I couldn’t believe he was gone. I couldn’t believe this deployment had started. I couldn’t believe I had to go through this again.
I certainly didn’t feel strong enough for this. I didn’t feel strong enough for the deployment. I didn’t feel strong enough for military life.
And yet, somehow, the days went by. Somehow I made it through that deployment. Somehow I was strong enough to do just that.
Through that deployment, and other past deployments, I realized something powerful.
Not feeling strong enough to get through something doesn’t mean I am not strong enough to do so.
Often times, us military spouses feel like if we are not 100% prepared for any possible situation, if we can’t get through everything military life brings with a smile on our face, if we can’t do a thing without a couple of meltdowns, we are not a good military spouse.
This isn’t true at all!
The truth is, you are not always going to feel as strong as you want to. I certainly don’t. Some days I might feel like I have military life down, and other days? Not so much.
So, if you are not feeling strong enough for military life, you are not alone, and there is nothing wrong with you.
Sometimes military life makes it hard to feel strong.
But what can you do about this? How can you find your inner strength? How can you get to a place where you feel like you can handle what military life is currently throwing at you?
Depend on your friends
I am not sure what I would have done over the years without my friends. They truly got me through, each and every deployment. From helping me stay busy, to being a shoulder to cry on. Depend on your friends, they can help you up when you are feeling down.
This one is hard for me. When it feels like your husband is always the one who has to go, being happy for others can be more difficult. When it seems like your kids are the ones who have to go without their dad around, life can feel pretty unfair.
The best thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to other spouses, both civilian and military. Some service members deploy more than others. Some civilian spouses will never have to spend more than a weekend away from their spouse. And that is so hard to take.
But we can’t compare and dwell on how unfair everything is. We have to pull ourselves out of that. And if we can do that, we will be able to get to a better place and we won’t struggle with jealousy quite as much.
This too shall pass
If you need to tell yourself, “this too shall pass,” 50 times a day, do it. Reminding yourself that this deployment is a temporary situation is going to go a long way. I can’t tell you how many times I would feel like I was in stuck in a deployment funk, but simply reminding myself that the deployment was temporary helped me feel so much better.
When we are going through a difficult time, feeling like this is how life will always be is way too easy to do, but that isn’t the case. Look at how far you have come, and know you can be strong through the rest of the deployment too.
If you need extra help
If you are going through a deployment and you struggle with anxiety (which I do) or depression, please don’t be afraid to ask for extra help. Your mental health is so important and working on that during a deployment is a must.