Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Recently in San Antonio in a neighborhood near ours, a house fire was blamed for the death of a woman and her two children. Yesterday, my husband came home from work with the very sad news that the fire was set to cover up the murder/suicide of a woman and her two children. The husband/father is in the Army. He also suffers from PTSD. A colleague of my husband just had dinner at that house during Christmas–this was family. Allegedly, the woman killed her two children and then killed herself after setting the fire.

I know military life can be a challenge, but what makes it so hard that you feel you would need to kill your children and yourself? Did this woman feel like she didn’t have anyone to talk to? Did she think she was alone in her troubles? Did anyone ever reach out to help her? I just don’t understand it. It breaks my heart.

This is one of the basic reasons that I started Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences–to help connect military spouses to each other and the tools and resources we need so we don’t have to feel that something like suicide is the only way to cope. We need each other for support and friendship. We need to reach out to one another to help and be helped. I am certain that our conferences will help open up conversations between spouses and with the community so tragedies like this murder/suicide don’t happen anymore.

What do you do when life gets too hard? Who do you tell? Where do you go?

I admit that sometimes I just stay in bed for a little bit longer–to put off facing another day of loneliness in a new city.

But the better thing to do is to reach out to friends and family–on the phone if there is no one near by or over coffee if we are in the same town. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes, that two are better than one; chapter 4 v. 10 reads, “If one falls down his friend can help him up, but pity the man who has no one to help him up.” Make sure you keep in touch with at least one person who knows what you are going through and who can help you up when you fall.

Proverbs 12:25 is a verse that helped me get through the loss of our son who died from a severe heart defect when he was two weeks old. (You can read more about that in my book, Notes from the Margins). One day, when I thought I would just shrivel up from the pain of losing the only thing I ever wanted in my life, my mom said, “The only way to really heal is to help others who are also hurting.” Proverbs 12:25 reinforces that idea: “The generous will prosper and he who refreshes others will be refreshed.” Can’t argue with God and Mom! It’s quite true. Sometimes the only way to get out of the darkness or the pain you feel in life is to reach out to the world and start making a difference for others. And by helping others, you are helped. What can you do to help other military spouses in your neighborhood, installation or city?

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: Don’t go it alone–whether you feel healthy or overwhelmed–don’t go it alone! Get involved in your neighborhood, your church or your installation. And if that is too much for you, connect with someone. If you don’t have anyone to connect with, reach out to the chaplain, your commander’s wife, the first shirt or a doctor.

If you don’t want to go public, at least take advantage of online services like Give an Hour or Military OneSource. Sign up for daily encouragement from 411 God or join a group like Christian Military Wives or Wives of Faith. Read Jocelyn Green’s book, “Faith Deployed” or Sarah Horn’s “God Strong” or write to me. There are so many people and organizations who want to help you!

I close this praying for you! Be blessed today and reach out to help or be helped. It’s the only way to survive our crazy military lifestyle!


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Multiple deployments can wreak havoc on the military family; the spouse is strong, but sometimes she gets tired of being alone, overwhelmed by single parenting, or suffers from anxiety or depression because of the military lifestyle. Sometimes, the military family needs someone to talk to.

Give an Hour is an amazing organization offering free mental health counseling for military and their families who are dealing with such issues as parenting, marriage, divorce, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, reunion, deployment, anxiety, etc. Although similar services are offered on each military installation, Give an Hour knows that the military doesn’t have near enough resources to help the thousands of military members and families who need help coping with the effects of this long-running war. In addition to returning troops and their families, Give an Hour also offers services to parents, siblings, unmarried partners and others who are not entitled to military benefits but are affected by the military lifestyle.

Learn more about Give an Hour and their free counseling services by visiting their website at giveanhour.org. Be sure to tell them that Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences sent you!

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