Been a long time reader but had a hard time applying AOM ideas. But I'll get to the just of it -
I don't feel like a man. Man-child maybe, but not a man. I'm 26 years old, just got my associates degree and an administrative assistant in the fed gov. A gopher basically. Make $24k a year after taxes, support myself (apartment, insurance, motorcycle, car, etc.) but.....I'm undisciplined, often late and unreliable. Lack confidence. Let the ADHD get the best of me. Have lots of friends and close family, but get the feeling that the world is passing me by and I'm stuck in my immature ways. Envious of my friends who seem to have "it" going on in their groove, figured out, etc. Biggest wakeup call was losing the love of my life because not only of my problems with dependability and trustworthiness, taking care of things as a man should but inability to moderate alcohol intake. In other words, I'm a mess. But think I'm about to make the best decision of my life to give me the kick in the ass I need - joining the Army National Guard. Already met with recruiter. I want to be a better man. A man period. Reliable, dependable, confident and trustworthy. Serve my state and country. I have already quit drinking. This path I'm at now at mediocrity isn't gonna cut it anymore.
Any military members want to speak up about how it helped your life? Did it make you a better person? Make you better at getting what you wanted out of life? Teach you to live better? Anyone have problems similar to me and have military turn it around?
I enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18, because I was a complete screw up. I was about to get kicked out of college for not showing up to class, and figured the military would help me grow up. Well, it didn't really.
You see, I'm ADHD as well. I played the military game, but only did it to a minimum. I didn't do enough wrong to get in any real trouble, but I didn't really embrace what the Navy had to offer. In short, I was an idiot and coasted as much as I could get away with.
When I got out, there weren't a whole lot of changes. I was always early to work (which does have its upsides), but I would still try to screw off as much as I could. I would call in pretty regularly too, until I would lose the job and start all over again.
It wasn't until my son was born that things started to change. Suddenly, there was a person depending on me that had no choice in the matter. My wife was there by choice, but my son wasn't. The military didn't do it for me, but a baby boy did.
Now, this isn't to say that joining the National Guard won't accomplish what you want. What I am saying is that you have to truly embrace the responsibilities of being a man and use it merely as a tool to help you become more disciplined. It's also not the only way to accomplish that either, but it can be a damn good one.
I hate to say it but the ONLY thing that will make any difference is YOU. Get it? ONLY YOU.
If you want discipline, act disciplined. If you want to be trustworthy, act trustworthy. If you want to be reliable, act reliable. Joining the military, although admirable, is not the answer because the answer can't come from anywhere outside yourself.
Even having a baby can't make you anything other than a sperm or egg donor (and I know of too many of those), anything else has to come from inside you.
Thanks guys. I'm ready to embrace the Army lifestyle. Give some backbone to my life and some structure. I'm just floating at a crappy job for now.
Rick - I wish I could do that but I don't have the discipline, i get overwhelmed, too many choices, etc. I know it sounds like a cop out but I really think the military will give me that oomph to stick to things and get them done. Basic training alone is gonna beat the discipline into me!
I will say Good Luck in the Army and I salute you. Bust your ass, do your job with dilligence, no matter what it is, keep off the alcohol and drugs (moderation for alcohol and NO to drugs), hang with the right people (slackers need not apply) and you'll do fine. While you're in work on your Bachelor's, it'll help with promotion AND your job prospects once you get out, it'll even help you keep out of trouble. AND FIRST AND FOREMOST learn everthing you can and apply it. Lastly, keep your head when under fire.
"Even having a baby can't make you anything other than a sperm or egg donor (and I know of too many of those), anything else has to come from inside you."
Very true. While I credit my son's birth with my own turnaround, the truth is that it alone won't do it.
You have to make it internally.
LIKE. One of my favorite movies.
I can't give you much advice on the military except to say that it helped straighten my Dad and my brother in law out. That said, they did a most of the work. The military can provide you a framework and tools, but you still have to do the work yourself. It's what you do when your Sgt's back is turned, or you are off-base on your own time, that will tell you if you are changing.
Discipline is something that you can learn, but what struck me most was that you mentioned that you cannot control your alcohol intake, but you don't mention doing anything about that. What is your plan to deal with it?
Yeah definitley, it's the off time where you have to look out. But figured I don't like wasting things and wasting all the training to go mess it up as soon as I step foot off of base would be a huge waste.
As far as the alcohol goes, I'm not an alcoholic. I don't drink everyday or need to. But within my group of friends I know in the city I live social life revolves around bars and such. MOST of the time it can be 3-5 bud lights and I'm good. But been plenty of parties and weddings where I get too drunk and I'm a funny drunk so it's almost accepted that I'm gonna get drunk and do some funny stuff. Now I look back it was funny stuff but detrimental as well. Nothing manly about getting hammered and jumping in the bay at a wedding no matter how funny it was. I quit drinking. Been 4 days now, including 4th of July activites. It cost me my relationship with the only girl I would've married and my dignity. So everytime I'm offered a beer I think about that and I have zero urge to ever have another drop of Bud light or any booze for that matter. Out of control drunkeness runs in the family and no exception with myself. So can't handle it somtimes so I'll abstain completley.
Moderation is the key, which is my biggest problem. I did fine at my buddy's lake house and have been looking into strategies for moderating.
I will warn you. The military doesn't take kindly to drunks. Miss muster, miss your guard shift, miss work and they'll hammer you. Too many times and they'll OTH you (Other Than Honorable). If you add in drugs it'll happen quicker than you can say "shit". NO second chances.
If alcohol is having that profoundly negative impact on your life I would highly recommend giving it up totally, not trying to moderate its consumption.