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How’s life treating you lately?
Well let me put it to you bluntly. I’m not so damn sure how life is treating me because my emotions are very mixed.
These past six months have been both the best and hardest months of my life. I’ve had more panic attacks, more breakdowns, more arguments, basically more everything lately. My mind is all over the place and it has been affecting my work, my friendships, my relationship and my family more than I would like to admit.
Why I’m dating someone who is joining the Australian Army
To start off, I started dating my current partner in April this year. I had already been seeing him for about a month before we made it ‘official’. He briefly told me about trying to join the Australian Army. I didn’t think much of it because at the time, I didn’t think anything was going to happen. We were just talking. I forgot all about it.
Fast forward to April – we were in bed and I picked out the movie ‘American Sniper’ to watch. (Great movie by the way, but I preferred the book!). It was like it all came flooding back to me and I instantly remembered that he was trying to join the army. So I asked him. Queue the awkward speech. He told me he was still trying but he probably wouldn’t hear back for a while and not to worry. We spoke about a potential long distance relationship, and the possibility of moving with him. I laughed. We weren’t even official so how could I possibly agree to something that sounded so ridiculous? Well, easily. You see, I’ve always grown up with the assumption that when you’ve found the one, you can feel it in your heart. I already felt that with him. So this was a no brainer.
Easy. Truth? No. Not easy.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that anxiety and depression are a large part of my life. I wish I could turn it off but it’s just not that easy. Our relationship continued, and literally right after that awkward talk we made it official. We were now together and the pressure was on. Life went on, and somewhere in our six month relationship we had another chat about this situation. I told him the truth and that I didn’t want him to leave. He said he wasn’t going to go through with it (I don’t think it quite went like this but I don’t remember that well). I felt instant relief.
Fast forward to two or so months ago. He changed his mind.
For fuck sake. That was literally all I kept thinking. FOR FUCK SAKE. (Sorry about the language but I feel very strongly about this). Turns out he still wants to go through with it. Just this time, he wants me to go with.
To say I was furious was a massive understatement. The Australian Army generally is a last minute thing. You find out if you’re in at the last minute, you find out where you’re posted at the last minute. And don’t even get me started on change, because that shit is inevitable. The only problem? Anxiety, myself and change don’t mix very well. If something small changes at work, I’m generally pretty close to having a meltdown. So how could I possibly handle this?
Thank goodness for my Psychologist.
By this point I had already agreed to go with my partner. There wasn’t a chance in hell that I was losing him. But I wanted the opinion of my psychologist too. It’s hard to explain, but when something doesn’t feel right in my life, she puts it into perspective for me.
Luckily for me, she was married to a man in the Army for 20 years and she had a lot of knowledge on what I was up against. She made it very clear to me that if I was going to do this, I needed to understand that the Army would always come first. I’m not so sure if I can deal with that, but I’m willing to give it a shot. She asked me what my relationship was like and to describe how I felt about him and when I explained, she looked me in the eye and said “Don’t even think about it. Just do it.”
She had a huge impact in my decision on this situation with those specific eight words.
Six months of training = six months of loneliness.
He got the call over a week ago. He was in. The only problem? His enlistment date is the 29th October. About 5 weeks away. And after that, I don’t know when I’ll see him again. I don’t know when I’ll hear from him and I don’t know if this is something I’m even capable of going through with. But what I do know, is that I love him. I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone else and I will do whatever it takes to get through this and be there for him. I can’t even begin to explain how proud and happy I am for him, I just wish that anxiety wouldn’t get in my way of showing it.
So if you’re reading this, I love you. And I am SO beyond proud of you and what you’re going to achieve. I know you can do this, and I will be here for you every step of the way. You are my future and I’m not going to let this bump in our journey change that.
What I’ve learnt so far
The first thing that I learnt is that this shit is not easy. Not knowing when you’re going to see or speak to your partner again is heart wrenching. Not knowing when you’re going to feel the warmth of their chest or the soft kiss on your forehead makes me want to cry over and over.
I’ve learnt to appreciate the little things. Right now, my favourite thing is going to sleep beside him and being able to cuddle up and feel safe in his arms. Soon, I won’t have that security and I don’t know how I feel about that.
At this point, I’m crying. And I tried so hard not to cry while writing this but I can’t help it. I think of my life without him in it and it tears me apart inside. But I’ve learnt that this is what I want. If it means I can have a life with him, then I’ll do whatever it takes.
I’ve learnt to encourage him to go after what he wants in life, even if it hurts me to do so. I’ve learnt that he is capable of more things than I could ever imagine.
I’ve learnt that Anxiety has controlled majority of my reactions to this situation and I’m trying to work on that, but I’ll take it one day at a time.