What I Learned About My Anxiety When My Husband Was Away
This summer my husband was at AT for three weeks. For those that don’t know what AT is, AT stands for annual training with the National Guard and is the training they do every year. Sometimes it is two weeks; sometimes it is longer.
These three weeks were rough for me. My husband hasn’t been away anywhere in a while. Even though he has been gone for a lot longer, this time apart was challenging and my anxiety was at an all-time high.
Now that he is back home, I can look back, and I realized something. I learned a lot those three weeks about my anxiety, what life is like when he is gone and what I can do about it when he leaves again in the future, especially for a longer period.
I learned that I do need a few things to happen so I can get through the time apart without completely losing it. Sometimes I feel as if any deployment would knock me to the core and that I wouldn’t be able to get through.
My anxiety doesn’t make that any easier.
See a counselor
I realized that going to see a counselor is going to be a good option for me. I don’t always feel like I need to see one but the last deployment I did, and she helped me through. I know the next time he deploys, that will be one of the first things I will do. I need that little bit of extra help. I need to be able to talk to someone who isn’t a friend or family member. I need this to stay grounded.
Have a backup plan
I need a backup plan for well everything. What should I do if an appliance breaks? Who can I call if I need some extra help with something or in an emergency? Making a list of all of this information will go a long way in helping with my anxiety. Knowing I have people who can be there for me is a must.
I love journaling, but I don’t do it as much as I should. When my husband is gone again, I need to journal daily. I love being able to get all my thoughts out that way. Journaling is its own form of therapy.
Childcare for my youngest is a must! He was in a day camp this summer, and that made my life so much easier. I was able to work and have some time where I wasn’t having to entertain an active six-year-old.
Don’t try to be a perfectionist
I have to let go of perfection when my husband is gone. That is what really can get my anxiety going. Am I a good enough mom? Am I a good enough housekeeper? Am I a good enough military spouse? It’s these silly judgments that I put on myself that I need to stop doing. I am doing the best I can, and that is good enough.
Have my happy place
I have a place in my bedroom that I can go to get some downtime or just to relax. I used a place like that during our last deployment, and it was very much needed this summer. I can go there when things are getting a little too much and can read, watch tv or just chill in a comfortable atmosphere.
Make plans with friends
Making plans with friends is always a good way to break up the days of a deployment or separation. I need to do more of that. Whether we have lunch while the kids are in school or dinner before a T-ball game, having time with others can get me out of my funk and allow me to enjoy our time together.
Anxiety isn’t any fun, and I hate how it can rear its ugly head when my husband isn’t home. I hope that I can make some changes the next time he is away so that I can truly rock that separation more than I did this summer.
Do you struggle with anxiety too? What helps the most?
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Last Updated on June 24, 2021 by Julie Provost