There is a countdown clock in my head to the day it is time to say goodbye.
In the military spouse world it feels as if there is an unwritten rule that you should just accept the fact your husband is leaving for whatever period of time and just say goodbye. And for me as a veteran knowing the why behind him leaving makes it even harder to explain why I can’t just accept it and say goodbye. Even though I know. I still need to process the emotions in the lead up to say goodbye.
It is hard for me. And the days leading up to saying goodbye are sometime almost more painful than him finally being gone. You want to savor every moment, but also just want the weight of waiting to be over and finally begin the countdown to be reunited once again.
Someone always has it harder than me.
Add to the fact, that it is hard to complain because if your husband is gone for a month of training you know someone else who’s husband is leaving for a six month deployment. But even when you are the one with the husband deploying, it isn’t very hard to find someone else who has it harder than you.
Your civilian friends sympathizes and sometimes say I don’t know how you do it. But the truth is, you don’t know how you do it either. You just do it. One step in front of the other. One day down. One less day to go. You don’t really have a choice, the military has already decided what comes next so now you just have to find a way to survive.
Time to say goodbye
My husband is leaving for a month. When we planned it, I thought for some crazy reason I would get to see him during that month. But it isn’t going to work out. So now I’m counting down the days to him leaving. Waiting in dreaded anticipation of what I know is coming. Each day we get closer to the day we say goodbye. And even though we have done this before, somehow it all feels new.
As the days grow closer I feel my stress level continuing to build. And for awhile I couldn’t figure out what was causing my inability to get things done and stay focused. I guess all the pretending everything was okay and ignoring the reality that my life was about to change was really draining my energy.
Reaching out for help.
Finally, I told my friend, my friend who is counting down to a six month deployment, what was bothering me. And she didn’t ask me why I was worried about my husband leaving for one month when hers was leaving for six. No, she sympathized with me. She told me it was okay to feel the way I do. She reminded me that even though I am a veteran I am still a human with real emotions that I need to work though.
And I did. Even though the days leading up to my husband leaving are quickly dwindling down I feel okay. Nothing really changed, yet everything changed. I was able to deal with the fact that I was starting to feel stressed. And when I embraced how I felt and got support from friends I realized I can do it.
It is going to be hard, but I’m not alone.
It might end up being a difficult month because if your husband is gone for an extended period of time life is bound to happen, but I will take it one day at time. One incident at a time. And I know that I’m not alone.
Just like the friend I reached out to when I was getting too far in my head was there. I know there will be others around me in my community that are able to help out.
Do you have a good community around you? If not you need to check out 15 Ways to Connect! Life is better in community!