So, I've written a little bit on here about the difficulties of being a military spouse to a submariner. I've told about the effects of mixing the Emotional Cycle of Deployment with PMS. One post I just talked about how I do it, and should probably add that there are many other paths out there. There are lots of ways to be a spouse, with or without the military mixed in to add stress. And there was the post where I pointed out that I'm not single.
I think all those posts have merit, but I also would like to say...take anything I say with a grain of salt. I'm not perfect. I have days, weeks, possibly months where I'm anything but perfect. The last few weeks probably fall into that category more than any other.
With all my positive words and encouragement of others I was really focused on one day at a time. We've been busy, I've been tired and irritable and sad. I kept telling myself that one day at a time was fine, just life as it was going to be for now. And we'd get through.
Then a few different things happened over the course of a week or two. First of all, I spent a night with some girlfriends. We all have kids around the same age and after we tucked them all in we had plenty of time for wonderful chit chat. It was great. I felt refreshed, better but not "my old self." I'm a planner. I'm always looking forward. I wasn't there yet.
Then I had some blood work done and found out my vitamin D levels were low. Not terribly low, but low enough to take a supplement. Talking to my personal phone-a-doc friend I found out that one possible side effect of low vitamin D can be mild depression.
When Scott first left I had trouble falling asleep, which eventually turned into just not even trying to get to sleep until much later than I probably should have been staying up.
So, to sum it up...not enough sleep, low vitamin D, just a touch of stress...I don't know if I was actually depressed but I was definitely low. And I didn't even realize it, just thought it was life. One day at a time.
Then Sunday I ran into a friend I haven't seen or talked to in over three years. We were at the grocery store and the kids were crazy. She and I chatted a while and she even suggested talking to a counselor if I needed to. How had I not thought of that? If you don't already know, I have a Master's degree as a therapist. Going for help when I need it isn't a scary thought for me, like it is for some. It just never crossed my mind. I didn't even think about what I was going through being anything out of the ordinary for someone in my position. And maybe it isn't. But it's no way to live.
The last two nights I've gone to bed earlier than I have been, still not my regular time, but an improvement. I've gotten outside with the kids. I haven't had any caffeine, other than a little chai (stimulates the mind not the nerves), no sugar that doesn't occur naturally. I feel so much better. Already I'm thinking of what we're doing later this week, next month, this spring. I'm me!
So, I don't think I need to see a therapist right now, but for me just having an enemy (depression) gave me a problem to tackle and helped me make the changes I've known needed changing for weeks.
I wasn't sure how to put this all out there for you all. I wanted to share because I don't want anyone thinking I'm some super woman. I love hearing that I'm transparent on here...I want to be. I want my vulnerability to speak to readers and say that their imperfections are perfectly acceptable. We all have down days, weeks, maybe months...but there are ways to turn it around. Just don't give up...keep looking for that way out, listen when it comes calling, and ask for help when you need it. It's there.