Saturday, September 24, 2005

Day 264 - Breaking Down the Wall

It's hard to type what I need to type to y'all today. It's hard to admit to a large group of people that your life has basically sucked for the last month. It's even harder to admit that you know that you have been a complete and total "B-Word" for that month. Even if you know me "in real life" (ie. outside of the computer) - this admission may be a complete surprise to you - because other than lying low for a month and not calling anybody and not wanting to talk to people when they called me, there really haven't been a lot of signs that I have been in a horribly, godawful bad mood and that I could have easily cleaned somebody's clock for looking at me the wrong way (of course, after I had a dental work done this week, and a $1000 crown put on, my bad mood was maybe a little bit easier to recognize).

Al would probably be the most shocked to hear that I have been in a horrible mood - that's because I'm not EVER in a horrible mood to him. Heck, the reason that I feel this way is because I miss him so much and I am just "done" with having him gone. It would be pretty stupid to take that out on him!! LOL. In a lot of ways, I feel that with me being the one 'back home', that it is important for me to set the tone for our relationship. You can call it being a 'Stepford Wife' - but I have learned the hard way that a little tiny thing over the phone and the computer can be multiplied several times over several days and blow up into something absolutely stupid. It is so much easier to just be happy and loving when I do get the opportunity to talk to him.

Anyway, all of these feelings of negativity had basically culminated to the point that I have been getting NO joy out of anything. I took myself to a movie last week and while it got me out of the house for two hours and I was able to enjoy the entertainment while it lasted, the SECOND that I walked out of the movie theater, I was grumpy again. The only way that I can explain it is that it was like that show, "Night of the Living Dead", where if you get bitten by a Zombie, you become this angry, mad, "non-person" who only wants to run around and bite everyone else and make them into a Zombie too. Looking at happy people actually made me mad! Like, "How DARE they be happy when I feel this way?".

This last week, I can tell you that the dread and negative feelings inside of me had built to a point that it was hard to even take a deep breath. Like I had so much "yuck" in me - that I couldn't even breathe. I am not "depressed" - I am so fricking over being 'sad', it's not even funny. I'm ticked off! I'm tired and I don't want to do this anymore - but, guess what? I don't get any options! There are still two more elections in Iraq this year, and my soldier won't be going anywhere until they are over with. And no matter how much I support him, and support his mission, and believe in America and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH - it isn't going to bring him home any sooner!

Last night, lying in bed, I realized that I had a big, huge ball of anger in me. And as I was falling asleep, I just prayed and said, "God, I am so tired of feeling this way, please make it stop". This morning, I woke up and pulled myself out of bed, grumpiness overcoming me every step of the way, and I hauled myself to a women's conference that we were having at my church. And for eight hours, God talked directly to my heart and told me what I needed to hear to get through the rest of this deployment.

I know that not everyone is spiritual, and I know that a lot of people think that God is a crutch for weak minded people. That's fine. I will be the first person to say that I am weak and the next thing that I will tell you is that I don't care if you are an emotional Arnold Schwarzenegger, deployment can kick your butt. However, I feel about 300% better tonight about everything than I did this morning - and I know that I am supposed to tell you about it in our blog.

This is what I feel impressed to tell you if you are going through this situation:

Dealing with a deployment is like running the longest race that you have ever run in your life. You start off, and you are just so happy to finally be leaving the starting gate after months of potential deployment hanging over your head that you are jogging along and although it sucks and you hate it - you think to yourself, 'Hey! I can do this!'. I was running like a champ just like that in February when I had to have surgery and then I got sick. Then I basically tripped emotionally, fell, and then I landed SPLAT on my face. It took me several weeks before I could pull myself back up from that. I even went to the doctor because I couldn't stop crying. YUCK.

Well, after that, I got my crap together and I was just plodding along. Saying to myself 'jog, jog, jog' - doing the whole 'put one foot in front of the other', 'keep on swimming' thing. I did pretty good up until June. In June, I got to the start of a gigantic hill. I looked up at that hill and realized that we still had two full months of deployment until Al could come home on R&R and we could get married. That was another awful couple of weeks. I had no choice but to keep running up that hill, some days just dragging my butt on the asphalt and getting only a few feet, but I somehow managed to keep on going.

Finally August got here, and life was great. I was jogging along, Al came home, things were awesome! I was running and waving for the cameras, thinking, "Geez, I have this deployment stuff LICKED! I am the POSTER CHILD of doing stuff right! Just a few more months and we will be all done!". Ha, ha, ha.

Al leaves and then I turn into a undercover basketcase. I become a closet "mind murderer" who wishes death upon anyone who crosses my path. I swear I could have won the lottery this month and I would have found a way to be angry about it. Well, I hate to use another running analogy on you -- but God showed me today that I have hit the proverbial runner's wall. You know, the moment that everything becomes mental for the runner. They can make it through the rest of the race 'physically', and they honestly don't even have that much of the race left, but MENTALLY they begin to freak out, and they doubt themselves.

That is where I have been. At the wall. And the wall sucks - it hurts - and it's a very painful place to be. It's also so humbling to realize that we have made it through eight months of boots on ground time - and well over a year of total deployment - and I am at the point of being jello inside all over again. I was somehow able to give all of that over to God today. I'm not sure how, and I am pretty positive that a lot of it had nothing to do with anything that I did, but rather God working in my heart. All that I know is that I am okay now.

No matter what you are dealing with right now - no matter WHAT the problem is that you are facing . . . perhaps it's something personal, something private - something that like me, you don't want to talk about with anyone - whatever it is, you CAN make it through it. I learned today that the wall can be beneficial because it makes a person realize that they aren't a super hero - that they are just as vulnerable as anybody else. And when you are vulnerable, you are at the point that you can achieve the most personal growth. When everything is going great, and everything is awesome, you're not going to be as able to recognize the big, important, 'deep' stuff in life. At the wall, you have no choice but to face your fears and DEAL.

If you are running along and never have problems, you have no milestones that you can look back on when you finally do make it to the finish line. You have no way of measuring your run other than the start and the finish, and there is a lot more to life than the beginning and the end.

I never realized that after going through this month, that I would actually be able to say that I'm thankful for feeling the way that I have. It's such a huge relief that it's over, and such a good feeling to be done with it - but I'm also so thankful for the lessons that it taught me. I'm not sure if all of my wall got broken down today, but I do know that I feel like I can finish this race again and that my confidence is back. I am running like a spaz, and the theme for "Chariots of Fire" is playing in the background. I am running toward this winter, and I am running toward Al - and I can see the finish line in the distance. Thanks to all of you for running the race with me!!


airforcewife said...

Oh my goodness, you wrote exactly what I needed to hear - and my life isn't even hard...

Christy said...

I needed to hear it too! Wow, I have tears in my eyes after reading that! You described my last 8 months and how I am feeling right now. Thank you for sharing that with us. It helps to know that other wives are feeling this way - although I wish we didn't have to go through this but atleast I know I'm not crazy for feeling the way I do! lol
Big hugs to ya girl. We will make it to the finish line!!!

KempoDude said...

You must have read my mind. Thanks for confirming that I'm not totally insane, and that others from afar can understand and relate to my feelings. I think the hardest part of all this, is that how a person DEALS with this crap must be largely a private and personal situation. Nobody can relate exactly to what I'm going through, and the ugly demons in my head.

And, I am going to drop-kick the next person who says that its going to get better. After five months, its not getting better, and it aint gonna get better. I think I'm just used the the pain. But with that said, I'm dreaming big. Those dreams of the future are all I have, and what keeps my going.

Stacy said...

Girl you have outdone yourself on this one. I just hope that I can pull myself out of this hole I am in. If you can do it, hopefully I can too. My turn should be next, and I am just waiting patiently. LOL, with the shotgun. Just kidding.

Sgt Cowboy's Girl said...

There is no way that you could have described this better. Thank you so much! Even though I can see the finish line ahead it has felt as horrible as it did in the beginning and I had no idea how to keep that positive "It won't be much longer attitude" anymore. You said exactly what I needed to hear! You are an inspiration to all of us going through this hell called deployment. Thanks!

Christy said...

DANG! We are reading each other minds -- even with the race analogy! That's insane. Your post is awesome though. :) Thanks for some insight!

The Patriette said...

Great analogy. I'm just starting my "race," but I know there will be challenging moments ahead - moments where my walls will come up. I keep looking at some of my friends who have finished the race and who have survived deployment, under circumstances even more difficult than I will probably face and they give me courage. It can be done. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Pixie said...

Thank you.

Melinda said...

I visualized myself like that so many times during the time Brian was gone last year & part of this...I pictured myself with my head down watching myself put one foot in front of the other...sometimes trudging, but plodding on b/c I had no choice in the matter.

Now that he's gone again, albeit stateside, I am pulling myself together faster b/c I have to, but I'm already tired. I wasn't over being tired from the first time, you know?

But, it helps SO MUCH to hear other people sharing that, even if it isn't happy talk all the time.

You are doing a GREAT job & when it's over, you won't believe you ever felt the way you did.

Army Wife said...

You had a great analogy here, and guess what there is no baton to pass, you just gotta keep running.

Proud of you for making it through a month, and I too went through wanting to put the smackdown on people.

A lot of my personal anger stemmed from the 18 month deployment. "no one" around me got it at all.

"your an Army Wife" "that is what you signed up for."

it made me run my race faster and harder.

becky said...

It's a beautiful post, so true and touching.