2020 was difficult for many people...and the story was no different here. In January of 2020, my husband left for a 1-year deployment. I remember looking at his packed bags and not wanting to face it. But when he was leaving, there was a little, tiny glimmer of hope knowing that this year-long deployment allowed for a visit in the middle. When I said goodbye, I had the mindset of only having to survive 7 months, then I would get a little break and refresh to finish the last 5 months strong.
Well, 2020 happened, and the reality set in that we would not be seeing him for the entire year. This. Was. Hard. But a military spouse has gotta do what a military spouse has gotta do, am I right?
So I wanted to share with you some of the things that literally kept me above water through 2020 as my husband was deployed.
I'll call it the Deployment Survival Guide. ;)
Deployment Survival Guide for Military Spouses:
Netflix and Chocolate
Yeah, I didn't say Netflix and chill. With the hubs gone, "chilling" didn't feel like it was in the cards for me. But chocolate? Heck. Yes. Give me all of the chocolate. This was my coping mechanism...health or not...it got me through.
Because now I am responsible for ALL of the things, lots of coffee is needed. One of the hardest things about deployment is realizing how much more responsibility falls on your shoulders...even more so if you have kiddos. Have that cup (or 3) of coffee in the morning in a quiet space helped me get centered. It allowed me to recharge and get myself ready for each day!
Having a list of a few friends who can be your "people" is invaluable. When you are having a bad moment or a bad day, your circle will be a safe space for you to turn to. You don't have to go through this deployment alone, lean on those around you.
- Motivate - To help you get all of the things done
- Peace - When you feel overwhelmed
- Cheer - When the sadness settles in
- Forgive - When you have those moments that you're mad about having to also walk out of this deployment
- Console - For those days when you need a hug
- Passion - When needing a little more passion for life, also great for that reunion (wink wink)
What it all comes down to is deployment is hard. And if you experienced deployment during the pandemic as I did, you feel me on a deeper level.
Just know this...you don't have to do it alone, you can eat all of the chocolate you want, you don't have to let anyone shame you for having 7 cups of coffee in a day, essential oils really do help, and Netflix is a requirement. But I promise you...you can get through this.