My Cup Runneth over

  • Published
  • By Maj. Michael Stratton
  • 307th Bomb Wing
The majority of military people tend to have type "A" personalities. This means we don't seek help and believe we're capable of handling everything on our own.

Sometimes, everything hits you at once. You find yourself in the midst of one of those weeks where despite all you have on your plate, others keep piling it higher and higher. It could be due to work, your personal life, outside distracters or a multitude of all the above. Just remember you're not the only one. The question is, "can I handle this alone or do I ask for help?"

You begin the day just as always, expecting everything to be routine and go smoothly. However, upon arrival at work, you discover you have training delinquencies that must be accomplished right away.

At this point, you're not too stressed, but you no sooner get into the training when your child's school calls and informs you they must be picked up due to illness. You can't get your spouse to answer, so you leave work for the school. No sooner are you in the car and on your way when your spouse calls letting you know she's going to pick up the child, but needs to talk to you later.

You go back to work and decide to quickly check your email only to find a message with a short notice tasking. Just about the time you fully digest your new task, you're asked for an update on how the training is progressing. Of course the response is "It's going great and will finish it shortly."

As the phone rings, you quickly pick up the line only to find it's the bank asking about your late mortgage payment. You assure them there must be a mistake because your spouse takes care of the bills and is never late.

Finally, the work day ends and you head home, mentally and physically exhausted. Entering your house you notice it's quieter than normal. There's a note on the table, a Dear John letter that simply says, "I've met someone else and have filed for divorce." You quickly go online to check your bank accounts only to find out they have been completely drained.

This is embarrassing. Do you call someone for help or bottle it up inside and tell no one? This scenario seems extreme, but not only could it happen, it possibly has happened, or something close to it, to someone within our Air Force family.

For many of our members, it may take a lot less than this to push them over the edge; to make a fatal decision there is no coming back from. So, watch for signs when your co-worker changes his or her actions, or just seems a little different. Be a Wingman and ask what the problem is and if there's anything you can do.

Everyone has felt their cup running over at some point in their life. It may be as simple as a sick child, a dog dying, the pressure from an ever increasing workload, so be the Wingman you may need one day and take a few drops from their glass. You may make the difference.