When Do You Hit Your Deployment Wall?

I’ll start this off by being rather blunt; I am drinking wine today.  375 m, to be exact.  One bottle of Cellar Door’s Treasure, to myself.  (It’s a small bottle, so really it’s only two full wine glasses.)  No worries.

To continue to be frank, I’ve hit my wall.

It’s been a while into this deployment; we are better than half way through.  And, to be honest, it’s actually gone rather well.  While my husband and I have had some serious conversations, the vibe has overall been really good.  Our relationship has stayed strong.  Other than a few times that I have put my foot in my mouth and soured the mood of conversations, we have shared so many more laughs than our previously deployment.  He has also made the conscious effort to make most of his phone calls to me when he’s in a good mood, and hasn’t called me when he’s feeling argumentative.  And I’m always just so thankful to hear from him, that I have no reason to argue with him.

But, all that being said, I am so over this deployment.  I am ready for my husband to be home.  To have our normal routine back.  To have date night’s again.  [Good God how I miss our date nights and weekend get-aways!]  Recently, two events have come and gone that we had made a habit of doing together; the Ice-Bar at the Samoset, and Whiskey-Tasting nights at a local pub that we enjoyed thoroughly last year.  This, and not having him home to decorate for Christmas with, and to celebrate together with the family… Going through the motions of everything and staying busy helped, but now that life has slowed down a little, I realize just how much I’ve missed him being with me, and being a part of everything this year.

I’ve hit my wall.  I’m bitter.  I don’t mean this against any of the wives sharing their joys of how far we’ve come through this deployment, and how close we are to it being over, but every time I see someone post about homecoming, and their vague countdowns, I feel bitter emotions stir inside.  And it’s not their fault.  But it’s because no one really knows when this deployment will be over.  Sure, we have an idea of a hypothetical month, if we’re going by how many months we were told this deployment “might” last, but we really don’t have any concrete information.  Did deployment begin when the unit was shipped off to train before going overseas?  Did their orders begin with D.E.E.R.S. effectively has their status as changing to “active”?  Do we start the countdown when they left American soil?  And no one has even a vague idea to their return date.  Even speaking with my husband…it’s all vague and hypothetical.

And people ask me, “when will he be home”?  And all I can tell them is a season, and I don’t even know how accurate that is.  I hope that he’ll be home by a certain month, but he may not be.  So I’m finding it really difficult to get excited about that month, because it may come to pass and he still won’t be in my arms.

I was having a conversation with another spouse, and she pointed out that I am disconnecting.  And although I felt it, I hadn’t thought about it enough to give it a name.  During the week, because I have a full-time job that keeps me focused, I am able to get up and go, and DO.  But on the weekends, unless I have a plan, I find it difficult to stay on task…or pick a task.  I’ve passed it off as just feelings of exhaustion, from being all go-go-go all week long, that come Saturday, it’s nice to just relax, to have nothing to do and thus to do nothing.  But as I lay in bed and think about it, those days I just lack the motivation sometimes to get up because I have nothing to look forward to.  And this wife pointed that out to me, and made me realize that I need to make my own plan if there is not one already made.  Sitting around and doing nothing has not been working for me.  So, I need to make a plan to spend time doing hobbies and things that I enjoy.

I did start a little this weekend; although she did tell me to make it my plan to get out of bed by 8am, I stayed in bed longer.  But, Saturday I took care of a few things in the morning, and after my husband called I worked out to Just Dance for a while.  And, for the rest of the afternoon, I worked on my self-employment business while binge-watching “Hoarders.”  I felt that it was a productive day.

Today, I didn’t work out, but I feel like it was just as productive.  I did some laundry and some chores around the house, baked gluten-free brownies, did some more work, watched the Patriot’s game, cooked dinner from one of the meals that I received from “Hello Fresh“, which I decided to try as a trial with a discount offer.  [The meals were really delicious and simple!]

I plan to have more of a structured plan for next weekend, and hope that this is a trend that will continue and help to get through the remaining time.  Today I realized that it’s the routine that I had with my husband that I miss, that leaves me feeling lost and without cause the rest of the time that I am not at work.

I don’t want to sound completely helpless, because I am not.  I get done what needs to get done, I do get out of bed every day, I just find it difficult to find motivation to find other things to do once those things are done.  It’s emotionally draining, and therefore physically draining, to miss the one person in your life that makes your life worth living.  Believe you-me, I never thought that I would give someone else that much power in my life, but I love him so much, and love absolutely everything that we have done together, that doing (new) things without him is almost unconscionable.  And this is the time of year that we have always done something special together, as mentioned before, after the holidays have passed.  The holidays are about family, and that quiet time after was always about the two of us.

I need to remind myself that this deployment will come to an end.  And I encourage you to do the same if you are struggling.  That one day we’ll all look back on these months and amaze ourselves at how well we handled everything over all, in spite of how many times we may have cried, regardless of if we felt like we were managing poorly.  Another day forward is another day closer to homecoming.  And always remember to never compare your coping with anyone else, unless you’re either going to improve your situation, or help another to do the same.  We all manage in our own ways, and while there are “poor” ways to manage, if you are trying, if you are moving forward with the best intentions, you are doing well, and I applaud you.

We will get through this, and be better and stronger at the end of this.  Regardless of how much longer that we have to go, we will make it.

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