It's D day. You have to say goodbye. You drop them off. You hug and kiss for the last time. You drive away and then what? Sadness, just sadness and it can last for a while.
At least that is how it goes for me. Just a feeling of sadness. Sad that you had to say goodbye, sad that you are alone, sad that you can think of everything they are going to miss.
So how do you conquer this deployment sadness? How do you start to feel joy?
Well...we are 3.5 weeks in to this deployment and I think I have turned a corner. I don't really feel that sadness as much. Yes, I am sad he is gone, I miss him like crazy and I still hate the fact that he is deployed but it is different than it was the first few weeks.
I knew this. I knew that as sad as I felt, it would get better and it has.
I saw a friend of mine the day after he left. She asked how I was and I said I felt like I was in some bad dream. It just didn't feel real. It just felt sad.
Now if someone asks I can say, "I am ok, feeling a bitter better than I was."
The first few weeks were so stressful, so painful and so exhausting. It wasn't that I wasn't sleeping, I was just emotionally spent. It still felt like he was here. I still had his laundry to put away. I kept thinking things like, "It was just last week we all went to the park together." It is hard. It is like they are a ghost and they are just gone. You have to get used to that. It takes time before you get into your deployment mode and start to think that you actually can get through the next 200-300 days without your husband.
It is never going to feel normal. Never. It never will feel completely right. I can have a wonderful day, get home, put the kids to bed and then shed a couple of tears because I miss him. It isn't going to feel 100% right again until he is home. At least that is the way it is for me.
We can have fun, we can have good days, we can go a whole week without a tear but it still will not be right until he is home.
So, how do you conquer the sadness? I don't think there is much you can do. You can stay busy, you can journal, you can remind yourself 1,000 times that the deployment won't last forever and that you won't feel so horrible the whole time but the only true cure is time. You have to get through more and more days until you hit that deployment stride that will take to you the end.
It is just like when you are getting on a freeway with a really long on-ramp. You seem to be going in a circle for a while then finally you emerge on the freeway headed to your destination. That is how I feel right now. I have survived the first few weeks of yuck. Our one month mark is just around the corner. I am finally on the freeway. I still have a long way to go but at least we are finally headed at a better pace.
I really do think the first month and last month of a deployment are the worst. You just have to get through them. One day at a time or one hour at a time if you must.
Anyone else just hit this point?