Week 1 Thoughts

DH has  been gone for a full week, and it’s taken me about this long to realize some things.

1.  No matter how busy I keep myself, I’m still lonely.  DH has even commented that I’ve been super busy, busier than I am when he’s around.  I’ll admit that.  Some of it’s just timing–we hadn’t been here long enough for me to do some things, but I have been making a point to have something to keep me occupied every day.  I’ve started volunteering at the local historical society.  Their archives need a lot of work, and I want to keep my hands in the field even if I can’t get a job in it right now.  I’ve started therapy, been going to the gym regularly, gone shopping a few times, worked around the house, played with the dog, and worked on crafty projects–all in week 1!  It’s making the time go by faster, I’m feeling proud of myself, and I enjoy what I’ve been doing.  None of that gives me someone to talk to though.  I miss chatting over supper or as we drift off to sleep at night.  It’s not like I don’t tell DH the important stuff on the phone, but it’s not the important stuff that I miss.  It’s the laughing over a silly commercial or discussing the news that I want back.  My grandmother has lived alone for almost 25 years, and I honestly don’t see how she has done it.  I’m flat-out lonely.

2.  Even though I feel bad, I’m productive and am finding enjoyment out of life.  This is a huge change from past times DH has been gone.  I think I’m more proud of myself for recognizing that I have issues and trying methods to lessen the separation anxiety than I am for actually staying busy.  It’s also giving me things to talk about with DH when otherwise I would be feeling crummy that I had nothing to report because I never left the house.  I am concerned about keeping up this level of activity though.  I’ve had to really, really push to keep doing things every day and it’s only been a week.  After four, six, eight months, will I be able to keep this up?  I think I wouldn’t burn through my deployment activities list so fast if I could only land a job…

3.  A dog to keep me company was a great idea.  It makes me feel like a crazy person a lot of the times because I’ve started having loopy, detailed conversations with him just to talk to someone.  But he has lessened my fears about being home alone at night and has kept my days regimented.  Food and a walk at the same time, every day.  No matter what I feel like, he does have to pee, and cleaning up the floor from an accident will only make me feel worse.

4.  Cooking for one is a pain and will not get easier with time.  Continuing to eat right has been another big goal for me while DH is gone.  It’s just so difficult to do.  I don’t feel like cooking and cleaning up afterward, especially when no one is here to help me.  I don’t get hungry the same way when I’m alone.  Going to the gym is sort of helping.  It’s making me more conscious of health in general, which keeps the benefits of a good, balanced meal on my mind.  Mental health can be greatly influenced by food and excercise, and I have seen some positive effects lately.  I ordered two cookbooks specifically for cooking for one person, so hopefully that’ll inspire me to keep going.  It should at least take the guess-work about how much to make without creating leftovers for the next month.

5.  I need to make some friends that I can hang out with on the weekends and evenings.  I can’t rely on only being around people when I’m out and about.  I’m not actively engaged with people just because I’m out of the house, and it will cause me to constantly be gone.  I can’t keep up this pace, and I need real (and not dog) conversation.  This is only going to get worse when DH cannot call regularly.

So…maybe some things to keep looking forward to and a recognizing a few new speed bumps that I didn’t expect.  The real length of this separation is quickly sinking in.

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