I’m a person that wears many hats. Some people know me as their Ombudsman or Chapter Coordinator, while others know me as the NAS JRB New Orleans SOY and then there are the most important people who see me as wife and mother. All these hats! I want to always have my best foot forward but I’m only human and I’m not perfect. There are times when I wish I didn’t wear so many hats and then it wouldn’t be so hard to say, “Hey, I’m having a hard time. Can you come over and talk?” What good am I to all the people depending on me (especially my children) if I didn’t use that phrase from time to time? If you are like me and need a listening ear you maybe wondering, where can I go? And who can I trust? Here are five solutions to those questions.
1. Military OneSource: They have an 1-800 number that is manned 24 hours a day! This is perfect if you want real true privacy. If you carry a somewhat “public” position going to Family Support Center can be tough. You might worry about someone seeing you and this is the perfect medium.
2. Chaplain: Talk about confidential!! They are taught to listen and not judge and to affirm. Sometimes, all you need is a listening ear and these people have that down perfectly!
3. Family Support Centers: Now, I know I what I said in tip #1 but you might be the sort of person who needs to actually be with a person. This is a great choice! Most office will have walk-in hours, too. They are also very good at working with busy military schedules.
4. Family Doctor: Your doctor is a good choice because they will be able to tell if you are just in a funk and need an ear or if it is more serious. Doctors are also bound by confidentiality.
5. Family and friends: These are the always the best choice!!! They love you no matter how bad you feel or what you say. You may not think they will understand but you’ll be surprised at their willingness to listen and support you.
Letting someone know you are struggling emotionally can be hard. We all want to have the “perfect, I have it together” image. But, it really is O.K. to take off your suit of armor and let down your guard. It’s my hope that someone in this position will read this and have a little more confidence to reach out and ask for a listening ear.