“Dear Jo, I don’t think I can do this anymore.”
My heart sank as I read the email. The email sender was so sad, so frustrated, so overwhelmed that I sat there, unsure how to reply.
While I can only speak for myself and the people I’ve talked to, it seems like every military spouse has at least one moment like that in their military life journey. It’s that moment where you feel like if you give one more tiny bit, you’ll break. If one more thing goes wrong– even if it’s something so dumb you’d otherwise laugh about it–you’ll lose it.
You don’t know where to turn. Everything feels overwhelming. Everything feels like it’s the worst. You sit staring at a blank wall, or scrolling endlessly through your phone, not even noticing what you’re scrolling by. You wonder how things got so hard. Or when you got so wimpy.
Know this: It’s hard for everyone sometimes. You’re doing a great job. You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself.
That means going on a run if you need it. That means going to therapy if you need it. Petting your dog. Getting a babysitter for a few hours. That means taking medication if you need it. Meeting a friend for lunch. Calling your mom.
Military life can make you feel like you aren’t a priority. And sometimes we can all treat ourselves that way.
You are not alone. You are not weak. You are stronger and braver than you think you are.
Sometimes you just need to reset– whether that’s by taking a nap, crossing some easy things off your to-do list, going for a walk, or doing something else. Other times, you need to find new strategies or camaraderie from other people who have been through it too. If you’re read for that, read on:
If deployment has you frustrated:
- Hitting the Deployment Wall: 9 Strategies to Help You Cope
- How to Thrive During Deployment
- How to Win at Deployment When You Think You Can’t Even Survive It
- 2 Deployment Secrets Happy Milspouses Know
If you need to make time for yourself:
- How to Practice Self-Care as a Milspouse
- Easy Rituals and Strategies for Military Spouses with Anxiety
- 9 Ways an Anxious Milspouse Can Calm Down
If you’re in a long-distance relationship:
- How to Apologize During a Deployment or Long Distance Relationship
- 10 Questions That Can Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Happier
- 8 Creative Ways to Stay Connected in a Long-Distance Relationship
If it’s during the holidays:
- When Everything Feels Uncertain During the Holidays
- 8 Holiday Traditions Military Families Can Start During the Holidays
- 8 Milspouses Reveal How to Deal with the Holidays During Deployment
Of course, this information doesn’t take the place of a trained mental health professional. It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, it’s more than okay– it’s vital! Many military spouses see therapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals who help them navigate military life. Use these resources from TRICARE to find covered mental health services.