Note: I would like to think I present a fairly positive outlook on this blog, especially when it comes to deployment. But I also think that I would be doing you a disservice if I only shared the cheery side of the military lifestyle. So today, I’m sharing a look at the ugly side of deployment.
It happened about a week before Christmas. A combination of holiday stress, work stress and missing my husband created the perfect storm and before I knew it, I ran smack into the deployment wall. The impact was hard, violent and ugly. So much so in fact, that it put me in a funk for days. I felt exhausted, mentally and emotionally, and more than a little ridiculous for thinking my life was so dramatic when others have it far worse.
The deployment wall is my own personal breaking point; when the scales tip from “holding it all together” to “being a total hot mess”. Usually a combination of factors cause the floodgates to open and I say usually because it’s happened to me every single deployment. And based on what other military spouses have said, it happens to them too!
So what to do when you hit the deployment wall? Each of us is different, but here’s what worked for me.
Talk to someone (or multiple someones) who cares about you.
Honestly just venting can be a huge step in the right direction. I firmly believe that when you lay it all out there, every little thing that’s weighing on you, you’re halfway to feeling better. While I would normally turn to my husband for one of these sessions, I hesitate to do so during deployment. Instead, I opt to talk to a friend or two. They listen, empathize and then don’t harp on it. Of course, if you feel that you need to speak to a professional, please do so!
Cry it out.
This goes along with venting for me, but oftentimes a good cry puts me back on track to being myself. Put on a sad movie or read an emotional book, whatever it takes. Personally, if I’m at that breaking point, I don’t need a whole lot of motivation to cry. But I feel so much better after I do! Granted it may take a day for the puffy eyes to go away, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Do something for you.
With this particular deployment wall, I was completely exhausted and needed to recharge my batteries, so I took an afternoon to do whatever I wanted to do. In this case, it happened to be lay on the sofa and watch cheesy Hallmark movies. Other options could be physical activity, reading a book or listening to music. The key is that I ignored my to-do list, stayed off social media and just let myself be. And oh my heavens, did I feel better the next day.
In order to get past the deployment wall, sometimes you just have to barrel right on through it. So even though I wasn’t feeling 100% myself the next day, I put on my big girl panties, put a smile on my face and went back out into the world. And eventually, I found my energy again.
What do you do when you hit the deployment wall? Share tips or tricks in the January military spouse link-up below!