Some of you may be wondering how my husband's deployment may be affecting my depression. Deployment is a difficult time for any spouse, family, or friend of a service member regardless of having a mental illness or not. Everyone handles and deals with this time in their own way, and I once talked about my plan for how I would be approaching it; you can read that here! Good plans don't always come to fruition, unfortunately, but I tend to keep that in mind any time I put steps and goals in place for guidance. I've done pretty well with sticking with my little outline of sorts, but there was something I couldn't have prepared for. At the end of that entry I wrote, "I am aware that I need to be the strongest I can be before deployment gets here. I will be. That's the only thing I need to say...I will be..." Then my grandma died nine days before my husband ventured across the sea. I was in Oklahoma without my husband, and my grandma died, and then my husband had to leave. I was not my strongest before he left...I was my weakest.
Well...I thought I was at my weakest moment...it's so shattering to think that you can't feel any more awful than you do...but it happens anyway. I grieved with my family for about six weeks, and then I came home to an empty place, and I went down even deeper than I thought I possibly could! I miss my husband, but, to be honest, I'm relieved he doesn't have to see me like this. I've gained weight and I haven't gotten a job yet, and I haven't been able to draw or paint anything at all or even enjoy my photography...I've been an empty shell since he's been gone, and I don't want him to see me this way. Many military spouses will tell you that as bad as we might feel and whatever problems we might face, we're not the ones deployed. I'd like to say "we," but I dare not offend...so I'll just say me...I feel guilty for feeling the way I do when my husband is the one over seas in harms way eating terrible ship food and living where he works. What right do I have to complain? Right? No no no...I know my feelings are valid. But, I don't tell him about how badly I've been doing; I do try to stay cheerful and upbeat for him. I mean, I'll tell him a little bit about what I'm going through, but I don't linger too long in my worries...I try not to anyway!
So! Deployment sucks, and I miss my husband and our friends from the ship. I know that this contributes to my depression, but I can honestly say this: I would still be going through what I'm currently experiencing even without the deployment. This downward spiral started long before Grandma's passing and Tom's leaving. My illness is chemical and psychological...those are things I can only control so much. The heart breaks on the outside just make it harder; they make it worse. My husband couldn't help me even if he were here right now; he would be a comfort and a physical show of support, strength, and love...but my battle is with myself...ultimately, I am the one who will win this war inside me. I am armed with the thoughts and prayers of so many, and I am determined to be better for myself and for my husband.
Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Ro Fo Sho
p.s. Here's a little pic of my husband, grandma, and me on our wedding day...
(Photography by Christi Brown)