Deployment Diaries: We Made It

As I write this post, I am in bed spending my last night alone for a while and I could not be happier. By the time you guys see this, Jesse will be home already and I will be living on cloud 9. These past 6 months have been some of the most trying of my life. I never imagined I would experience pregnancy alone during a deployment but those are the cards we were dealt so we made the best of it.

I have learned a lot about marriage and about myself during this time and I will be sharing my favorite discoveries with you guys today.

One of the first things I had to learn was how to be alone again. I have always been a pretty independent person but living with your best friend for years and then all of a sudden they leave feels like a shock to the system. After some adjustment, I learned that it’s okay to be alone and to even enjoy it a little bit. I have taken a lot of self care days and just “me” days to enjoy life, something I never really thought to do because of the routine Jesse and I have. Not that having our “us” routine is bad but it was nice to just do things for myself once in a while. I also came to enjoy meal times as I was able to eat whatever I wanted(anyone else have a picky spouse?).

The next thing I discovered was a sense of gratitude for mine and Jesse’s time in a long distance relationship. When we lived literally across the country from each other before we were married. This gave us an advantage because we totally had this LDR thing under control from our previous experience. I used to despise living so far from the man I love; little did I know it was preparing me for this moment right here. And I think we killed it.

I learned a lot about strength and there are two sides to that.
First, there were a lot of really unglamorous days spent sobbing in bed over a Domino’s pizza box and a pint of my favorite ice cream. It’s easy to talk online about how I am handling things so well to make it seem like I have this under control. The last thing I need is people worrying about me. But I admit there were a couple of times those captions purveying someone toughing it out were written with tears running down my face as I cried into my takeout. It’s hard to have the person you love suddenly ripped away for half of the year, no matter what preparations you (attempt to) make. I learned that it’s okay and even necessary to acknowledge these feelings and let it out. I don’t have to always put on a front be it for my husband, friends, family, or Instagram.
On the other side of that, I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. There were times such as those mentioned above that I really did not think I could keep going. I was going to break and loose it but then somehow I woke up the next morning; life kept going and I kept going with it. Every time I felt too weak to keep it up and wanted to just hide in my bed until this dang thing was over, I got up, I washed my face, and I kept going. Life can throw a lot at a person and by some miracle we manage to keep moving on.

I learned a lot about life’s little victories. As stated above, there were some days that were quite unglamorous to say the least but what I took from those was celebrating my little wins. There were days where I gave myself a high five for brushing my hair and getting out of my lounge clothes. If I managed to get myself into the kitchen to prepare a decent meal that was a win in my book too. This is something I have continued even on my good days. Humans are truly amazing creatures despite the amount of hurt our lives. Celebrating the little things makes life so much more enjoyable and with that…

Lastly, I learned about comparison. It was so hard for me to admit that I was having a hard time at first. I know so many people who were worse off such as those with kids to think about or those who have spouses on much longer deployments. I felt ridiculous crying during my month two when I know there were people out there killing it through their month eight. But the thing is, those people aren’t me and I am not them. We don’t feel the same things or experience the same lives. Once I let the comparison guilt go, it was so much easier for me to be comforted and keep going to make it through my struggles.

To all of my friends out there with spouses who are away: Keep going. You’ve got this. The end will come a lot faster than you think. Life moves pretty fast and I am happy to look back and say we made it. Deployment number one has been crushed.

Now I am off to finish cleaning and preparing for my man to get home(although like I said, by the time this is published he’ll be here already and I am sure my once clean house is now covered in his gear but I wouldn't have it any other way).

MarriageMadison Dickson