I remember every single day of the first time my husband was deployed… and the second too. These are times of our lives that sadly we trudge through but never forget. We keep a little piece alway in our minds to keep us prepared for the next time because with active duty there is always the next time.
For those that are just starting this adventure, welcome. Here are a few things no one ever told you about deployments.
1. You will worry even when you know your service member is okay.
Yes! It is inevitable. My husband is in the Navy, and even when he is in the middle of the ocean and not in a war zone I worry. Why? Because, they are still deployed, which means war zones are inevitable. Also, mishaps can happen. So expect to be worried up until they walk through the door.
2. You will start an unwanted relationship with food.
Whether it is too much food or not enough, prepare yourself for an extream. Stress affects us in different ways, but nine times out of ten it affects in the way we eat. For some, its overindulgence that helps manage stress. For others, it is keeping so busy you forget even to eat, The best way to prevent either one set a meal plan and alarms to help you out.
3. Your phone will become an extension of your person.
There is no worse feeling than seeing a missed call on your phone, even worse, knowing it was your loved one who called. So be ready to have your phone glued to your hand like a teenaged girl addicted to Instagram.
4. Distractions are welcome.
Not only are they welcome, but they are also a major key to sanity. You may not feel up to it, but trust me, accept the invitation. Whether it is an invitation to have coffee, or go to the mall, or even just go hang out at a friends house. It will give you a few minutes of normalcy that you will later be greatful for.
5. Be ready for a lot of “dumb questions.”
What do I consider dumb questions? Oh you know, the good old-fashioned “Are you scared he is going to die?” , “How do you do it?” or the one that makes me roll my eyes so hard I see my brain, “You’re used to it by now, right?”. So if you are reading this, don’t ask those questions. Ever!
6. Time will slow down and speed up.
This will happen multiple times throughout the deployment with no rhyme or reason. There will be phases where a week may feel like an eternity. Then there are those precious weeks where you realize a whole month flew by in a blink of an eye. Don’t ask why or try to understand it.
7. Lastly, it never gets easier.
This is one of the reasons that question “you should be used to it” grates the nerves so much. If you’ve done more than one deployment, you know each one is just as bad as the previous. There is no getting used to it nor it getting easier. There is only moving along and making it to the end where your loved one is back safe and home.
There is nothing to do, I live my days to the max with my loved one and plan the as many memories as possible in the timeframe I have him home. It is all I can do, knowing any day he will tell me another deployment is scheduled. Until then I will live in blissful ignorance as we try to do.