The Mental Off-and-On


When a deployment is announced, we spouses put ourselves in a certain mindframe.  I am sure there are many ways of dealing with the news, but my personal way is to start to focus on the things I will do while he's gone.  I mentally plan a trip home to see my parents.  I plan to ask for more hours at my job.  I invite other friends to come visit me, since I will be all alone in the house.  I start to begin conversations with my husband with, "When you're gone,..."  In every way, I get myself ready for the big life changes.

And when the deployment gets called off, it throws me for a loop.

Twice in the past year and a half, my husband has been told he's deploying in two months and then been brought back from the brink at the last minute.  And while I'm certainly grateful that he's been home safe with me all this time, it's still unnerving to get yourself mentally prepared for a deployment that ends up not happening.

Even though it's good news, I sometimes have a hard time letting go of the mental plans I've made.  I've come up with all these fun activities to keep my mind busy, and I still want to do the fun activities.  Even harder is the process of un-steeling myself emotionally.  I get a month fixed in my head -- he's leaving in August -- and that's what I set my heart and mind on.  August, August, August...and as it gets closer, I get more prepared for him to leave.

And as happy as you are to hear your spouse won't be leaving in August, it's hard to undo the mental changes you've gone through.

And then it starts all over again when it changes from August to October.

It's hard, this mental off-and-on.

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