No easy days.

Thank God for Family


         This is probably one of the most difficult blogs I’ve ever written. December 29th, the day I officially retired from the Navy, was the same exact day I landed with my family to live in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been told by many people that transitioning is difficult. It is. Doubling down on the stress of transitioning, plus immigrating to another country is downright fucking insane. Hi, I’m Tommy. Have we met? I don’t take the easy route.

          I’m thankful for two big things: my family and my career as a Navy Diver. It doesn’t matter how bad of a day I’m having, checking out and hanging with my daughters and wife is the best medicine. Even if we’re watching Frozen for the thousandth time and playing with Hot Wheels, it’s cathartic. My wife plays a huge role in this as well. Our love is boundless and at my weakest, darkest moments, she’s a pillar of emotional strength. The second is that I was a US Navy Diver for almost eight years. One of the biggest personal skills obtained from my time in the service is to prioritize, take it one day at a time, and when situations get completely fucked, ask for help. I love the lifelong friends I’ve made.  You know who you are. 

            Here’s the current situation. My immigration is pending and my VA/retirement stuff is still being sorted. We’re living in the downstairs apartment of my wife’s parents house. I own an empty condo in San Diego. I’m still paying my mortgage for it, even though we aren’t living there because we haven’t been able to sell it yet.  Stress is mounting. In all honesty, I had a plan. I still have a plan. The fallout from my plan is the timing. Am I suffering? Yes, I am and I’m open to admit it. Have I had several mental meltdowns? Absolutely. The reason I’m sharing all this is because I want others who are in a similar state of transitioning or making big life changes to know that they are not alone. Take a step back.  Is your grief permanent or temporary? Do you have a support system in place? The biggest question is, will you reach out if you need help?

            I don’t post about veteran suicide on any of my social media channels because the topic deserves more than a couple of lines and a picture. I’m disclosing this personal information to reach out with empathy. To all my brothers and sisters out there that are currently or will eventually feel stuck in a bad way, you are not alone. The service gives us all a huge sense of purpose and pride. The vacancy left post service can play some bad games with your head. Let’s be here for one another. My silver lining is things are slowly falling into place and I have friends and family that love me. I hold on to these positives in my life because when I’m drowning, they are my lifeline.

            I promise you guys that the tone of my next blog will be way more upbeat. I’ve got a marathon to train for!

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  • Thanks for sharing. We all go through tough, stressful times.
    The type of people we are , divers / military bad asses not afraid of anything, can be a downfall in normal life.
    I Am not sure how to put this but if you are a drinker or drug user be very careful with your usage.
    For some reason we types will turn to using when life is sucking.
    I recently got out of a VA sponsored rehab for alcoholism, second time.
    All of the vets stories are same. The shit will kill you quick. Either you will end it or it will.
    Look out for each other. James

    • James
  • Tom, Great letter to others, and most importantly, yourself. Struggle Well – Jeff

    • Jeff