Famed psychologist Elizabeth Kubler Ross established five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We're pretty confident she was talking about the loss of a loved one or dealing with your own mortality, but we're also pretty sure the stages can be applied to PCSing.
Moving is definitely traumatic. Especially when you actually like where you're stationed… Here are the five stages of grief as applied to PCSing.
It only took a year, but you've figured out what light switch controls which lights and where the optimal place for the couch is in your house; the sandwich shop down the street knows your order; and your kids actually have friends and somehow like it where you are. Ah, military moving complacency.
Just when you're feeling settled, it's time to go. Not just a river in Africa my friends, denial is real. If you hear yourself say, "There's a good chance we could stay here," or "I'm not ready to move yet," or some iteration of lying to yourself or your family that it's really happening, then welcome to this phase.. Step one of any sort of self help program is to admit you have a problem.
Phase two of the PCS grief cycle is anger. In case you missed it, moving sucks.
You're mad you have to leave your friends.
You're upset the military is disrupting your kids' school year.
You're furious that the barber you finally found who doesn't make it look like you lost a bet every two weeks can't come with you.
PCSing is for the birds and you want no part of it. Welcome to anger, my friend. But before you put your fist through a wall or drowned your sorrows in some low shelf bottle from the package store, try to take a deep breath and know that the pain is only temporary. It has to get better. In theory.
Oh the joys of bargaining. This is the part of the process where you are begging your detailer for anywhere but 29 Palms or Minot. The back and forth of yes, I'll take a worse assignment to avoid that location is legit.
The PCS tango is a real dance and we've seen it first hand. If you've ever bartered a few months for a different location, you know exactly what we're talking about.
If you've ever watched poker, you know this moment well: when the player has thrown in their last chip and all the cards are on the table. The poker face doesn't matter anymore - they've lost.
Instant sadness, regret, remorse (basically all the synonyms for depression) sets in. You're moving. It's the worst.
You're overwhelmed with the ten thousand tasks and the reality of your situation. It's sad, boo. We get it. You're allowed to sit in the sadness for a few minutes. Because before you can get to the final phase of acceptance, you have to go through these other steps.
The last phase of grief is acceptance. It might be the moment you text your parents to tell them where you're heading, or after you sit down with the kids with your bravest (fakest?) "this will be a great adventure!" face.
PCSing is hard on an individual and a family. But if you go into it with a mindset that it could be the next great chapter in your story, chances are it will be. And, luckily for us, PCSgrades has incredible resources to make sure that's the case. From advice on where to live, moving companies to use and avoid and more information on your new location than you ever thought would be possible, they've got you covered.
Visit PCSgrades today to move from grieving to getting excited.
This post sponsored by PCSgrades.
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, piña colada may be familiar cocktails to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.