Friday, July 12, 2013

What is the Secret?

I look back sometimes on the day I got the news about the deployment my husband is currently on. I clearly remember thinking, one year! I can’t do it! I am not cut out for this! The day he left I drove home in the rain crying so hard I could no longer tell the difference between the rain and the tears blurring my vision. I have cried many times in my thirty something years of life but none as hard or as much as I did that day. A year felt like a death sentence and I kept thinking. I don’t know how I am going to do this! I am not cut out for this!

I remember thinking all these other wives must have some special secret that no one bothered to tell me. There must be some insider knowledge on how to get through something like this and not go crazy. I had a moment of visualizing myself in one of those fancy straight jackets and hair all a fro. This visualization made me cry even harder. It was not a pretty picture I assure you. Sure I had heard all the standard advice. Stay busy, connect with other wives, yada yada. There was no way that was what was keeping all these women looking like they still had it all together. They had a secret, I just knew it and I was going to find out what it was!

    That first night and on a few others in the past seven months there were moments I was tempted to jump into a large bottle of something alcoholic. Murphys law would stop by my place and I would visualize myself on a nice sandy beach, toes in the water, sun shining down, and me a few drinks into some kind of bottle. Then I would remember and would moan aloud. I was the mother of two. A tiny night cap, on the couch would have to do! I did however wonder for just a moment if the secret was alcohol. But, I would know if half of my friends were alcoholics, wouldn’t I? Alcohol although some would argue is always the answer was not the one I was looking for this time. With much dissatisfaction that I could not use It as an excuse to indulge. I finally decided It was not the secret!

    Almost 7 months into this deployment. Sitting outside at my grand fathers property watching a beautiful sunset with a tiny night cap of course. Missing my husband and wishing I could share that beautiful moment with him. I had two revelations. One is that I really am slow! Two is that there really never was some big secret to uncover. The answer to making it through really is that you just do.

    When I felt out of strength I would look at our beautiful children and carry on for them. When I felt out of strength I would think about my husband and how he is depending on me and I would carry on. When I felt out of strength I would remind myself one year is nothing if you put that next to forever and forever is how long I am going to be with my husband.

    I have fallen, I have missed appointments, and gotten lost. I have cried into my pillow, I have screamed in anger about how hard this life is. I have been angry with the military and cussed them with words not even appropriate for a Marine. I have eaten more then my share of junk food or soul food in hopes of finding comfort. I have done the right things and I have made mistakes but I have made it this far.
    On the nights I think I don’t know how I am going to get through this!
I now know. There is no magic, there is no secret. As lame as it sounds, no matter how hard it is some how you always find the strength!

The next time some one asks me, how do you do it?

I will answer!

You just do!

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