Barracks Life: You are not alone despite eveyday challenges
Spc. Jared S. Eastman, 1HBCT Public Affairs

FORT STEWART, Ga. - Crappiest Day Ever. Spending almost the entire day in the field doing little but random busy work. Tripped into a fence of concertina wire, my phone ran out of batteries and let's not even mention the godforsaken heat. There's a reason the devil went down to Georgia- his summer home is here. Top it off with getting yelled at for something that wasn't my fault in the slightest, it's days like this that you wonder... You know that feeling? Like you can't do anything right and there's little use for you on this world. I'm not going to lie, that feeling never goes away for me; it only fluctuates between loud and quiet. If I'm not normal then neither is a large quantity of the world's population.

We've all been there, we've all reached that low. Where, just when we think we've hit rock bottom and our shovel pings against indestructible rock someone throws us a jackhammer. You may feel as though you're in a desolate wasteland all on your lonesome, but trust me; there are others out there. Everyone deals with depression differently, but there are always ways to deal with it.

There are always the incumbent hotlines, which are listed at the bottom of this story for your convenience. These hotlines do help many, and they do a fantastic job, but they can only help so much.

A good friend of mine always says, "Everything will work out in the end. If it doesn't, it's not the end." Whenever you get that thought, that little voice in your head that asks "What's the point?," talk to a buddy. Either call, text or meet in person, and tell him or her what's wrong. Friends usually have a way to put things into perspective.

There's a recurring theme in media, where the main character escapes the clutches of some evil and finds his way into a church where he speaks with the local religious head there. This motif didn't spawn from fiction. If you need someone to talk to (with religion included or not), our chaplains are always there. They're kind of like 7-11, they may not be doing business- but they're always open. Chaplains are more than the morale police and denominational preachers; they are men and women who are available for anyone - Soldier or Family Member - to talk to.

Chaplains not only have training and experience in dealing with a multitude of scenarios, they also have a great deal of wisdom that they are always willing to impart. If you can't wait for duty hours to see your chaplain, a chaplain is always on call 24/7 for all of post. The chaplain hotline is 912- 767-8667/ 0252/ 0241.

If you still find yourself in isolation, disconnected from your peers and the world around you, your chain of command is another source. A first sergeant may act fierce, but I don't know a single one that won't drop everything if it means saving a Soldier. Every NCO and first sergeant I have ever had gave their numbers out during close out formation as a precaution. They aren't doing it for appearance's sake, who in their right mind just gives their number out to over one hundred people? They do it because they care, because they'd rather be called at 2 a.m. by a depressed Soldier than attend a memorial service.

I have another friend who said to me one time, "All day I dug a hole, and at the end of the day I filled it back in, so have I accomplished anything?" It's not enough to want to simply get back to where you were. The more you build yourself up, the further you can reach and it becomes less likely that you'll find yourself in that same low again. That voice becomes quieter and quieter until you can barely hear it at all. You're not alone, although it may seem like it. There are people who surround you every day that care what happens to you. There is help available, and all you have to do is call.

24/7 Help:
Winn Army Community Emergency Room: 911 (1061 Harmon Ave.)
On Call Chaplain: 912-767-8667/ 0252/ 0241.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Army OneSource Help Line: 1-800-342-9647

Fort Stewart Help - Normal Duty Hours:
Behavioral Health Clinic: 912-767-1654
Family Life Chaplains: 912-767-1814/ 5409
Mental Health/Family Life Consultants: 912-767-1647
Family Readiness Center/ Family Support: 912-767-5058

HAAF Help- Normal Duty Hours:
Tuttle Army Health Clinic: 912-315-4240/ 6125

Online Help:
National Suicide Prevention- www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Army Suicide Prevention- www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default/asp

Page last updated Thu August 25th, 2011 at 00:00