Ahh, the dreaded word: Deployments. If you’re a military spouse (or soon to be) you’re either very familiar with this word or you’re about to be. Whether is happens to be a 90 day, 180 day, or yearly deployment, life is about to get a little more complicated.
I can’t speak on other branches of the service, as all I’m truly familiar with is the U.S. Air Force. We both grew up in Army families, but decided the comfortable lifestyle the Air Force would provide might be a little better. My husband and I have been inseparable (other than basic training and technical training) since January 2015, so deployments back-to-back hasn’t been the easiest transition.
I’m currently still overseas and decided this blog could be a wonderful outlet as I wait to return back to the States! My deployments are very short, so no complaints there, but the timing was definitely not the best. Communication is the only thing keeping us sane (thank you technology!)
Personally, I’ve found that communicating a healthy amount is the best way to go. I’ve seen some dependents need constant interaction with their deployed spouse, but they don’t realize they’re usually on 12 hour shifts daily. Talking about future plans and goals keeps my husband and I going. Setting small, realistic goals that snowball into great, wonderful ones is the most ideal way to do this. For example, we both want to finish college within the coming years and set up timelines as to not get burnt out.
Whether or not you’re spiritual, keeping a routine with something that educates you and fulfills you is NECESSARY. Being that my husband and I have both been the deployed and been the dependent, we’ve dealt with the struggles of both sides. We do not share the same faith exactly, but God is our go-to King! Bible studying, praying, and using devotionals has saved me.
Another way to stay sane is keeping a good workout regimen. Considering I study this in college, it is a huge lifestyle for me. Occupying your time with hobbies are great distractions when separated from your other half. Finding a workout plan that caters to your needs and makes you excited to workout is crucial! This process takes the longest for beginners because you may not know what fulfills you and makes you inspired. Starting with the basics like running, weightlifting, and swimming are great (you can get into craziness like Crossfit later). You can find a lot of inspiration through Instagram and YouTube nowadays too.
Acknowledge and embrace the suck. It will be boring, it will be depressing, and it will make or break you. Whether you’re the one deployed doing the same mundane routine day in and day out or you’re the one with a newfound independence from your spouse, chances are it will suck. I know when I was home taking care of all the house duties, working full time, and caring for my doggies was actually more than I anticipated for. Finding things to ground you are especially important. I learned to bake and crochet when I was left home alone! Now that I’m deployed, I’ve read more books and done more crossword puzzles than you can imagine.
Overall, remembering that deployments are not forever and you will be reunited with your loved ones is the most important thing to continuously remind yourself. Support your spouse no matter which side of the deployment they’re on because we’re all struggling, trust me.