I like to call this part Phase 1.
We begin our countdown to our next deployment. Which involves me getting mentally prepared for what is to come. I've never dealt well with change. I always internalize it until it manifests itself into negative thinking and depression.
I have to find outlets for this negativity. A huge source of stress relief for me is going to the gym. Every time I think I can cope without a gym membership it always comes back to haunt me. I get agitated if I don't have a way to deal.
Going to the gym is my prayer time. It's my peace and quiet. I drop my son off at the child care area, and proceed to the cardio room. I turn on my music/podcast/radio and let the whole world drift away. I'm not a work out junkie or anything like that. Far from it, in fact, I hate working out. But when he's gone it's the only weekly time I get to myself. So it's worth it, to me at least.
I digressed! Mentally preparing for a deployment, for me, involves acceptance. To accept the fact that I cannot change it and that I will have to cope with lonely days and nights. To be able to reach down inside myself and summon strength that I'm not sure is there.
I reached this point just about one week ago. As my husband and I turned in for the night, it hit me that soon our bed would transform from being a spot of warmth and comfort to being a cold, empty piece of furniture. I began to cry. I couldn't even stop the tears from falling. My husband held me as I cried. The reality has set in. Deployment is coming and neither of us can stop it.