NOTE: Please, PLEASE understand that I would never compare a spouse’s PTSD to that of the active duty member. What the active duty members go through is 1000x worse and they, in my opinion, don’t get enough compensation and help for what they do. You can read my tribute to Veterans here. With that being said, I also won’t ever discredit the hardships that are faced at home when a spouse deploys.
The day my husband’s military contract ended I felt a huge sense of relief, we both did. No more moving with a month’s notice, and no more deployments. We were home free!
A couple of months later, when my husband booked his ticket to fly to his brother’s graduation, those familiar feelings of adrenaline, fear, sorrow, and needing to be prepared kicked in. I was feeling the pre-deployment blues, but he wasn’t getting deployed and he was only leaving for 4 days!
He was still leaving though, and that brought back memories that weren’t all that pleasant from his time in the military. Here’s how I recognized my feelings and then overcame them:
• I sat down with my journal and really thought (and wrote) about where those feelings were coming from, and why I had them.
• Once I understood those negative feelings I was able to come up with a game plan to change them to positive ones:
- I reminded myself throughout the day that he wasn’t deployed, and that he was doing something exciting…seeing his family!
- I was patient with myself. I was a Navy wife for 6 years, more than half a decade! It would take more than 2 months to adjust to civilian life.
- I had a good cry. Embarrassing, but such a good outlet for all of those negative feelings!
- I took care of myself. That meant eating healthy, getting a full night’s sleep, and soaking up some vitamin D outside every day.
- I talked with my husband. He used to serve on submarines, where once he deployed, there sometimes wasn’t communication for a month+. He wasn’t deployed this time, so I talked with him every day and that helped my “deployment blues” feelings calm down a little bit.
• I talked with a friend who also was a Veteran spouse, and found out that she has the same struggles! It helped to know that I wasn’t alone.
My heart goes out to the Veteran Spouses who still panic when their husbands leave. Give yourself time, and be patient. You’ll be a pro at civilian life before you know it!
If you’re having an exceptionally bad day then check out my 17 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Having a Bad Day post and do at least 3 of them.