realist. I will embrace it if it happens, but I have to finish a novel first, then get it published. Baby steps. Right now, I just want to write something meaningful. Something more than vignettes. Something with a beginning, middle and an end.


So, I sit, paralyzed by the choices before me. Unable to make any forward progress. I m at a crossroad in my life. Any decision I make will have a life altering impact, not only for me but for my wife, and for my children. Any choice I make will mean giving up something I love, sacrificing something. Even if I choose the status quo, I sacrifice my sanity and maybe my health.


And of course, none of this is helping me in my civilian job. I am distracted, making mistakes, and not keeping up on things I should be as I fret over choices. Luckily, my work load is not heavy right now and I can afford the distraction. It has caused some significant issues, but nothing insurmountable. Still, it is concerning, disheartening, and adds to my depression and anxiety.   


I hoped that, maybe, writing things out would help me toward a decision. No avail. Prayer hasn’t helped. I wonder if God, maybe, doesn’t really care the direction I go in. This is a worldly decision, not spiritual. I kind of hope so. I hope you will be with me no matter what direction I choose. I just wish he would give me a little insight into the best direction for me. 

Replies

AnxietyFreak40
AnxietyFreak40

Were you already military before you got married? I couldn't remember. I feel like there should be some kind of compromise you two can make. If she really loves you then she can't really want you to give up something that you love to do. Have you considered counseling? Super big hugs to you my friend!
bfarlow
bfarlow

I joined after we were married. She is an Air Force brat though, so she knows the active duty life. It is a lot different in the reserves and a lot more stressful on families. I tend to work 10-20 hours a week on Navy stuff, outside of my civilian job, and for no pay. I've essentially been an absentee father since I've joined because of the work load. It got easier in my last unit, but Cargo is a lot heavier Op-tempo. I understand where she is coming from. It all falls on her when I'm not available. I'm a bit burnt out too, so I get it. I don't think we need counseling. We communicate really well. She's not pushing me to quit. She knows I love the service. She has made it known that she wants me to quit and her reasons why and her feelings. I'm trying to rebalance and it does not seem to be working. Maybe with the additional personnel it will help balance the work load. If not, I'm back to having to make a decision.
AnxietyFreak40
AnxietyFreak40

It is a very hard decision if you have to choose between two things that you love. I wish you all the good luck I can send your way! Big Hugs!