Faced with more time separated from my Airman I began noticing patterns in my behavior. My extreme highs and lows are finally under semi-control. What I can tell you about that is if you are at all feeling even the slightest bit out of control, if you decide to be truly honest with yourself, get help. There’s no shame in it. This life is hard enough without feeling extra out of control. But I’ve noticed I go along a specific pattern each time. The first week or two is spent keeping myself ridiciulously busy. On any given day you can find me cleaning, organizing, throwing/give away bags and bags of junk. I might even make a trip or two to Ikea in an effort to please my Deployment OCD self. Each time he leaves this is my pattern. No matter the length of trip and each time he goes this is what I do. The next week or two is spent not sleeping, which inevitably leads to me becoming sick. I’ve become too busy taking care of everything and everyone but myself, no wonder I get sick. My body be like, “woman, slow down!!! Do I have to make you sick to slow you down because I’ll do it!” And it does, so there you go.
Recognizing something and admiting it is a problem is the first step in recovery right? I mean, I realize in the grand scheme of things this isn’t a huge problem, or an addiction, but it is affecting me for sure. My body is telling me something, and whether I want to pay attention or not its going to do what it wants. And like most moms and women I never ask for help. I’m the first to offer it or give it (totally not tooting my own horn here, but you get what I mean), but asking for it is hard. Its almost as if I equate it with weakness, with not being able to handle all the things in my life I feel like I”m supposed to. But we are designed to have a help-mate, someone who stands by us and lifts us up. Mine just happens to not be here all the dang time. So I need to fill that in with people who clearly love and care about me, who offer help. I need to take it when its offerred. So after going back in my mind I’ve come up with a possible solution (or at least a new path to try) to the current cycle I go through.
1. Take it easy!
this has to be important! This time setst the tone for the entire separation (at least for me). Don’t try to organize or purge the whole house in the first week. Do leave the house every day, dragging your kids everywhere. Just be! Read a book, paint your nails, doing silly things with the kids. Get out that craft box and play! There are more fun and relaxing things to do that can keep you busy after they leave then things that will run down your body
2. Stay healthy!
While you can’t predict what horrible plague like death your child will bring home from school, you can do your part to stay healthy while you endure this separation. Keep up on those vitamins, echinacia or whatever! Get that coldeeze in there if you feel something going on. Eat healthy and find that time (see 1) to exercise. Leave the dishes in the sink and do a quick workout (find my favorite quick YouTube workouts here
3. It’s okay to feel
Typically I like to mask my feelings. I know, so completely healthy right? Since I went so long without getting help, my emotions were crazy out of wack. So there is a part of me that wants to swing the pendulum the other way. Any emotion is bad emotion. It means I’m crazy and out of control. No way man!!! It’s okay to sad. Your parnter in crime is gone and you’re alone. This is for real and it sucks. This all goes back to number one. Keep busy so you don’t feel is my interpretaion of Keep Calm and Solider On; although I don’t think that’s what it means. It doesn’t say Keep Calm and shove your feelings so far down that eventually you crack!
Now its time to Keep Calm and Soldier On….I have to totally rewire my brain to follow a road less traveled. The one where I don’t freak out, stay healthy and enjoy some me time.
Do you do the same thing? How do you stop yourself for heading down the wrong path when you are by yourself?