The military gives us a lot of first times. There’s the first PCS, the first TDY, the first deployment, and with the deployment comes the first night without them. That first night can be extremely lonely. No matter the length of time they’re gone for, it still can be tough for some to get through that first night or week sleeping alone.
The great thing is that you’re not alone and many military spouses have dreaded that first night without their spouse. Some still fear the first night alone, even though they did it many times before.
To help you get through that first night alone I’ve listed some tips below which are all tried and tested:
If you’re not going to miss your bed, then head to the couch. A couch only has some much room so when you roll over you won’t feel empty space, which can be a reminder that they’re not there.
If you’re not already crying, allow yourself a good forced cry. Forced meaning as it may take watching a sappy YouTube video to make the underlying cry come out. Why Cry? Crying can drain you and tends to make you sleepy. This can be an easy way to go to sleep. In addition, sometimes all it takes is that initial tear fest to reset your emotions and give you the boost you need to get through this time without your loved one.
I’m not saying go shopping but maybe try that new Gelato that’s out that you normally would never add in your grocery bill, or treat yourself to some really great takeout. If you have children purchase a special treat for them because this can be a challenging day and night for them too.
The Road Ahead
Use that first night to make a list of all the things you’d like to accomplish in the time period they are gone. This should include house projects, life projects, and things you want to do with them when they get back. Go to Pinterest and pick three projects that would normally be out of your comfort zone. The whole point of this task is that you’re mind will shift over to that list.
Write A Letter To Yourself
This may seem corny, but if you don’t have a desire to consistently write in a journal, then consider writing one letter documenting everything you feel that first night. Even though this post is about “the first night”, I suggest also writing a letter at the end of the separation to see how far you’ve come. It’s something to even share with your spouse.
Hit The Highway
The internet highway that is! We are so lucky that there are so many groups online where you can share your feelings with others who enduring the same thing. Even if you’re up late that night, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find others who lend a virtual listening ear. That being said choose the groups you post in wisely and remember OPSEC.
How did you get through the first evening of them being gone?
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