Saturday, July 14, 2007

Coping With Deployment

I was thinking about this past year with TJ gone while falling asleep last night and decided I would blog about the stuff I did to cope, starting at the beginning.
When TJ first left we were living out in Milford in a trailer. I didn't know what living there without him would be like since that was our first home together and he moved in only a day before me. The thought of being alone so far from Post was very depressing.
The first thing I did was take a Xanax!! I had dropped him off on post, deciding that I could not handle staying with him during those final hours. I do not regret that decision. I was a mess. I would have cried the whole time and my husband and the other soldiers and their families did not need that. Next time I know I will be able to handle it because I am stronger now, but at that time there was no way. I know there was talk about me not being there, but it wasn't because I didn't care. It was because I did.
Anyway, later that day I re-arranged the bed in the bedroom. I left it like that for maybe 2 weeks. I just wanted a different feel at the beginning. Once I felt more used to TJ not being there I changed it back because it was the best configuration for the room.
Whenever I left the house I would put my carebear next to the door so I would have something to look forward to when I came home. I wasn't used to coming home there to an empty house. After I got used to it I left Carebear in the bedroom.
Also for the first few days i slept with the TV on all night and the hall light on. Then I switched to the livingroom light because I did not like walking through a dark house in the middle of the night. Eventually I got over that.
In the beginning I wrote to TJ a lot. I'd write everyday and then mail the letters once a week. I told him about everything. I kept that up until we got Spawar for him to call and as he was calling more often the letters dwindled down. I still write to him, but they are short and sweet letters.
For the holidays I went to visit family. Thanksgiving at my cousins' in Illinois and Christmas in Cali with my mom!! I really needed that trip.
In March I moved on Post and that helped a lot because I was closer to my firends and everything. AND, I adopted Scout!!! I wish I had found him earlier. He is such a sweetheart. He is playful and cuddles!!
Throughout the whole deployment the 3 things that have helped me the most have been keeping busy, spending time with my firends, and medication.
Now the medication I needed anyway because I have bad anxiety. Before I moved out here I weaned myself off Zoloft because it(along with Paxil before it) caused weight gain. But i had some pretty bad times even before TJ left so I finally went to a doctor and asked about other options and he put me on Selexa which does not cause weight gain and is easy to go off of in case I get pregnant!! I started to feel better after that. What really spurned me to get back on something was the fact that I kept worrying that my husband would be killed and I'd be hysterical with crying and was taking Xanax more than I liked.
I have tried to keep busy through the whole deployment. My biggest hobby is reading. After I had the flu I kind of got away from it and just didn't have the desire like I had before, but now I am back on track and reading several books at a time. I also scrapbook like crazy(my Kansas album is coming along nicely) and have done a couple puzzles. I am the secretary for the Historical Society, too. I had a couple of part time jobs for awhile, too.
The greatest blessing, though, and coping device has been my friends. I was fortunate to meet the nicest most supportive women who are also going through deployment(some in the same unit). I have kept busy spending time with them and commiserating over our loneliness. But mostly we find things to do together to keep our minds off our husbands being gone so we don't be lonely!!
I would love to hear other people's stories about how they cope with deployment!!
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