is so much harder than I thought it would be.  I thought I would come home and return to my old life with no issues.  But no.  Its so hard. Many of my so called “friends” are nowhere to be found and I spend a majority of time alone.  Being alone so much brings so many emotions to light. And frankly its depressing and I think I’m depressed.  

Coming from Afghanistan has made me had to face some harsh realities, and one of them is my mother’s death.  Being away from home and being away from my family made it easy for me to push a lot of the sorrow aside in order to be able to focus on my mission.  But now that I am home I realize that my family is 18 months ahead of me in the healing and mourning process, they have had that time to get used to her being gone.  And I am not.  This is the first time I have been home without her here. 

And I also realize that my Aunt is very depressed too and I feel like its my job to help her and to get her out of the house and to be the strong one.  But I can’t.  Its too hard trying to heal myself with all of the issues I have going on and trying to help her.  But then the guilt sets in and I feel bad because if I don’t help her who will?  My uncle isn’t much help and my cousins are busy.  Part of the guilt is that I also feel that if I don’t spend time with her now what if something happens to her and I have the same regrets that I had with my mother’s death.  What if I don’t spend enough time with her and she leaves me too?  What would I do then?  

I can’t always be the strong for my family, but I have to be and that hurts me, because it is not letting me heal from my time in Afghanistan.  I am not adjusting well and I need to fix my problems but I can’t and I can’t tell my family about them.  They think I am ok because I am really good at putting up a front.  But I’m not ok.  I’m hurting.  I have social anxieties, anger issues, I’m not adjusting properly, and I’m depressed.  And I want to tell my family but I can’t, because I don’t think they can handle it.  So what do I do?