I can’t lie to you, the last three weeks or so have been a bit of a blur for me. I have been so so teary, so unmotivated, felt like I was struggling to function let alone thrive, I must have cancelled about eight exercise classes in favour of PJs and sofa and if you follow my daily Deployment Diary over on Instagram stories you will have witnessed some of the darker days!
Over three weeks ticked off now and dare I say it but I think I might be turning a corner.
Now I am coming out the other side of this initial period of deployment I am remembering how unsettling it really is and how you just have to just wade your way through it as best you can. Lots of self care has happened in the form of booking a massage, cooking comfort food and lighting lots of candles and getting cosy at home.
Someone sent me a message saying “do something you love every day” I really loved the sentiment of this and have where I can tried hard to do something however little the last week each day….I bought some daffodils one day, watched Call the Midwife another, booked a massage, had lunch with some friends…easy and cheap things mostly but at least once a day I wore a smile and that made a difference to me.
I have also been trying to draw strength from words people have sent me and I have recited this saying in my head a few times recently
Time is the greatest healer and I really felt over the weekend that something lifted, I felt like some strength started running through my veins and it was so so welcome! It might only last a day or two, maybe a week or hopefully even longer but it had arrived.
Something else I am actively doing is avoiding alcohol as personally that was making me feel a little lower and a little sadder so for now I’m swerving it and I am trying to exercise a few times a week if I can, those endorphin’s aren’t a myth they really help me and an hour of Zumba for me is a good distraction.
I did have an epic wobble last week and I was really thankful my mum was staying.
I’ve written before about how I really believe previous Iraq and Afghanistan tours have shaped me and the fear was so so real (read previous post HERE) this is our seventh long tour as a family and my husband is currently deployed somewhere with potential danger. We’ve never had WiFi on a tour before and although it isn’t great and we aren’t sitting Skyping everyday there is (when its working) the capacity for some what’s app messages, but this comes with an added complexity. I hadn’t heard anything for a day or so (this is NOTHING compared to the 10 days we’d go on previous tours, granted) but for whatever reason at that moment in time I got the fear, it was in my tummy and it catapulted me right back to 2003 and I sobbed on my mum convinced something had happened.
Time passed and my husband got in touch but the reality is that fear like that stays with you and when you are put back in a similar scenario to which you are already bruised from it is hard to always be rational and always gain perspective. I manage it most days but sometimes I don’t and this time I didn’t.
Since the start of this deployment I have connected on Facebook, Instagram, email with so many others who are also going through a long period of separation and I really hope #sharingiscaring and we can all support each other. My top tips for the first few weeks;
- Be kind to yourself – have that bubble bath, wallow on the sofa, eat that bar of chocolate
- Don’t give up – always try again tomorrow
- Surround yourself with a few you can lean on – let them scoop you up and make it better for a day or two
- Don’t rush yourself – If it take 3 weeks to settle, it takes 3 weeks. That’s OK.
Lots of love, Louise xxx