Depression, loneliness, and boredom are the three emotions I deal with on a regular basis the last several weeks. No matter how strong of a person you are, how easily you think you easily you think you are handling this, or the sheer number of times you have gone through a separation—deployments are still depressing. I always think, well, I could do this better. I let things go, and then they pile up, and I get depressed from more things being added to my plate. The loneliness and boredom also add to the depression. Loneliness is pretty self-explanatory, but I think that it is more evident in families like mine. Autism causes isolation and loneliness. Many of my friends don’t know how to approach me with regards to autism, and many of them “don’t think they could handle” my son. So I feel isolated by both the deployment and the autism. Boredom is also pretty self-explanatory. During the nighttime, or in the morning before the kids get up, it’s boring. There are few people to talk to, and there is little I can do.
We, as military spouses, tend to fall into traps when depression, loneliness, and boredom overtake us. There are four things I tend to do during a deployment. The first is spend money shopping, and for a time even on-line gambling. Not because I wanted to get things, but because there was nothing else to do. I did out of pure boredom. I also tend to eat, and usually my choices in food were not the best. It’s easier to eat fast food than it is to cook for three people, especially when two out of the three of us are children, and don’t tend to eat as much as two adults. Plus there is no one here to comment on how much candy I have, or to share food with. Though not as much as I used to, I drink a lot more when he’s gone. Again it’s partially boredom, and it’s also helps with sleep. I don’t sleep well, if at all, when I’m the only adult in the house, so I use alcohol instead of sleep aids. The final thing I do to deal with a deployment is use the Internet to excess. All these things are easily addicting and very hard to break. And they all can easily spiral out of control. While our husband’s are facing the enemy in the battlefield, we are facing an insidious enemy at home. I only hope I can overcome this enemy soon, otherwise the cost is not only financial, but it could and does cost people their marriages and their families.