21st Century Spartans and Mental Health

Jameel Matin
2 min readFeb 13, 2018

Like most #millennialVeterans, I don’t want a handout. We like to figure things out ourselves. I found out I had VA healthcare benefits the classic Millennial Veteran Way. Which means discovering a small potential of my entitled benefits years after migrating from the military.

I actually discovered it by accident. I was a freshman in college, skateboarding at the #chinohillsskatepark and did a back-side pop shove-it off a ledge, landing straight on my ankle. The accident made my foot pop out of its socket and dangle. I wasn’t sure if I was eligible for benefits. No one told me, and I never asked. I was a boy angry at the Marine Corps trying to forget about the cape I used to drape.

Nowadays, I’m still learning about my benefits, but this time pulling from curiosity instead of accidents.

I haven’t seen a therapist in a while. This was mostly due to being lazy and not feeling that I needed to. But recently, I felt the itch to get back into the room. I used to love therapy @the_soldiers_project . Devouring frozen yogurt in front of someone who will listen to you without judgment. Are you kidding me?! Processing all the things that come up throughout the week. Then leaving lighter, sometimes with life changing revelations. I forgot how powerful therapy can be.

If you break your ankle but have no idea you broke your ankle, you will deal with the pain and adjust your life around your broken ankle, which creates Panic. Instead of understanding what is going on and healing from it, which creates Calm.

Therapy isn’t just about talking about your feelings. Therapy is about understanding yourself better. Or what happened. Or what’s happening now. For some, the relationship with your therapist (in a safe space) is in itself healing, especially if you did not have safe spaces growing up. Or in a long time.It’s literally impossible to process by yourself. You can’t think your way out of your distortions. It takes a mirror. And a flashlight. There are things you cannot see through your own lenses. Invest in your mental health. I know it can be expensive, but if you’re a vet, milk that shit. It will change your thoughts, your patterns, your perspective, and your life. #thesoldiersproject.