Deployment is a tough topic for me, as it is still pretty fresh. My one true love was deployed overseas for 12 hellish months. It seems like the timing is impossible. While I’m sure later I will write some blog posts with tidbits from my own experience, here are some of the online resources I found helpful. Whether it was reading something when I couldn’t sleep at night, or finding some place with someone else who understood, these all helped more or less in their own way.
These tips are not only helpful to military couples; rather, anyone in a long-distance relationship could benefit from reading any of these.
DISCLAIMER: Some of these survival lists lack real talk and are overcome with ra-ra. Just so we are clear, there is never a time when you will be less motivated to create a new fitness routine than Deployment. Don’t beat yourself up about it, that’s an order. 😉
In no particular order…
- Jo, My Gosh! Blog – This is the most “real talk” you’ll find without an extreme excess of typos or other implicitly intelligence-lowering elements. Jo describes her actual experience in a way that made me feel better, and less alone, in what I was going through. Probably my favorite military life blog ever, I still have How to Fight Fair in A Long Distance Relationship in my primary bookmarks. Jo is kind of the older, well-read sister you wish you had when you found out about the deployment. Her blog has an entire section just for deployment, as well as links to tons of other MilSo resources (that’s Military Spouse for short in case you didn’t know!)
- Army Wife 101 Blog – This was my first major gem in the treasure hunt that is Surviving Deployment. 14 Things Milspouses Do and Think When the Soldier Is Away is one of the only articles that made me laugh about deployment, as well as (try to) view deployment as a time with some things I can get away with. (Personally, I experimented with not shaving my legs for weeks at a time, allowing my eyebrows to grow into caterpillars, and hanging out with friends at all hours of the night. Not to mention my crowning glory of going through literally thousands of hours of TV during those 12 months. Blog post with those shows coming soon.) Another blog written with some real talk, an entire deployment section, and resources to other things you may find yourself needing as a MilSo.
- SpouseBuzz Blog – Here’s a good place to start: 4 Lessons Military Spouses Taught Me. And yes, there’s an entire section devoted to Deployment.
- Next Gen MilSpouse Blog – Recommended by a real life military wife to me (!) this one is nice because it’s sort of aimed at millennial/younger MilSos, which makes it quite refreshing to read. This article 34 Things You Should Never Say To A Milspouse During Deployment made me feel better about the downright thoughtless things people were saying to me. And yes, when you tell people your S.O. is deployed, a lot of them are going to say awful things, even if they mean well.
- Fifteen Months Blog – I didn’t get into this one as much because at the time I found it I was not a wife yet, and therefore couldn’t relate as much. However, several of her notes helped me, including: My Top 8 Tips for Surviving Deployment.
- Military Spouse Blog– At this point the creative names for all these blogs are probably driving you crazy (ehem) but the straightforward nature of these blogs can really help. This article became my daily mantra for several months while I was trying to navigate how the hell to handle the next several months:
50 Tips for Surviving Deployment. Woohoo 50!
- The Smart Girl’s Guide to Deployment – Okay, I never explored the rest of this blog/website but this list literally changed my life. It is definitely worth reading through!
In closing, I just did my best to make it through. I was very lucky as I had an S.O. who was able to be in contact about 5 days a week (which is practically unheard of in Military land). I cultivated close friendships to help me get through, saw a professional therapist who helped a lot, and tried my best to distract myself with good things. I wish I could say, “Before I knew it, that damned deployment was over!” but it would be far more accurate to say that I thought it would never end, but eventually it did. Don’t forget to Google or Pinterest search whatever resources you can find for surviving deployment, military spouse life, etc. You may be surprised what you find.
Hope this helps! If you have any MilSo resources you love, please share in the comments before!