Dearest Everyone…

 

                 As a military wife and mom, life can be filled with joy, tears, happiness, and frustration. While our spouses are away protecting our country we are left behind to care and manage the homefront solo. We find ourselves stuffing our own packs with strength, patience, time management, budget skills, understanding, and love, everyday – including lugging it to and from the family vehicle along with the little ones.

                 I have begun this journey here to express myself as my family and I walk through the highs and lows of military deployment. Since the beginning I found myself challenged in so many ways – from the smallest crisis to the largest dilemmas you can imagine and each of them I have mostly dealt with alone.

                From the time my husband has been deployed, it has been almost like textbook. Everything I read and everything people told me to expect has pretty much happened, from pre-deployment anticipatory grief to extreme anxiety. But although it seems like every military spouse walks the same path – it is never the exact same journey and experience one feels compared to others.

                Today I can say that I am gaining control of anxiety and it is getting better. The first few weeks I felt I couldn’t even breathe. Feeling like I was trapped between two brick walls and every now and then a specter of some sort would come and squeeze me in some more. For a moment I even feared I had some sort of lung cancer, resembling a hypochondriac. I even turned to my sister, a physician assistant, for medical advice because I refused to admit that my difficulty breathing was a result of my fears of being alone and worrying about my husband being away. It took me quite some time to coming around and finally accepting that it was indeed anxiety. It was as though I had to go through my own 12-step program to get there!

                Once I recognized my anxiety, I turned to look my fears dead in its eyes, grabbed it by its horns and I began to yell back. I acknowledged that the only thing I have absolute control of is myself. I can’t control where my husband goes, I can’t control how often I can speak to him, I can’t control when the bills come or when we get paid, I can’t control my daughters breakdowns, and I can’t control life’s glitches (big or small) – all I can control is how I react to each and every situation. I had to learn to let go of my desire to be in complete control of the things around me. And let me tell you it was not the easiest thing I have done – that’s for sure.

                Just as I now try to unhook my toddler from her comfy-safety apparatus – the ‘binky’, the denial of my anxiety was like my ‘binky’. It kept me safe at night and in public. Even though I suffered emotionally one way or the other, deep down denying my anxiety kept me from believing that my husband is deployed. Presently, as my daughter is going through her withdrawal from her ‘binky’ I can sympathize with her knowing that her sleepless nights will be a result of thoughts running through her mind saying  “Now that I  know I can’t have my binky control my life, how will I get through my days – especially meltdowns?!?” After a couple of days I know her fears and tears will pass and she will manage her days without her security-binky, similar to how I learned to let go of my anxiety and deal with the issues I was facing. I’m not sure if knowing all this prior to the deployment date would have made me feel any better the first few weeks my husband was gone but I am grateful I learned to deal with it as part of my journey. It is something I can continue to take with me not only for the rest of my husband’s deployment but after – in my marriage, family, personal and business relationships, and now as I am challenged by ‘binky vs me’ with my toddler as well.

                So here I am sorting my life daily and starting this blog. Every day I am tested by some unknown force – but regardless even if I breakdown and cry, I know that I have to keep going because well, I have two little ones that react to how I respond to our daily adventures. I will be here day after day divulging all the good, the bad, and the ugly – and of course – how I got through it all (hopefully).

                 I miss my husband dearly and he knows it, all I can do is continue to keep my head up, my patience intact, express myself in a positive healthy way (here) and remember that all I can do is take it at my own pace because regardless the end of the road will come at its own time.

Until tomorrow….for whatever the day may bring….

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