I’ve spent the last few days getting situated and comfortable in this new normal no-contact with my husband. It sucks. It’s lonely. But, I’ve done it before, and I’ll probably do it one more time before we PCS back to the States. I’m well armed with my workout routine and my school work to keep me busy, and I’ve spent some quality time on FaceTime with my parents and friends in the States. I’m feeling really sad to be getting back into this deployment routine, but the bright side is that this year is better then last year, and I know what I have to do.
I remember my first ever deployment experience as a significant other. I was dating a dude who was deployed to Iraq. We had basically 0 contact the whole time. It was positively awful. I was working at that time, and I lost 15lbs during the deployment because all I would do is work and exercise away my emotions … and eat pizza. Said boyfriend was deployed during football season, so every Sunday I would wake-up, go for a run, drive over to the best local pizza place, pick up a large pizza, a slice of cheese cake, and a Diet Coke, and I would plop down in front of the tv to watch football and eat pizza all day. True story. It’s the little bright spots that make deployment bearable. Plus, I lived in San Diego across the street from the beach, and I think that it’s impossible to be miserable while living across the street from the beach.
I think that the key to surviving deployment is to find your happy place and live there. I am not referring to a physical place, but an emotional and psychological place. Surround yourself with things that put you in a positive frame of mind, and maintain homeostasis once you’re there. I wrote this post about eliminating dysfunctional relationships during deployments, and I standby my feelings. Deployments aren’t the time to make difficult or life-changing decisions. They’re not the time to deal with more stress then is necessary to get through deployment.
The 2nd key to surviving deployment is to stay occupied. Fill as much time as possible with projects, goals, and work. Now is the time to work on your personal projects and hobbies. Reorganize the house, begin cooking elaborate meals for yourself, work on involved sewing projects, write a book, or begin a rigorous exercise program. Deployment is the time to take on major(ly fun) projects that fulfill you and do not require your deployed service member’s presence.
So, my focus these last few days has been to keep occupied. I’ve walked about 20 miles since Saturday, did my usual weight training with my trainer today, cooked-up a few meals, watched hours of very trashy and engrossing television, spent hours doing school work, worked on little projects for my husband, and refocused my efforts on loosing weight. I’ve also enforced a 11pm bedtime and a 8:45 wake-up (which will be made earlier starting tomorrow).
Things are okay here – lonely, but okay, and the days are passing. I am looking forward to port calls and a trip back to the States in the fall.