Poor, poor pitiful me…that’s been my outlook for the last couple months. I didn’t want to see anyone, I didn’t want to do anything – I wanted to sulk. You see, I wanted to be superwoman but it wasn’t working out. I’m not superwoman and I’m never going to be superwoman. I had to come to terms with this.
The house wasn’t clean enough, things were piling up on my to do list, I was hurting from my surgery recovery and the dog had been acting the fool. I was overwhelmed. I had been holding everything together on my own and all these things that I had put up on my shoulders were slipping off one by one.
I work from home, my husband is deployed and my nearest family is two states away. I have very little human contact. Sure, I have a few friends but their husbands are deployed too and we don’t live near each other so it’s hard to make time to get together. My “civilian” friends also do not live close and have jobs, families and lives. I should’ve reached out more, but like I said, I wanted to sulk. Deployments are hard though and sometimes you just need to talk, to cry, to scream or simply have a glass of wine with another human.
So basically, everything that I’ve always recommended to my friends who were going through a deployment – getting out of the house, doing things with friends, having hobbies, etc., etc. – I was ignoring! I had to snap out of it! And what was it that finally woke me up? Valentine’s Day. Yes, the day that would make sense to pull me down in the dumps, actually gave me some perspective. My husband has been deployed for the last several months. He’s missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and now Valentine’s Day. Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day of love and couples and my other half is 7000 miles away. Depressing? Yes! But the end of the world? No!
The important thing to remember and what essentially put me back on track was realizing that I have a wonderful husband who loves me. He supports me and is my best friend. I am grateful for him and just because he isn’t here doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Suddenly, I had a new attitude and I felt good. That cloud of self-doubt, depression and panic lifted. Poof. Gone. I treated myself to some sushi and chocolate covered strawberries for lunch, my husband sent me some gorgeous flowers and I got myself some yummy takeout for dinner. It was a good day. I felt loved, content and best of all, happy.
Now I’m taking things one day at a time. If the house isn’t clean it’s ok. I don’t have to do it all at once. I can clean a little here and there until it’s done. It’s not the end of the world. It’s only me and the dog right now and thankfully, he’s not judging me. Do what you can and remember to take care of yourself.
Don’t let the weight of the world rest on your shoulders. You’re not alone even if it feels that way sometimes. There are plenty of spouses going through it. Plenty of hobbies to keep you occupied. Plenty of friends and family just a phone call away. Do not cut yourself off from the world. You CAN do this and you WILL!
If you are feeling overwhelmed and need help, please call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for face-to-face, telephone or online counseling.