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Louise's Blog

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Deployment, alcohol and me

We are now 10 days into the second stint of deployment, the long long road to the end of this tour and right now there is no light at the end of tunnel to be seen!

That first couple of months was really really hard for me for lots of reasons and you will know from previous posts there was a huge amount of uncertainty which was unsettling and ultimately I found it overwhelming and difficult to manage.

RnR leave enabled me to refuel and draw a line, I needed to approach the next three and a bit months differently I just couldn’t allow it to be as hard as it had been, life was too precious to waste it on being so sad and low day in and day out. Yes my husband is away on a six month military deployment, yes he is somewhere I really wish he wasn’t as there is an obvious element of danger, yes communication can be limited and sporadic and yes we have received an unexpected posting and now move two weeks after he gets back BUT…..

My life can still go on back in the UK, there is so much to be positive and happy about….

I want to thrive not just survive

Deployment isn’t easy for anyone, it is hard and testing. The End. How we deal with it to some extent we can influence. In any difficult life situation we all have the people we turn to when we need them the most and we all have the things that make those situations better; be that cake, exercise, a best friend, lighting candles, a bath or wine.

I am a really sociable person as many of you who know me personally can vouch for! I love a party, I love a night out and my annual reports when I was a soldier often said “Louise is a social hand grenade” I was never sure if this was a compliment or not….I took it as one!!!!! Alcohol has always been part of my life in the same way it is for most people.

Deployment however can push us to places we don’t like, stressful days and periods that we feel like we are wading through treacle to get to the end of the week. The first part of this deployment that glass of wine was something I was looking forward to because I’d made it through that week or on particularly bad days just because I had made it through that day. The problem is I am getting older now and even just two small glasses of wine I can feel the next day and then it makes that next day even more of a chore on top of the deployment cloud that constantly sits above my head, the dark days became even more of a struggle.

On RnR I made a decision, I wanted to try and not have alcohol, I didn’t want it to be the thing that got me through the bad days, I wanted this second section of deployment to be, well, less difficult and for me it meant trying cutting out alcohol for a period and see if that made a difference. Sobriety is a bit of a hot topic at the moment with lots of books and blogs about an alcohol free life, all the health benefits etc. I am not doing this forever I enjoy a gin too much but I am doing this for now to give myself the very best chance of getting through this deployment in one piece. My last drink was the night my husband left and I even managed going to a BBQ at the weekend and took a bottle of non alcoholic wine!

Different works for everyone and this is just something I am trying, the longer days and the Spring making a bit of an appearance is also really helping right now. I am back doing my daily Deployment Diary over on my Instagram too, follow me HERE.

Talking of Instagram there is a really lovely initiative that has been started called the military spouse buddy box, you opt in and get linked up with a fellow military partner you then send them a care package of treats and they send you a box of love right back purely to make each other smile. I received my box this week and it was just the loveliest post to get, if you head over to my Instagram feed you can find out how to sign up.

This week has been a good one, ticking down the days as we near the half way point, still a long way to go but I am feeling strong and I’m approaching it a little differently which I hope makes it easier, I’ll keep you posted….this time next week I may be sat with a gallon of wine!!!

Louise xxxx

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About Louise

Louise herself served in the British Army and saw active service in Kosovo. Her husband is a serving soldier who has undertaken six operational tours of duty since their daughter was born in 2003. Louise is passionate about helping all the Little Troopers at home through the anxiety of deployment and also the stress of a long course or exercise having experienced first hand the impact it can have.

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2 Responses

  1. Louise- Thriving and not just surviving during deployment is so hard! Good for you for focusing on your health & happiness. I hope these next few months pass quickly, and your spouse is safely home again before you know it.
    Love from a fellow military spouse,
    Elise

  2. We’ve just finished a 6month deployment and I had to give up booze too – it’s too bad for your mental health and you feel so much better once you get used to it. I’m back on it now mind but that’s cos he’s back!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Love the spouse buddy box idea – wish I’d know about those sooner.

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