“We are military spouses, we are strong, we can do anything that comes our way!”
We hear this a lot. How strong we are. How we can get through anything. And while I know we can get through so much, it isn’t always as simple as that. Sometimes military life punches us right in the gut, and that isn’t the easiest to recover from. And the last thing we might be feeling at that time is strong.
The truth of the matter is we as military spouses want to feel strong. We want to believe we can take anything that comes our way, and for the most part we do. But, it is never that simple.
There are so many different emotions during a deployment. From sadness to excitement, to feeling strong to feeling weak. And the truth is, there is no one right way to feel. Some days you might be on the verge of tears, others you are rocking around your living room because you just hit four months down.
Don’t put the pressure on yourself to always have to feel strong. Because you won’t always feel that way. Some days you will, some days you won’t. What you can do is work to remind yourself that you can do this, no matter how long they might be away. Here is how to do that.
- Remember what you have already been through. For me, that can be a 15-month deployment or even a short one with two young boys, and a baby. I think about all the time I have been away from my husband and how I was able to grow through that. It helps me put this current situation into perspective.
- Change up your routine. Sometimes all we need is to change things up. Maybe this is you deciding that every Friday will now be pizza night. Maybe it is you deciding you need to cancel a few events during the week as the burnout is hitting you hard.
- Find your own battle buddies. We need people to go through this deployment with. We need people we can vent to, who either understand what we are going through or can be a listening ear, even if they don’t. Finding your people is a must, and will be a huge tool in your deployment tool kit.
Don’t worry too much about feeling or not feeling strong. Figure out how to make it through the harder days, and you will find that inner strength. You have been through things that you can look back and say, “wow I did it and I can do it again.”
In addition to this, you can also help other spouses find their strength. You can help one another out, and help each other get to the finish line. Because sometimes when we are feeling strong, others around us are not. And we can here there to help them, just like they help us when the time comes.
Yes, military spouses are strong. We pretty much have to be. But feeling strong isn’t always possible. And sometimes that can make us feel less then.
Just remember that this is normal. Military spouse life is really a mix of emotions, and you won’t always feel like you can conquer the world. And that really is okay. I promise.