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Sometimes being brave is admitting you are scared

Posted on March 13 2012

Last May, my husband left for his first deployment. This was not going to be the first time we were apart. In fact, during the three years we had been together, we had never lived in the same zip code. Distance was always a part of our relationship. It was an adjustment though, the deployment. Not being able to call him to say ‘I love you’ or text to say ‘I miss you’. Not being able to immediately tell him about the great, or crappy, thing that happened at work that day. Feeling crushed, and heartbroken, when I saw a missed call on my phone from a six-digit number. Constantly reminding myself that just because he had not called in a few days does not mean he is hurt or in trouble. Putting on a brave face and brave voice when we did skype or he did call. I did not want him to worry about how I was handling the deployment; he had bigger issues and problems on his hands.One of the hardest parts of the deployment was constantly hearing from my friends, family, and acquaintances, “I don’t know how you do it”. How do you respond to this remark? On the good days, you say it’s easy. You feel strong. You feel brave. But on the bad days, after you have gotten in an argument or after going to another wedding, another restaurant, another event alone, those words take a toll. You start doubting whether you are strong enough. You start doubting whether you are brave enough. You’re scared. It’s hard. And you admit it. In these moments you are truly brave.Being sad or scared or angry or hurt does not make you a coward or make you weak. It makes you stronger.It makes you brave.

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