'Stiff Upper Lip'

We were talking this morning about an injury my beloved is carrying. I said that he must be in pain and asked him why he continued in a way which was likely to exacerbate the situation. He grinned at me as he said 'Stiff upper lip Darling'.

I've just been reading the blog (brilliant blog I might add) of someone who is currently transitioning from military to civilian life and he's obviously finding the whole thing complex and a little lonely. He's taking a long time to find a new career, and I think, his way. This made me wonder if the incredibly seamless transition my beloved appears to have made, is indeed that. He's  a deep thinker and he feels deeply. There is nothing 'gung-ho' about him. When we met new people and they discovered that he took IED's apart for a living, there was always genuine surprise. His persona is that of a rather cheerful Diplomat...seriously.

I expected such enormous change to weigh on him, to impact on him in some way - but almost a year later - he seems truly happy, healthy (apart from the injury) and emotionally in tact. I don't know if the fact that he had been invited to take up what amounts to a dream job, before he left the Army, is the key to that. Whether it is because we didn't have to move to unfamiliar territory (our last posting was only 30 miles away from where we have settled), that many of our friends were civilians and we see them and our military chums often. Or maybe it's because he and I are best friends and we live close to his lovely (and my darling step) daughters. Or...is he hiding inner turmoil? Is the passion for his job, the laughter, the sheer joyfulness him employing his stiff upper lip? I genuinely don't know - but if it is, then he's kept it up for a long time.

We've seen friends flail after leaving the Army. One, terribly, terribly, sadly couldn't find his way despite love and support and took his own life. Many cling very closely to their old Army comrades and struggle to adapt to the very different working and social lives. Why has it been so easy for us? There's no smugness in that question, only genuine surprise.

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