I've breezed by this subject on here a number of times. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my first year as a Milie. I didn't really know what I was doing back then, if my feelings were normal, or how to get help. So I developed some bad habits and my emotional stability took the brunt of the punishment that followed. After G.I. Joe came home from Iraq in 2007 I kept expecting to "get better." I kept thinking eventually I'd start dealing with stress and emotions the way I used to. Towards the end of that year I started having more panic attacks again and getting sick a lot because my nerves were just fried. I couldn't understand why I didn't "feel normal" yet. He'd been home for 9 months, 10 months...Finally the only thing that changed was I got pregnant. Then there was a whole new definition of normal. I had the world's greatest distraction from the fact that we had been married 2 years and he had been stationed away or deployed for those entire 2 years. I thought everything was fine and basically convinced myself that Lucy cured my PTSD. She just seemed to make it go away. Really what happened was I still had all these issues there under the surface but dealing with the pregnancy without G.I. Joe home was like looking at myself through a frosted glass window pane.
Ever since then I had been able to move through life by staying extremely busy and project oriented. Every second that I didn't need to be holding, feeding, or playing with Lucy has been filled with some sort of project. Not the relaxing therapeutic kind either. Earlier this spring and summer I was working my butt off to finish my manuscript about my first year as an Army wife. This was not really therapy. It forced me to relive my worst memories and then I just sort of left them under the surface instead of dealing with them.
Later this summer as we started to deal with all of our re-enlistment issues I started slipping back into my old habits. I didn't even realize I was doing certain things, like keeping all my feelings bottled up tightly so it doesn't affect G.I. Joe's PTSD. That first year we were married was traumatic for us both. We've spent all this time making sure he deals with his aftermath from combat but I've put mine on the back-burner. Now, I have the super fun task of undoing all the hard-wiring in my brain. Lately I've had more panic attacks than I care to mention, my energy level plummets and when I get sick it takes me forever to shake things. I've spent a long time avoiding having to deal with my PTSD but I can't do that anymore. I can't be afraid to show a weakness or to express certain emotions. After all this time I'm finally going to unpack the baggage in my mind and do something with it.
I'm excited now about getting counseling and using this as a way to actually grow. Even just telling G.I. Joe and my parents that "Hey, its time for me to get serious about dealing with this. I want help" has done wonders for me. Since Wednesday morning I've felt lighter than air. I know taking the dive into some of the issues that surround my own type of PTSD is not going to be pleasant. But I have an awesome family to support me and an incredibly understanding husband to experience the joys/pains of it with me. That afternoon I wish I could have captured on camera this look he gave me. I cried and told him I kept thinking these issues would just go away the longer he was home. He looked into my eyes with more love and empathy than I have ever known. I really don't see why military wives out there would want their husbands to think they are 100% perfect or that the difficult stuff never bothers them. Its the hardest things sometimes that can strengthen you the most.
So...what does all this mean for the blog? Well, for those of you who really don't love what I write about you get a break! Haha. I am going to keep blogging but for the next 3-4 weeks* its going to just be pictures (you can probably guess who will be in these pictures most of the time) and probably some videos too. I'm not going to be writing blog posts because I just need a break. Especially with all the drama that's gone on lately I certainly don't want to add the stress of posting about something so incredibly personal at this point. I plan to keep a written journal for a while and do hope to share that when I come back to writing posts. So I hope you will all stick with me! Instead of doing so much "work" (freelance writing, book editing, and future book research) in what down time I do have I plan to be away from the computer. I'll still be around doing stuff for The Milies and I'll respond to emails so feel free to chat anytime you want!
Next week I have so many incredible pictures to post, including pics from the pumpkin patch! And I'm also working on a few little changes to the blog which will hopefully land here next week!
*ETA~This is going to be a longer process than 3-4 weeks, and I know that ;) But I seriously doubt my self-control when it comes to not writing posts on here. It will be a miracle if I go that long with just posting pics!