I’m struggling with many demons at this time in my life. In my dream job as a counselor for the VA, I’m experiencing discrimination that I am unable to do anything about because of my color. My boss (he’s not a leader) has passed me up for promotion twice to promote women.

When I brought up the first time as a complaint, I was hit with it being a straight out lie. He brought me in the office to tell me “if a guy complains about discrimination against him, nobody’s gonna give a sh*t. But if that were switched, you’d be out of here in a heartbeat.”

I did not report this because of my previous experience with it.

On top of those demons, I signed up for a deployment with the Army National Guard to Afghanistan and no longer going with them because I did not do well as an Intel officer for the battalion at JRTC. I was overwhelmed and frustrated, but learned alot. I’m still trying to manage my anger from wasting my time last year preparing and sacrificing time for nothing. Now that I’m not going, I’ve requested a transfer, per their request, to get out of that unit. It has been 6 months since that time and it’s holding up my promotion to Captain. I feel like I’m not ready for that promotion anyway, but part of me wants that validation that I’m worth something as I feel I’m worth nothing in my first job.

I’m also getting some practice in as an Addiction Counselor at a nonprofit organization that helps with alcohol, substance and sexual addiction. I’m learning many things in this process, but I’m not as confident as I would like to be and it’s extremely frustrating. It takes alot of my extra time away, but it is more rewarding from a learning perspective than my first job. As a person without a documented addiction, but with family of addicts, I feel that I cannot relate on as many levels. This hindrance has affected my confidence levels as well. I’ve transitioned careers from Information Technology to Counseling. It’s been a hard struggle.

Last but not least, I’m struggling at home. I spend alot of time trying to hone my skills as a counselor and still be able to serve my country, but I struggle to maintain that balance and show my wife that I love her dearly. She’s managing to get used to my crazy schedule, but I still feel guilty for not having a normal life with her. A small thought constantly comes in my head: She deserves much more than I am able to give. I also feel guilty for not pushing us to go to church. God, while being first in my life, has been an anchor to keep me grounded. Since last year, I’ve skipped Mass, but still take our clients to church in order to get something out of it personally. I feel guilty for not keeping my wife accountable to go. As the head of the household, I should be the spiritual leader. She has more faith in her than I do and I feel I am failing her in her own faith.

With all this going on, I have not been able to exercise as much as I used to. I’ve gained 20 pounds since I found out I was not getting deployed. My motivation has tanked since I feel like a failure at most of the things I do and I feel as though I’ve wasted alot of time, resources, and money to do what I thought was my passion: Mental Health and Addictions.

One thing that keeps me exercising is a workout group called F3. It’s a workout group that incorporates fitness, fellowship, and faith. I found it through a friend that I went to OCS with in the National Guard.

These are just random thoughts I have been struggling with. I need to get them out somewhere because I feel frustrated, irritated that I’m failing in almost everything I do in life. I know this feeling is temporary and most of what I’m going through is just a chapter in my life. I just feel like it’s a large chapter and I am struggling to get through it right now. I just wanted to jot these down in this format to help collect my thoughts.

QIC: SGT Slaughter/Danial S.

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