As Military spouses we often hear the phrase, “I could never do it” when talking about a deployment or time as a Military spouse. It is not meant to be anything but a compliment (in most cases) but it still stings. Why? Because for a lot of us it sometimes feels like we can’t do it either. That feeling is a horrible one. When you know what is in front of you and you really don’t think you are strong enough to get through it. I have felt this way many times during the last few years.
When my husband first wanted to join the Army, I thought that I could never handle being a solo parent. It felt like an insane idea.
When my husband’s first deployment was rumored to be extended, I thought I couldn’t go past a year. It was too much to handle.
When we found out my husband was going to deploy for a year 365 days after he got home from that 15 month deployment, I didn’t think I could handle that.
When I knew I had to fly back to Germany from California with two little boys, I didn’t think I could do it.
Somehow, I was able to actually do all of these things. They were not easy and there were a lot of tears and a lot of prayers said.
We are now 11 weeks into this deployment and it has been one of the hardest periods of time for me. There have been so many tears and prayers said. I feel like I am running a race and as I watch everyone else run by, I am on my hands and knees with bandages trying to make it to the end. It has not been pretty.
So yes I am doing it, but I don’t like it, it isn’t fun and I wish I didn’t have to.
So I think when someone says “I could never do it” to me, they don’t realize that if they were in my exact shoes and love their husband, they would do it too. Maybe it would be easier for them, maybe it would be harder but they would be doing it too.
On the other hand there are people who can’t get through the hard stuff. They just give up. Not all Military spouses stick around. Not all parents stay with their kids. Some people need a lot of help and others can’t seem to find it. Not everyone is able to go through every situation with a smile on their face.
I think when we see someone else going through a really hard time we think that they are made out of something different than we are. But the truth is we are all human and we all have our struggles. This deployment is kicking my butt right now and while someone else might not be able to imagine how I live without my husband around, I might not be able to imagine how they get through one of their own struggles.
I try to keep all of this in mind as I get through each deployment day.
Have you ever been through a situation you didn’t think you could handle? How did you cope?