Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Waiting For Home...

Let's start the journey. Homeward bound. It may be a figment of my imagination, but I believe the last two months of a deployment are the hardest out of the whole year. Months 1 - 2, you miss him. You're sad a lot, you cry, but you've told yourself you must move on. Besides, everything is new. And while that's sometimes overwhelming, it's also an adventure. You're figuring out (because you have to) how to make things work on your own.

Months 3-10 (could be 9ish, could be 11ish) are the meat of the deployment. In my opinion, they're the easiest. OK, easy is the wrong word. There's nothing easy about anything during a deployment. But they are the most normal of the new normal. The most routine. It's the acceptance phase. You made it through Denial (probably pre-deployment) and you hopefully made it through Anger. You're chillin' in the land of Acceptance. You've adjusted to your new routine, to just you. You're hopefully out exploring and doing things within your new independance. It's not easy, you're not 100% happy. There are highs and lows. Days that you miss him so bad it hurts, holidays, anniversaries, mini-crises that come up and freak you out. But grand scheme of things, I felt settled during the meat of it. I had a decent idea how things would go. But oh, those last two months...

I already don't like deployment. I don't think there is a mil-spouse out there who does. But oh, 'round about month 10, I'm sick and f*cking tired of it. I'm ready for it to be done. I'm utterly and completely over it. Which of course, incites small panic attacks when you realize you're still at about 60 days in your countdown.  Then, you mix in the longing. That little chunk of your mind that says, "You have a whole, long, freaking forever 60 days to go....     you have ONLY 60 DAYS TO GO!!!" It's tantalizingly close and agonisingly far away. And both feelings just get stronger. The closer it gets, the more it feels like the deployment will never end. Excitment battles anger battles anticipation battles frustration.   This tour, I had an event for kids and a Board meeting to plan, both occurring a week apart, sandwiching his return to the States. Good thing, because if I hadn't been that busy, I promise you I would've jumped out of my own skin!

I've heard the guys view that homecoming date with excitement and apprehension, maybe even a little dread. And, if we want to be totally honest we have apprehension too. How have I changed? How has he changed? Will our personalities fit together still? Will our routines? Will our bodies? Which issues will pop up when he comes home? Reintegration isn't easy. The world isn't magically rainbows and puppies because they're home. In fact, in many ways, it's just as tough to deal with them coming home as it was to deal with them leaving. And perhaps that last two months is even more difficult because you're already anticipating that. Either way, you're a ball of emotions best classified as delightfully, frustratingly insane.

Take that 2 months of energy and harnass it. Run. Dive into work. Something. Because it is pent up, and you will go crazy. Know that it's normal. For me anyway..  and take some deep breaths. Don't stress what's coming because it will be another adventure and another ordeal, but you'll get through that too. If nothing else, at least you're 2 months from ending one more chapter, and flipping the page to the next.

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