Roads To Resilience

There are many roads to Resilience

The number and intensity of stressful experiences notwithstanding, most returning personnel and their families are able to bounce back successfully.

However, even those who have learned resilience skills should not expect homecoming to be effortless or free of strong emotion. It is quite normal to experience days or several weeks of mild to moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and anger, even if the initial homecoming was full of joy.

Children, for example, reassured with the safe return of a parent or sibling, may now feel they can express some of their negative feelings of fear or anger over what they may have experienced as abandonment.

It is very important to seek outside professional help for the family if the family is unable to function on a daily basis. Effective, caring help is available.

Tips for Resilience During Homecoming

There are no standard or normal stages for homecoming.
Normal is what works for you. The process varies from person to person. Understanding that homecoming has its own brand of stress is a first step in the process of a long term successful reentry for military personnel, their families and the community.

Early in the process, identify people who can help
--friends, clergy, a mental health professional, a financial advisor -- and seek help when it is needed. Resolve to be open about issues and work on resolving them together.

Be an active player, not a passive victim.
Social involvement through religious organizations, hobby groups, exercise clubs, social groups, etc., helps individuals rejoin the community.

Don’t put off solving problems.
Begin to work on any problems that arise immediately; inaction can reinforce the feeling that a problem is out of your control.

Don't seek solace in drugs or alcohol.
This not only fails to resolve the problem, but creates new ones.

Try to keep things in perspective.
Cynicism or excessive pessimism about life and the future can become self-fulfilling and have a negative impact on you and those you love. Keep things in perspective – not every problem is a catastrophe. Although it sounds simplistic, a positive outlook helps raise morale and increase resilience.

Recognize that family readjustments are normal.
Don't blame others for your distress, and don't blame yourself excessively.