8 Jun 2013


Maybe it's time to openly admit I have been too overconfident in myself at the start.

I came into NS thinking about how much the experience would suck if I already entered with a heavy cloud of pessimism over my head. The plan was that I'd adopt a positive attitude towards this. Take in all the new sights and sounds. Treat every event as a learning experience that would someday prove useful to me later on. Make new friends. Have fun.

So I did. For a while. Then I started losing my grip some time through BMT, but I hid it. Looking back, I should have already mentioned something, and I would have been sorted out, preventing the mess that was to come from ever happening at all. But I didn't. I thought, maybe I'm just having problems adjusting to the regimentation, and I just need more time, even if it'll take longer than most people. And I stuck for a while longer, like how I'm expected to react to adversity.

Then I got my posting. Can't say I was thrilled, but there wasn't really any other place that'd work for me. Again, everything will work out, I thought. Take this as a challenge for you to tackle and succeed. You will be stronger out of this.

One month. I still felt uneasy. It's okay, I'm still relatively new here, so I need time to learn the ropes. Take it easy.

Two months. Hang on. Something's not right. I don't feel any better. 

Three months. Something's really wrong. Why do I feel so confused and nervous like on my first day? 

Four months. I need help.

And here's where I stand. This isn't how I expected things to turn out. I wanted to benefit out of my service, yet I feel even more deprived and muddled up than before. I never initially thought of completely avoiding NS because I had planned to make the best use out of my service time, but more and more I seem driven towards a corner, towards taking the exit.

It's really not the fault of any specific people. Nobody's deliberately provoked or bullied me at all. But I've been gradually losing control of my thoughts and emotions. It's getting harder to keep my composure while in the building, even when I'm not working. 

I can't tell exactly what's happening to me. All I've gotten so far is that the longer I stick around, the worse I seem to become. Not worse in terms of severity alone, but also in frequency: I have to take more quick breaks just to get myself "back". It's certainly not the workload alone causing this, because my superiors have already restricted the workload quite a bit for me and I don't feel a bit better. Bloody hell, I can't even sit in the cookhouse eating my lunch for too long, before I feel knots in my stomach and pressure in my head.

Now I'm not trying to scare anybody away from completing their NS. Nor am I complaining about how insanely difficult administrative work is. In fact I seem to be the exception amongst the many other servicemen who seem to better cope with their work... or at least have a greater tolerance than I do.

I'm just opening lamenting the fact that I should have brought up my concerns much earlier. I was considering against even writing all of this out at all... but then I thought, making my thoughts more concrete might help in sorting my mind out and getting to the bottom of all this, or at least ease the confusion a little. And I'm doing this more for myself than for others, which is why I'm posting at this very odd timing to avoid attracting people who may be most affected by this.

I still feel absolutely guilty about keeping this in for too long. But now I have to do something. Bottling it up any further will likely make me self-destruct or even hurt those near me. If I'm really too unsuitable to carry on, so be it. I can't say I haven't put in any effort to hold on. But I'm still very wary of the stigma that would likely stick with me for a long time...

It's situations like this that I wish I had an unlimited universal undo button.