One thing that has been steadily true for all of this deployment, and even before that really, is that I have been a sort of emotional pendulum. That is…. I have a good many steady days. And then I have days where I am processing something deep (as in… Feeling the Sting), and then I have days where I am just a wreck. I can never quite predict which kind of day it’s going to be when I wake up in the morning.
I wrote about this last go around, but nearing the “end” of a deployment I expect… most everyone expects… that “all is well” in that “home stretch”–whatever portion you deem to be the “home stretch.” But the thing is… When your husband is on deployment? He’s gone… Right up until he isn’t. It’s still me solo-parenting the girls. It’s still me juggling the Mom jobs and the Dad jobs. It’s still me facing the evenings and the weekends and the lonely times without the one that is my other half. And it’s still hard. So I wade through that.
I ruminate. I process big stuff that I haven’t dug in deep enough to process for a long time. I think that when my husband is gone for months at a time one of the positive things that happens is I kind of sink into center. I listen to the thoughts in my own head. I marinate in them. Which means that in some strange way, I have a better chance of getting brave and dealing with things. I usually have a couple of months where I really ruminate on our marriage. This go-around along with that there’s been lots of checking in and saying, “Ok self. How are you doing with this issue?” With the seasons of the last few years being so full of things to process, the ruminating keeps me busy to say the least.
Granted with a girl who is as naturally introspective as I, that means I spend a lot of time in my own brain, but there are some good fruits that come from that.
The tough part of the pendulum situation is that I’m friable… When a day goes south, or the fear-thoughts start running rampant, or a situation that should be simple isn’t, my coping mechanisms are worn down from trudging through on my own for so long. So… as I mentioned, sometimes I’m a big ole wreck. When Husband left this go around, I feel like I was just starting to regain my footing from the world of Tomas the Tumah. The thing is, the follow-up parts of that are lifelong and ongoing, so every time I have an appointment or an ache or a pain my brain starts churning through it all again.
I’ve been having serious hip pain. For months now. In fact, I remember talking to Husband about it before he left. Now that I’ve read through the symptoms list I know I’ve been feeling pain at different times possibly since even before I was pregnant with Alaine. I talked to my endocrinologist about it. I know it’s ridiculous, but I am still in a window of time where when I feel a pain, I think “tumor.” At my last follow -up appointment, my incredibly awesome endo reassured me that all was probably ok and wisely diagnosed me with sacro-iliac dysfunction. He even gave me exercises to do.
But the pain has gotten worse. So much worse. Crying in the middle of Wal-mart not sure if I’m going to make it out to the parking lot worse (and then managing to go to Zumba and move like there’s no pain at all a half hour after). But not all the time worse. Sometimes it’s ok. Sometimes I hardly notice it. When it’s bad though… whew! And so I went to the doctor to try to address the issue head on. The doctor told me I’d need Physical Therapy… Which is time I don’t have and brings about a new set of logistics to work through. He prescribed me medicine…. That I still haven’t been able to get from the pharmacy because of the ridiculous long lines that are there each time I’ve gone (last time I made it up to the part where you get the pager…. only to have to go to relieve my sitter so she could pick her kids up from school. Walking out without the pain meds I needed was a big old bummer).
I wake up with the pain. It’s really yucky in the mornings. Getting dressed is excruciating. I’ve finally wised up and started taking anti-inflammatory meds regularly, but the mornings are just rough. I’ve started thinking of the pain as being the place where my fear lives. And when I feel it, I am fearful. And sad. I cry easily. I worry more.
And then there are days like today, I woke up, and ordered tickets for my family to visit some loved ones early in the summer. I organized a special outing I had been promising the girls. I wrote cards to friends who I thought might need encouragement… because I needed encouragement and it only makes sense to send out into the world that which we would hope to receive ourselves.
And then I mowed the lawn, cleaned out the garage, cleaned out the van, and swept the kitchen. Sure I limped a little bit. But I got it done.
And tonight, I don’t feel friable… I feel accomplished. I feel like I’m a woman worthy of the title of Navy Wife who even gets the dirty work done.
Yes, there are days like that too. More than you’d imagine. And sometimes, instead of days, they are hours, or moments. But they are something to carry me. They are the upswing to the other side of the continuum.
I’m a pendulum these days… I never know which side of the emotional continuum I’m going to swing out on.