Speaking of resources. I had been a military spouse for 7 years before I truly understood what a spouses’ club was. I vaguely remember attending an event in Altus hosted by the Spouses’ Club but I went home still not quite understanding what it was or why I should join. It wasn’t until my friends, fellow book club members, started talking about the Scott Spouses’ Club and the Board they volunteered with. It was these ladies who kind of pushed me to be President of SSC. I definitely had reservations as I had never even participated in a spouses’ club or led anything that large but although we faced several hurdles throughout the year, I feel like I grew and learned so much about myself, being a military spouse, and the mission and reach of spouses’ clubs. There are so many people, several have become lifelong friends, that I never would have met if it weren’t for the spouses’ club bringing us together. It was that one year of experience that made me a huge advocate for spouses’ clubs so when my husband got orders and we PCSd, I knew the spouses’ club would be one of my first stops and I’d immediately jump into being a volunteer on the Board.
Clearly, I enjoy helping others and spreading knowledge. I feel like a lot of that is because of what happened on December 6, 2007. That morning I woke up surrounded in darkness. I decided I was a nobody, meant little to anyone or those I did mean something to would be better off without me, and I attempted to take my own life. I ended up in the hospital for a few days and then moved to a mental health facility. Over the years I had learned to hide my battle with depression and anxiety so I knew the “right” things to say to get back to my life. I didn’t entirely lie, I no longer wanted to die, but I also wasn’t fully honest with how I felt with the doctors, nor myself. Over the years I continued to struggle and there were times that darkness exploited my fears and insecurities but I never attempted again, even though some of those days I really wanted to. I had made a promise to my boyfriend at the time, now my husband, that I would never do that again.
Around the time I was President of SSC, the darkness almost took hold where although I made the promise, things were hard, too hard and I was tired of fighting. I didn’t attempt again, I did keep my promise, even if I really wanted to give in to the darkness. I ended up getting some very hard truths from a former friend which for whatever reason really opened my eyes and resonated with me to such an extent that my entire mindset of things changed. I realized my worth and that I was responsible for my own happiness. Others aren’t mind readers and if and when I need help, I need to speak up.
In 2017, we ended up losing my Dad ultimately to suicide. Having been in his position, of the darkness being all encompassing, I understood. That understanding of the darkness hasn’t fully helped deal with the grief of his loss from our lives and this world; 6 years later and his presence and light is still greatly missed. All of this pain and longing maybe could have been avoided if he had just spoken up to someone, anyone.
For me, 2023 marks 16 years of life, of experiences, of relationships and friendships that I almost gave up completely. I have an amazing husband, who none of what I do would be possible if not for him. I have 3 remarkable boys who drive me nuts, but I love more than anything. Over the past 16 years I’ve been able to teach and work with elementary and high school students, some who still keep in touch years later. I have met so many incredible people and have had an influence in their lives, some just a small influence and others a larger impact. I don’t say that to sound conceited but to advocate that the darkness whispering in your ear, magnifying and exploiting those fears and insecurities you have, is temporary and you will go on and impact so many people. I have been able to lead and participate in spouses’ clubs that work to better life for military families and the surrounding communities. I have been able to utilize that teacher in me and share my knowledge of resources available to families as a Key Spouse and Key Spouse Mentor.
I am who I am today because of the experiences I have had and the numerous people who have come (and gone) from my life. This is my story.