It’s funny, in reading this, how many times people in general seem to have some point in their lives that was their highlight. I remember one friend of mine, who struggled with depression, always referring back to high school, and somehow not being able to live past what must have been the high point of her life. For others, it might be their time at college or university; others still, a particular point in their careers, or a set of travel that they did.
The common theme to all the latter, and what Steve mentions in his blog below, is that every one of those people felt somehow validated by that set of experiences at that particular point in time, and have never been able to recapture that sense of self-worth in that moment.
On a more micro level, this feeling is akin, I think (and I say the following perhaps a bit tritely, but I think the point remains), to when you go on a fabulous vacation and then have to come back to the ‘doldrums’ of everyday life: work, school, family, friends, groceries, bills, appointments, meetings etc…How many people always have a week or two of adjusting once they return from vacation?
Now take that feeling and apply it over the course of several years, and it is no wonder that it is difficult for people to connect to the world around them, whether it be someone transitioning from the military into the civilian world, or someone transitioning into the next stage of their life, whatever path or venue that stage may be.
What is the solution? Not fixating on something that happened in the past and attempting to recreate it, for one. The past cannot be recreated. It is much more sound to determine what you can do to create a new great feeling for yourself in the here and now, and to carry that feeling forward. There is no magic solution that anyone can offer though, as it is purely up to each individual person to sort out what best works for them.
Be assured, however, that there is something that works best for you.