Is this not the cutest idea in the whole world?


Feelings Of Loss When I’ve Gained Everything

I truly, honestly believed the adjustments associated with reintegration would start once DH got home.  And I was very focused on him adjusting to regular life again.  I have been at home plodding along as usual.  What would I have to worry about besides scooting over to my half of the bed and squeezing another towel onto the rack in the bathroom?  Maybe that’s why I have been feeling so confused lately.

All I’ve been hearing lately is “Aren’t you getting excited?”  Honestly, not yet, and I’ve been feeling like a freak for it.  All my other mil spouses have understood every single feeling I’ve had about this deployment except this one.  So if these awesome women don’t get it, there’s got to be something wrong.

I’ve been extremely reluctant to talk to DH about it.  He absolutely cannot give me the time and undivided attention I know I need to talk about it.  I don’t want to burden him either.  I don’t want to bring up anything that takes the focus away from his job.

I made an appointment with my post’s military family life counselor the other day.  I just couldn’t shake this feeling that when DH gets home I’m going to lose every shred of independence I feel I’ve gained while he’s been gone.  I’ve been so afraid of saying something to him for fear that he’s going to look at it as me not wanting him home.  I also don’t know how to explain not wanting to go back to the status quo to someone who’s been dreaming of returning to that environment for months.

The counselor was nice.  I knew him from the library, so it was a casual meeting.  He suggested looking at how my new sense of independence would help our life together rather than how its going to screw it up.  It sounds easy, but sometimes I need someone else to remind me of that.

Can I say enough about how much I love military family life counselors?  They get the military, soldiers, mil spouses, deployments, and all that “wonderful” stuff associated with being apart of this lifestyle.  And they’re free.  TriCare covers therapy of all kinds, but sometimes you don’t want to go through the referral process for just a meeting or two.  On top of it, you might get a civilian therapist who, as talented as they are, can’t relate to military life.  My counselor, Tom, was so nice and he made me feel better.  I didn’t need a weekly meeting for the next six months.  I just needed someone to tell me I wasn’t crazy.  All posts should have MFL counselors, but Military One Source has tons of information about all sorts of things, but their counseling options are great too.  It can connect you with information or a local counselor, but especially if you’re a Guard family and might not be near an installation, the site has online and telephone counseling.

I’m shaken but still standing.  I will beat this deployment…with help.

I Should Buy A Lottery Ticket

I conquered pluming problems tonight, the first time, with zero trips to the hardware store, and zero leaks.  Does that ever happen?

Murphy tired and failed to bring me down.  I have officially kicked this deployment’s butt.  DH can now come home.

A Plan For the Home Stretch

Today I started a new project.  I’m calling it the “Sick of Being Sick and Going to do Something About it–Oh, and Maybe Look Good For the Hubs” plan.

My health issues are primarily digestive system related.  It seems minor or at least non-vital but when you can’t digest food right you start messing with nutrition and growth and weight.  That all leads to way bigger issues with the other organs not to mention being active, sleeping, allergies…the list goes on.  If your body can’t get all it vitamins and minerals through eating, you’ve got a big problem.  I have a big problem.  I can regulate it the majority of time by staying away from my trigger foods, but sometimes it goes crazy all on its own  and there’s nothing I can do but wait it out.

I’ve been waiting for over a month.  A month of a non-working digestive system is not a good thing.  I’m tired to waiting, so I’m taking more aggressive measures.

I’m going to try and run 100 miles (161 km for you Wiley :)) before DH comes home.  Being active can help digestion along when the body can’t do it on its own.  It’s just difficult because without good food there’s not much fuel for the body to run on.  It’s a catch-22 in the worst way, but I hope that pushing through the first week or so will jump start my body enough that it will get easier.

To complement my excercise plan, I’m going to go veggie lover for awhile.  I don’t know if I want to do it completely until DH comes home, but I need to do it for a few weeks at least.  I’m like a 75% vegetarian anyway because a lot of the time it’s the only thing my body can work with.  I need to get back to the basics and love my fruits and veggies, let my system reset itself, and hopefully get back on a good path.  I got some good cookbooks from work today, so I’m headed to the store tomorrow after work (fun Friday night plans, I know) to stock up and get started.

I’m shooting for working hard until DH comes home and then re-evaluating.  It really has nothing to do with DH and everything to do with my health, but the homecoming is kind of an impending deadline that I can work toward.  And if I can get in better shape, it’s just icing on the cake.

3 miles down.

I Will Never Repeat This Again

I think maybe this deployment might have been a good thing.  The best thing.

Millions of mil spouses around the world just dropped what they were doing, mouths hanging open, wishing they could smack some sense into me.

I know…that same part of me is screaming about how insane I am and will never understand what I’m about to say.

In some ways, I have never been happier than these past months.  Knowing that the buck stops with me, that if an emergency arises I am the only person capable of fixing it, has sort of helped my anxiety.  There is no other option to worry about.  I have to step up and take care of it.  And there’s a lot to take care of!  It’s kept me fairly busy, which limits my worry time.  Don’t get me wrong, I still worry and plan all the time but much less than before.  There’s only so much I can do.  I’ve accepted that, which helps a lot too.  I can let somethings go, and it feels like there’s no one around to plan or worry for…if that makes any sense.

I planned this deployment so far in advance, that I’ve kept myself very busy and focused on the next task.  I’m doing things I’ve never done before because I have myself focused on this goal of surviving aloneness.  I’d like to be able to do things like this in the future for me because I enjoy them and not necessarily for a deployment or for DH.  That’s a big distinction for me, but I’m ok with it being a goal and not achieved yet.

I don’t think I could have accomplished these things with DH here.  I needed a catalyst.  I miss him terribly.  I would choose his company over everything else in the whole world, which obviously shows.  I have not made as much progress as I could have because I loved our relationship.  I wanted to rely on him.  I wanted to do everything with him because I knew that our time was limited.  It might have felt great at the time, but it postponed and stunted me mentally.  This time apart has allowed me to grow while maintaining the relationship I treasure.  In that respect, I am incredibly lucky because not many people get that opportunity.

I feel truly happy for the first time in a long time.  Happy without a shadow in the background.  Happy without a worry that any minute the happiness would turn into a pumpkin at midnight.

I liken to a jar in the cupboard.  When I was deep in depression, the jar was the only option I had to choose.  I reached for it every time because it was the only thing there.  Then I started getting better and I had one depression jar and maybe two or three others.  I had to consciously avoid grabbing for that bad jar.  Sometimes I could and other times I couldn’t.  It was always there right in front, and I had to try hard to reach around it for something else.  Now that jar’s still there, but it’s way in the back.  I have a whole cupboard full of other stuff blocking it.  I have options, way better options, and I can safely reach into the cupboard without worrying about accidentally grabbing the bad jar.  Depending on the day it might gravitate more to the front, but I don’t feel like it’s going to take over.  It’s an awesome feeling to finally get to that point, but I also feel like I need to actively keep my cupboard full of good choices so that one jar doesn’t become the only option again.

Don’t misunderstand me though, it’s incredibly hard.  Being alone everyday is hard.  Managing a house, job, groceries, yard, dog, and work is hard.  Always thinking up ways to keep up DH’s moral (and my own) is hard.  If there was any other way to accomplish this, I would have done it in a heartbeat.  I fear a whole other kind of depression when the stress of being a family of one gets to be too much.  But I’m doing  it now.  I’m functioning, living, enjoying NOW.  That is freaking amazing, and I am so proud of myself. 

As always, I have a small reservation.  Can I only be this happy without DH around?  Does the nature of our relationship suck all the good jars out of my cupboard?  I don’t know the answer for sure.  I hope not.  I hope that I have used this time to learn how to do this on my own.  I hope that DH and I can adjust our relationship, like we’ve done before, to allow for my personal growth.  I know that he is proud of me.  I know that he has wanted this for me for a long, long time.  I just can’t help but feel that I don’t want this deployment to end.

…I will never say that again.

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?

Feeling crummy and kind of down today. 

I wish someone would have told me that reintegration pains start way before they come home.

For Anyone Into WWI

As I’m saying goodbye to all my academic paraphernalia post graduation, I wanted to mention one of my favorite books.  The Great War; an Imperial History by John H. Morrow, Jr., is one of the most enjoyable texts I’ve ever read about the First World War.  It’s not exceptionally new as it was published in 2005, but it was such a refreshing text.  It is very easy and enjoyable to read.  It also gives a fairly balanced treatment between more traditional warfront/battle/strategic aspects of the war and softer home front/political/cultural/racial issues associated with the period.  Morrow should be highly commended for marrying the two halves of history almost seamlessly.

Here’s another review of The Great War by Richard Vinen.  I assume he’s British as he teaches in the UK.  Regardless, he at least approaches the text in his review from a European history perspective.  While Vinen makes a valid point that Morrow does get a bit Eurocentric in his examination and does not give the same space to colonial soldiers’ opinions of the war, I want to point out that the title does specify that it is an “imperial history.”  Morrow takes an angle and discusses the war from the perspective of how entire empires rather than individual rulers or armies fought the war, and I believe he does so with little of the racial bias that tainted the period.

Furthermore, I would suggest that from an American view point, The Great War showcases World War I in a way that American students don’t often see.  The United States is included in the history, but it is regulated to its proper place, not yet a global super power and almost awkward in the continental arena because of its isolationist policies pre-war.  This makes the title rather unique among American examinations of the war and an asset to any student wishing to break free from the stereotypical pattern of US driven works.

Also making The Great War a good source for those using it as a jumping off point for further study is the extensive bibliography, complete with annotations.  It is broken down into both subject and continents and counties sections.  The index is comparatively detailed and useful as well.

Morrow’s voice clearly illustrates a tangled web of imperial policies and goals that overlay a bloody and slow world war.  His text should not be overlooked on either side of the Atlantic.  I highly recommend The Great War a thorough starting point for anyone doing research on the First World War or who is interested in a fresh examination of a highly documented conflict.

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