I’m new to ACC so please bear with me! I am looking for some much needed advice.
I am 17 and was promoted to Cdt FS 2 months ago. My sqn is relatively small and, following the recent ageing out of our ex-CWO and 2 ex-flight sergeants, I am now the NCO IC.
Initially I felt I was adjusting well to my new rank and position of NCO IC. However, over the past month or so I have faced some big problems at home and personally which I feel are significantly affecting my performance within cadets. My mum was sadly diagnosed with stage 4 terminal breast cancer last month, and obviously this is something which I am finding very difficult to cope with - I understand that this completely natural and that almost anyone would struggle if they were in my situation. However, this, alongside my A-Levels, has had a hugely negative impact on my mental health. I have struggled with my mental health for a long time anyway, although given the situation I am currently really struggling and this is clearly being reflected in my performance at cadets. I have always strived to gain as much as I can from my time in the Corps and plan to do so until I age out - however, because of how this is affecting me, I fear that this may not be completely possible and to be quite honest I really do not know what to do. The staff team at my sqn are all aware of my situation (although not about my mental health) and most of them have been incredibly supportive - although I do feel that some of them do not fully understand how difficult it is and I feel that I am under so much pressure to just carry on as if everything is fine, when in reality it is far from it.
I just feel guilty, because although I have no control over the situation, I feel like I am unable to be an effective FS and to set a good example to my cadets and NCO team because of how this is affecting me. However, the last thing I want to do is to take time off, because cadets has always my “safe space” where I can let go and relax a bit.
I am really lucky to have an amazing support network of close family and friends who I am so so grateful for and in no way would I be able to go through this without them. But to be frank I am just at a complete loss of what to do and could really do with some advice.