For the past week, at least, I’ve been overloaded.
Naturally, I’m a wound-up-tight person anyways, who never really, fully, relaxes. I’ve been able to handle the stress of everyday life : the awkward years of high school, finals, SAT’s, college applications, college life, term papers, more finals, tough classes, difficulty finding employment post-graduation, planning a wedding, completely uprooting from home and moving to a new state only knowing my husband… I feel I’ve still been able to successfully handle everything. But when you become a military wife, there’s a whole new level of stress you feel. At least it’s true for me.
It’s become very difficult for me to read about or listen to stories about service members getting wounded or killed in action. One day I was looking at news reports online, and found two separate incidences of soldiers killed overseas – one deployed from our Post, the other was originally from the area, but deployed out of another location. I became overwhelmed with the reality of what happens – not to everyone, but to some – and I had an anxiety attack. It’s become increasingly difficult to be strong all the time for my husband, for everyone.
Before I continue, I should let you know a little detail about myself. I am Fucking Kristel _. Capable of anything, strong enough for everything. I should be able to handle anything just because of who I am. Granted, I am probably nobody to you, I am not overstating my importance to the world. I am just letting you know that I do not know how to handle vulnerable.
I am unraveling.
The stress and tension has been building up inside of me, that for the past six days, my body has physically become so tense. My back and shoulders hurt almost nonstop. I find myself clenching my jaw frequently. My appetite has waned. And I have packed on an additional 5lbs in stress weight.
I cannot stop thinking. About anything. As if this heat isn’t enough to keep me awake when I want to fall asleep, but I cannot shut my mind up.
I know I have to stay strong for my husband – I don’t want to give him any more reason to worry about me when he deploys. But it is becoming more and more difficult to just ignore everything, pretend like life is OK and smile, when all I want to do inside is cry.
I want to remain optimistic, convince myself that my husband will deploy, everything will be OK, he will return to me, and we can once again resume our lives. But even as a person who naturally sees the glass as half FULL, who finds even the smallest things to be optimistic about when everything else, or everyONE else around me is bent on being pessimistic, it’s almost impossible to ignore my own feelings of dread, anxiety, and the possibilities of reality. And you worry, and you cannot stop the worry.
There really is no way to prepare yourself for this. You can tell yourself what will happen, but you really have no idea. You don’t know how you are going to feel. Know which small things are going to trigger immense emotions within you – both good and bad.
This might be something every military wife goes through in the face of deployment, I’m not sure.
I know that I love my husband, and I am not looking forward to any time spent without him.