It's been six and half weeks since Thane deployed. I'd like to say that time is passing quickly- the fervent prayer of every military wife at one time or another!- but, while it's not passing as quickly as I'd like, it is passing.

We have so much to be thankful for. Like living in a quaint little farmhouse that's a stone's throw from family and getting to video-chat with Thane almost every day. I'm counting the months and weeks and days until he comes home, but at the same time I'm counting our blessings here. There's no such thing as a good deployment, but all things considered, we do have it good!

It hasn't been easy though. The day after Thane left, I packed the boys and I up made the day-long car trip to Virginia. Then it was a blur of setting up the new house, countless errands to the store, a slew of doctors appointments, getting involved in a new church, plus the things that Thane wold normally tend to like banking, mail-forwarding issues, car maintenance, etc. Not to mention trying to put some fresh paint on the walls of the new house, staying up late to talk to Thane, and, of course, being the primary caregiver to two boys under the age of three. Talk about a recipe for exhaustion.

Things finally started to slow down right around the one-month mark. I got past the point of feeling purely overwhelmed and started catching up on sleep. Meanwhile {potential TMI warning}, I'm breastfeeding, and all of a sudden my milk supply increased dramatically. It had seemed low for a while- probably due to the stress of moving three times since Silas was born- so, this was good! A positive change! 

Until the mood swings started...

I'm very easy going and I generally handle things in a mellow fashion. And most of our days here {despite being exhausting and overwhelming}, were good. So, to suddenly and unexpectedly have bouts of anxiety where I felt like I was losing my mind was very unnerving. I started to fixate on things that normally wouldn't bother me. My thoughts circled around and around, I got short tempered, even bitterness started to creep in. The logical part of my brain knew this wasn't normal or necessary but no amount of telling myself to 'just stop' seemed to help. All the while, I didn't want to complain to my husband because he had enough to worry about. Likewise, I didn't want to complain to my family because why burden them with something that couldn't be helped? Not to mention that it can be very hard to relate to military life if you haven't experienced it personally. 

So, I wanted to escape. I wanted to get into my car and drive back to New York, back to what was familiar. Back to the Army community that I missed, so that maybe I wouldn't feel like I was the only one struggling to regain my ground and the only one whose life was on hold. I found myself wanting to run, all the while knowing there was nowhere to go. Another move was the last thing the boys and I needed.

Then- thank goodness!- I figured out what was going on, that these bouts of anxiety were probably hormonal. Which is why they started immediately after noticing a change regarding my breastfeeding. I've never struggled with a hormonal imbalance, but now I understand why it can be so hard for people who do. Especially women with postpartum depression. Dealing with stress, sleeplessness, and hormones was enough to turn me into a crazy lady! If you've been through similar struggles- military wife or not- my heart goes out to you. There's no such thing as just snapping out of it. All I could do in the midst of those little anxiety attacks was pray, fix my eyes on Jesus, repeat Scripture verses, and just continually hand myself over to Him any way that I could. It wasn't pretty, but He got me through it and I think the worst is behind me.

But just in case it isn't, this is my prayer: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer." {Psalm 19:14} This is what I repeated to myself in the midst of those rough bouts {plus this excerpt posted here}, and this is what I'll come back to. God continues to be ever so patient and gracious toward me. He truly is my strength and my Redeemer. At the end of the day, I have to be thankful for the chaos and the struggle. Because- as always- when I come to the end of myself and see that there's nowhere else to go, I run back to Him.

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