Sometimes, on deployment you feel like you’re surrounded by people, yet still isolated from them– like Tom Hanks’s character, Chuck Noland, in the movie Cast Away. Although he really was all alone, with just a volleyball for company. Sometimes you need alone time– I thrive on alone time quite a bit, and when “teamwork” sometimes gets associated with “stress” too much, the thought of being by yourself for a bit brings welcome relief.
Of course, you can take this too far and become emotionally isolated… that leads to depression, which is never good under any circumstances and especially debilitative in a combat zone. It’s normal to feel depressed and overwhelmed during times of stress, the trick is to reconcile that it’s normal, while not letting it drive you to isolation. Knowing the difference between healthy “alone time” and “being alone” is crucial. You have to know yourself, and sometimes the best way to know yourself is (ironically?) by with talking to others.