It’s hard to write a happy / inspiring / motivational blog post when all you want to do is cry! I always said that if anything happened with my husband and we were no longer together – for whatever reason – that I’d be okay. Yes, I’d have a mourning period but I’d adjust and get on with my life.
Boy was I wrong!
At 4 weeks apart, I was able to see my husband on the weekend and I came to a somewhat shocking realization; I can’t live without him. Yes, I have – and am for that matter – but this is way harder than I ever expected! I’ve been saying – actually, BOTH of us have been saying that during the week we’re fine as I have work and yoga and have started back at the gym and hubby has classes, homework and everything else with basic training – but I realize that I’m far from okay. I have an insane amount of anxiety that starts as low-grade and builds until the evening when I sit and wait for my phone to ring.
The other night it didn’t ring. Immediately I had the thoughts started; someone got in major shit and everyone had their phone privileges taken away. He got injured and was at the hospital. Quite the extreme there, right? That’s anxiety for you! He eventually did call and the delay was because someone forgot that they were duty platoon and they were downstairs cleaning – and got a late start on it but staff let them have their phones later than the regular time.
The week following our visit I found it harder and harder to be okay being alone. I got sick and was showing depressive behaviors which – frustrating as it is – is stressing me out and making the depression worse! It’s this vicious cycle and I don’t know how to fix or stop! It’s frustrating as part of me was looking forward to this. I could eat what and when I wanted, I could try new recipes, I could go out and do things hubby may not necessarily would want to do – and I’ve done nothing. I’ve had popcorn or potato chips for dinner more than I’ve actually cooked dinner. The house is a mess – I don’t do dishes or laundry when I should do them – only when I have to do them. I go too long between showers especially on weekends.
The first week was great! I was actually really good at doing the things I wanted to do – the skincare regime, the Ayurvedic mornings, shutting the TV off at 8pm, getting ready for work the night before… then things started whittling away and now I can’t even remember the last time I properly washed my face or eaten a proper meal!
Week four and five were the worst for both of us. Husband’s schedule was chaotic, I was sick, and this past weekend, though physically I was feeling better from my cold, we both emotionally had enough – though mostly hubby. He’s in a shitty situation as he has nothing in common with anyone in his platoon. The next oldest person after him is still about 13 years younger! Most of the people in his platoon could easily be our kid. We’ve been married longer than most have been alive… by several years! Everyone goes to him to chat but he has no one to talk to himself. Just because he’s older doesn’t mean it’s any easier on him.
During the week is fine – despite my anxiety of whether I’ll get to chat with him – but we both have work/classes and structure to keep us occupied. It’s the weekend’s that are the problem. Less structure and just enough freedom to allow our minds to wander and head down the rabbit hole. Thankfully, he does have his phone now so he can call or text friends and family to keep occupied but that only does so much. Last weekend was the worst. On the weekend – the Sunday morning – hubby text me and wanted to chat. He was in a really rough place – probably one of the worst I’ve seen. As he said, if someone put a VR (voluntary release) paper in front of him, he’d have signed it. I told him he couldn’t – that he’d regret it. After over 3 years of waiting and frustrations, he needs to see this through.
All he needed was an ear. I sat in silence and listened while he spoke. I didn’t give him any advice because sometimes they don’t want or need advice; they don’t need you to fix things, just be there to listen. I gave him some encouragement – we both cried. He told me it was the nicest thing I’ve ever said to him – but he didn’t specify what part and I really don’t remember what I said. I spoke from the heart. It was my soul speaking to his soul.
And you know what? We both felt MUCH better after that. After that, he was able to focus, get some work done that he needed to get done and that made him feel accomplished.
Sometimes life can get overwhelming. It’s easy to happen and sometimes you don’t even realize it’s happening. So what can you do if you find yourself feeling like you’re drowning?
Make a coffee date with a trusted friend. Sometimes all it takes is an ear to listen and a voice of someone who isn’t immediately or directly involved.
Be gentle with yourself, take the day and make a plan for tomorrow. Take a bath, give yourself a facial or a manicure. Sometimes doing something nice for yourself might bring you out of your funk.
Make yourself a healthy meal. Taking care of yourself will encourage you to take care of your environment.
Start with something small like making your bed. Every morning. That way you’re starting your morning with something productive.
Doing little things adds up – and having a good life isn’t about a few momentous things – but hundreds of little things. So if looking at the big picture is too much, focus on small increments and break it down as much as you need. For my husband, it’s making it to the next meal. For me, it’s getting to yoga – and, hopefully, eventually, to the gym.