Define strong. 

“You’re so strong“. A phrase often heard and seldom repeated by navy wives and girlfriends. It’s usually followed by The dreaded head tilt and something along the lines of “I couldn’t do it, you’re so brave”. Etc etc. 

The truth is, I am not strong. I am not a super person. I am just your average twenty something trying to not totally screw their life up and hopefully, one day, have some plus money in the bank. 

I never feel less strong than when Popeye is away. I cry, I rant, I stall, I freeze, I overreact, heck I probably under react sometimes. The point being that I feel I’m getting through a deployment more by luck than any shining moral fibre. I swear it is a complete, utter fluke. A spin of lifes roulette wheel that means I survive each one by pure chance. 

I have plans for getting through each deployment, sure, but I never follow said plan. I never do the good, wholesome, organised option. I don’t  bounce through the days and weeks and months, looking like someone from a Pantene advert. In fact I say to friends and family on an almost weekly basis that “I’m not coping, I can’t do this!!!” And yet….I do. 

I have never paused to think “omg, check me out, I am so coping right now” because then I am sure to jinx myself and then the car fails its MOT or the dog runs away or the back door lock breaks. Or something. 

The other thing that I just don’t get when head tilters say how strong I am is… What the bloody hell is my alternative?

Pray tell I would love to know what the other option is. Because if I am strong by surviving a deployment, then this definition of “strength” needs to change. 

If I am strong then this needs to include: 

Crying at films, at adverts, at people on the street.

Eating cereal for dinner. A lot.

Walking to the corner shop in your slippers to buy cheap wine because you drank the good bottle already *hic* .

Never having food in the house.

Asking your sailor to ” just come home” when they call, even though they are thousands of miles away and there’s not a snowballs chance in hell.

Staring at photos of him.

Staring at the countdown app until 12.01am so you can tell yourself it’s one less day.

Sticking your face in the wardrobe to smell his clothes.

Frequently forgetting bin day / recycling day then having to do the “clink of shame” walk holding two weeks worth of glass recycling, whilst praying no one sees you and that there are no tell tale clinking noises to dob you in. 

Wandering round the house like a refugee on those horrible weekends you don’t have anything planned.

Pressing refresh on Facebook a gazillion times a day.

Calling my mum at least once a day, 60% of the time to cry or moan about how hard this is.

Saying goodnight to his pillow every most nights. 

I think that’s enough.

So yeah, if that is being a strong person, what the F does a weak person bloody do?!?!?

Muchos love,

Olive x

P.s what amazingly “strong” things do you guys do?  

 

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5 thoughts on “Define strong. 

  1. Hey Olive, I can totally relate, you made good points in ways people don’t usually see it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Its so important to me as MilSpouse to share our perspectives and support each other. To answer your question, I strangely manage to run around like a chicken with no head for all my kids and their after school actives all while staying fabulous(LOL) thats what people ask me all the time..

  2. Great post! As someone who has mostly chosen to live off-base, I constantly get asked ‘how do you cope, I couldn’t?!’ My response is usually along the lines of ‘because you have to, after all, what’s the alternative, not coping?!’

    But don’t get me started on when I hear: “my husband is going away for the night, how am I going to cope…” at the school gates! 😡

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