I think that deployments do this to us.
Many of us tend to take on the "I'm strong, and I am going to *beat* this deployment into submission" line.
Somewhere down the line, some later than others, we get to the point where we just can't do it any more.
We are physically exhausted trying to keep up with eleventy-dozen activities that the kids are in, and work, and keeping the house spotless, and the lawn mowed, and the pets to the vets, and the kids to the doctors...never mind back-to-school shopping.
Oh, and God-forbid we miss a phone call or Skype date.
So we don't sleep...because the kids are up early, and the husband is in a totally different time zone that sleeps when I'm awake, and so when I need to go to bed, he's available to talk, or play Scrabble, or fuss at me for not getting to the bank early enough....or (you'll love this!)...for not sleeping enough!
Then our bodies just can't handle the stress any more, because stress is E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.
And let's face it, having our best friend in that other place, the one that might or might not be dangerous, but he's not HERE to help, to give us a break from the kids, to take over the car maintenance, and get someone to take care of the huge branch that just missed the house when it broke, or just to have his shoulder to cry one...yeah, all of that...it's stressful.
So we're already physically exhausted because we're trying to DO it all, by ourselves.
And we're mentally exhausted, trying to cover all of the bases with the kids (they're KIDS, they don't understand), and the parents/inlaws (who may or may not understand, but generally aren't close-by to help out with the day-to-day stuff), and the schools, and the DMV, and the bill collectors, and the neighbors, and...and...and you get the picture.
You get the picture. We're trying to hold the world together with spit and Duct tape.
Meanwhile, we are falling apart.
How do we prevent this falling-apart from happening?
We know that our friends *promised* to help out.
Yeah, we know you're busy, too.
Meanwhile, I just need someone - ANYONE - to take my daughter driving to get her behind-the-wheel hours in.
Oh, mowing the lawn. I know my teenager is supposed to do it, and he tries, but he doesn't know how to fix the weedeater...and he's in band camp...
Oh, and that branch? The big pieces that got cut out of the tree are still sitting back there waiting to be cut into usable logs.
We've all heard the stories - so heartwarming - of neighbors pitching in to help when the husband is deployed.
We say we want to support our troops.
But where the rubber meets the road...yeah, maybe there is a reason that the suicide rate for the families at home is on the rise. Maybe there is a reason that more and more spouses are on medications to help them deal with life...
Most days are good.
Most days I *can* get things done.
My house is presentable...not spotless...but then, there ARE 7 of us living here...I'm happy with presentable.
Everyone gets fed.
Everyone has a roof over their heads.
The homework gets done.
The laundry gets washed, and folded, and put away.
There's just this list...the one that is going to have to wait, because I am only one person, and can NOT fill the shoes of my husband while he is gone. Those are really big shoes...and I eagerly anticipate his being here to fill them again.
Meanwhile, life is going to get quite a bit crazy again here very shortly.
School starts in 20 days for the kids.
Back-to-school shopping still needs to happen.
School starts for ME in less than a week.
I need to shop for THAT, too.
I DO work from home...that still needs to happen.
I have two kids in band camp this week...backing-and-forthing....
I have to drive up to pick up the other four from Operation Purple camp this weekend.
Getting yet another line added to the cell phone account.
Somehow people keep asking me to be involved in things.
Really good things
This, that, and the other thing at the *5* schools the kids will be in this year.
I am only one.
And somewhere in this mess that is my life, I HAVE TO take care of ME.
Which starts with SLEEP...
...working to beat back the exhaustion that threatens to destroy me....