Monday, August 21, 2006


My first two weeks in the army. First week. First three days. Insecurity. Loneliness. Sadness. Guilt. Oppresion. It's all in my head. If I could take it easier as most other people I wouldn't go through all this. Or?

It's natural. When the army starts, logic ends. Not to be taken seriously..

But that was me. A diferrent experience, checking my limits, revealing facts about myself. I've visited the psychologist three times. The first time was the interview, the second was when he asked me to come again for another appointment. I really was in need to visit for the third time. Maybe there will be a fourth time but I don't feel like visiting now. Though, I'd like to grab the chance to reveal more about myself to a psychologist because I almost never did this before in my life.

There are two places where I don't feel insecure in the army. The toilet and the psychologist. Because I can have my privacy and time for myself there :P

Most people could see there is something wrong with me during the first days. Well,. nothing really wrong, it's natural for most people to look afraid/anxious/serious (psaromenoi) the first days of their army duty, though I believe I was in a greater degree than most people there and revived much later.

There are so many things I have to learn or work at each day that I do not wish. And there are officers who will shout at you no matter if you try hard and have finished all your work well (in your opinion). It's the army. I shouldn't take it too seriously.

Sometimes, because I am too anxious, I make many mistakes or just sit there in the corner doing nothing. Sometimes I am pissed off with all these that I don't have any mood to finish what I don't care about. I felt like my emotions and my personality were totally oppressed. The blame hurts me.

It's not that I am afraid of punishment. I knew that those two weeks before swearing, they couldn't touch me. And even after tomorrow when I'll be back, I won't care about receiving a punishment. It's just that I am somehow affected by their blaming. I feel totally incompetent. But did I asked about this?

During the second week I got a bit cooler (ksepsarwsa), engaged more with the people around me, let some of my feelings released and wasn't looking too serious all the time.

Though I started to get bored.
And counting the days is senseless..

I am in Thessaloniki now. I've got the authorization to be free for 3 days at my homeplace as all soldiers do. Real life seemed like a paradise after two weeks of nothingness. I was wondering how could I whine so much about life in the past. The question arises when you really miss something for a long time. I had temporary lost my freedom in the army and everything in real life suddenly looked marvelous!

Though one day before going back, feelings got mixed. Because I've seen the "paradise" now and soon I'll miss it for another 2,3 or 4 weeks again.

Time has passed too fast here. I felt like I didn't exploit my 3 free days too much. I've checked the internet (too much spam to clean up ;P), went out with few friends, drank some beers, eat a lot of dirty food, slept in my bed and enjoyed the luxurious toilet at home :)

I'll take some good things with me in the army. My MP3 player with my favorite music, my Gamepark32 handheld, few books or magazines, a workbook to write algorithms in paper,. I think that's enough atm. More ways to escape, though I will probably miss being creative.

The army still sucks though. Maybe it's better to not focus in that thought. A good escape is to have fun with the other soldiers of my group. There are some funny people here and when they get bored I almost cry out of laughing with their stupid jokes. A good way to escape. My only way the weeks that past. I was even missing that part at first because I was too shy and anxious..

I don't know what else to write. Each time I'll receive the authorization to go home and be free for few days I may post my experiences and thoughts here. The rest of the time I probably won't have access to an internet connection in the army. I'll be totally offline but nevertheless I will be glad to read your comments each time I get back home :)



thom said...

I was hoping you'd eventually finish your military duty with a new zest for "civilian" life. And it would seem from your first "army post" that my hopes are quickly becoming your reality. A good thing, if I do say so myself.

Only one thing worries me: You emerge from army duty with super productive enthusiasm, but it only lasts a few months. Let's hope not. Postive changes should last a lifetime!

(On the other hand, six months from now you may end up *enjoying* the military and decide to make it a career. Hmm...)

Optimus said...

thom: On your last paragraph.
There was a possibility here in the greek army I was considering, to enter for an officer (I don't know how it's called, a higher rank) where I make 1,5 year in the army but after 4 months of hard practice, I am 1) getting paid (not much, 500 euros), 2) My duty is only from the morning till the midday and later I am free to leave in a house nearby for the rest of the day. There was such a posibility, I asked for it but for some reasons (Psychological and stupidity) they didn't accepted me. It didn't end up as I thought. In the past I was thinking about this like a way to continue being creative and staying alone in a home no matter that I'd do half a year more. Though I was in a dilema. Maybe it's better this didn't happened. I know now that I dislike the army more than I thought, so there is no possibility for a career there. I'll just finish for 1 year and search for another job..

gaiaSword said...

poor optimus.. we read with vigour and are all thinking of and missing you. Glad at least you could get most of your thoughts out to here :)

imho, army careers aren't really a good option.. In most cases, it's not really a beautiful way to live your life; and it isn't like you can just quit. But i'm sure everyone is different.

But glad you at least have some outlets there now. Good luck with that pen and paper :) If you want someone to write you (and have a fixed address of sorts there), just email me your addy and it's game on (scott at groovemail dot com).

Hope you find beautiful things each day.. - p.s: your posted photo of your nearby river, is now my desktop.

Aasemoon said...

OMG this is the kind of time when I feel lucky to be a girl! :D Not that we don't have troubles of our own, but Army is certainly one adventure that I'm glad to miss. On the other hand the way I understand it and from what you're describing, it can also be quite a learning experience; giving you a new view of the life and it's often disregarded beauties. So I hope you make the best of it, good luck and do try to have some fun. :)

Pixie said...

I did not know you went in the army (I think it sucks too, but what can you do?)
I still hope though that when you are out you will find sometime to write.It's not easy adapting to this new situation,just be yourself and try not to take what goes on seriously.
I am sure you will be fine optimus!

Anonymous said...

Things fade away and then they focus again. And so on and so on!Have faith in you. You will be fine. Just fine.

nitro2k01 said...

I was rejected from army, because of my eye sight and other reasons. Back then I felt guilt and frustration that I wasn't good enough. I had been hoping that army would change me and make me more disciplined.
Looking back at it, I don't think I would have been able to cope with it. And most men are not accepted for army in Sweden. (Over 100 years of piece has left its mark on the country)
But still I'm thinking from time to time how I would have been as a person if I had made military service.

vvas said...

Hopefully not too late to say this, but be careful about having valuables with you in the army. Make sure you have them either locked up somewhere or on you at all times, otherwise they're bound to go missing. AFAIK, stealing is rampant in the greek army.

Other than that, hang on there, it'll pass eventually. And all things aside, boredom is bound to be the biggest problem you'll be facing in there. So try to sleep a lot, and maybe read all the books that you've promised to yourself up to now but haven't got round to. :^)

Optimus said...

nitro2k01: I made the similar thoughts at first. Actually I didn't received a weapon (I3 aoplo) for psychological reasons. I was looking extremely anxious, sad and too closed to myself.

I was in a dilema about that. Somehow I was curious about that thing, how does it shoot, how to build up from it's parts, etc. I wanted to take it in my hands. Now I say ironically that they are afraid of myself and that's beneficial for me :)

At first I felt the similar guilt as you but I was in doubt. One part of myself liked the result, because I won't have to bother with all the things affiliated with a gun, like cleaning it up for the 10th time, having the responsibility for it and all the other services I don't have to do now. But another part of myself blamed me that I am too incapable as a person and not a "real man". Now I took in control all these negative thoughts and just wish to end my duty as nice as possible.

There were some changes actually, most are still in progress, having to do with my negative thinking and the other soldiers in my class I have to cope socially with. Somehow things reminded me of my childhood past and the wicked role I played in school. I am moving towards a diferrent approach that came accidentaly after a burst of anger in a moment I couldn't stand it anymore (Den thn paleva oute me ton strato oute me tin kaguria orismenwn) and decided to take a decision concerning myself. Am important factor in this is that I learned to recognise that some labels I or people put on myself result in negative thoughts and it would be better to try to manipulate them in a less black/more grey view. It's hard to explain it now and what it has to do with the army life cause I am trying to finish this one soon :P

Thank you aaesmoon, pixie and the rest, I am a bit better now, I can cope psychologically towards my fears, though I started to get bored and annoyed by the fact that I have no life now :P

vvas: That was my first thought when I thought about taking the Gamepark32 with me. Actually, during the first two weeks I didn't took any valuable with me, since I wanted to know the people in my room first. I am lucky in that. As I discussed with other room mates, the people in our room seem trusted enough, unlike other cases. There are two buildings for the soldiers and as I've heard from higher soldiers we stayed in the building with the older and more educated people. It's in the other building were we have heard of stealing and other incidents. Things are more safe and nice here than other stories I've heard in other camps. Though, I still have my bags locked to be sure. And yes, I consider taking that Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy brick that I never finished with me next time :)

heinz said...

πριν να καταλάβεις τι έγινε, θάχειφύγει.

Εγώ το τράβηξα για 21 μήνες και μάλλον ζόρικα.

Μπορούσε βέβαια και να λείπει. Ε, πες ότι κόλλησες γρίππη με ημερομηνία λήξεως...

Τι άλλο να σου πω....

Καλό κουράγιο!!!

heinz said...

Και για κάποιο προηγούμενο ποστ σου:

Η κατάθλιψη, σύμφωνα με μια σχολή, είναι μια διαταραγμένη σχέση με το περιβάλλον.
Κάποιος ορίζεται έτσι, μόνο σε σχέση με μια αναμενόμενη (από το περιβάλλον) αλλά μη εμφανιζόμενη (από τον ίδιο) συμπεριφορά.

Αυτό δεν σημαίνει ότι η φαρμακευτική αγωγή δεν έχει αξία: η συνεχιζόμενη αρνητική στάση στο περιβάλλον, προκαλεί αναδιαμόρφωση του οργανισμού. Ο οργανισμός, ανδιατάσσεται έτσι ώστε να είναι καταθλιπτικός.

Τα φάρμακα λοιπόν βοηθάνε. Αλλά η αλλαγή στάσης ζωής είναι που θεραπεύει.

texel said...

I love you so much.

Optimus said...


Anonymous said...

Strangely, there's no more conscript here in France (only an army with people whose job is... soldier). Good thing. Hope it may be the same anywhere. Back to you Optimus: you're not the first nor the last in this case. Just... wait 'til it ends (what else could you do?). Hope we could meet later. Overflow (back for good this time)

Optimus said...


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