Monday, July 1, 2013

The Road Less Traveled

I have debated about sharing this, but I decided that if my shadows can shed light for others, then it will be for the good!

As many of you know, I am a military wife.  However, prior to this, Jordan and I worked traditional jobs, working basic 9-5 hours, and got to see each other everyday.  However, after much prayer, discussion and research, we decided that he should pursue a LIFELONG dream.  We loved our life in Michigan, but we both knew that there was something more.  So, much to everyone's surprise, we announced NOT that we were having a baby, haha, but that we were joining the military.

Now, one can prepare by reading and researching this endeavor, but NOTHING can prepare you for the emotional hardship.  Jordan was in bootcamp for 8 weeks, and we had no contact, besides letters.  About three days after he went to bootcamp,  I received a box in the mail, and there was no letter, just all of his clothes that he had worn when I last saw him.  I cried myself to sleep that night....and then many nights after that.

Part of Jordan and I's 'deal' when he joined the military was that I would also pursue my lifelong dream of attaining my doctorate.  I joined a doctoral program, and not even one class in I found that I was unable to concentrate on even the simplest task, my thoughts were consumed with how Jordan was doing, and when I would be able to finally live with him.  I dropped the program...the first time I had ever dropped anything, and this only added to my hopeless feelings.

Fast forward about six months into this endeavor.  We STILL did not live together, and I truly began to suffer from this.  I couldn't get out of bed.  I was consistently late, or called into work.  I had horrible headaches, I went through drive-thrus on a daily basis, and I found myself crying almost all the time.  I also isolated myself to my home as much as I could.  The thought of going out with other couples was unbearable, and I just thought 'I don't even want to be around me, why would other people want to be.'

Because I am a counselor (and have many counseling friends!), I finally realized that what I was experiencing was depression.  After much debate, I decided to see my doctor.  That was a hard day.  I felt like a hypocrite because I told people everyday, all day, how taking psychiatric medication was okay.  And there I was, feeling ashamed that I had to do it.  I had never felt that down in my life, I've always been an upbeat, driven person, and there I was, feeling so alone, worn down, and unable to see a light at the end of what appeared to be an endless tunnel.  Even as I write this, I can remember that empty, hopeless feeling.

After taking the medication I started to feel a little bit better, but the overall reason for my sadness was still very present.  Jordan and I were closing in on a year of separation due to the military.  Finally, as a desperate plea, I prayed to God and said 'If I can't be with my husband by the time our anniversary is here on August 17th, I'm packing my bags, and going to California.  I'm leaving the house, and letting the chips fall where they may.  I can't do this anymore.'

God must have really known I was at the end of my rope, because that next week, he provided a young family who was willing to sign papers and start renting our home.  And on August 1, I arrived in California.  I remember that as I drove through each state, the burden on my shoulders felt lighter and lighter.  When I arrived in California, my mind was clear, I started getting on a regular sleep schedule, I did 'normal' things that I had taken for granted before.  Like making dinner for my husband, and actually being able to sleep in the same bed.  Even when he was away for a training or worked a really late night, I was so grateful that we lived in the same home that it really didn't matter as much as it could have.  I slowly stopped taking the medication I had been prescribed, because I had situational depression.  And because my situation was drastically different and better than it had been, I was able to stop taking it.

Do I tell you all of this so you feel sorry for me?  I certainly hope not.  I want you to know, that no matter WHAT the pit is that you are in, there is a WAY out.  It may not be a way that you want to take, but sometimes, we have to take a DEEP BREATH, humble ourselves, and let God take control of our lives, rather than try to be in control of it.

Since that time, so much has happened.  I have found myself being yet again, hurled into a situation that I didn't expect.  I expected that I would be working a 'normal' job here in Virginia.  However, if I want to be with my husband when he is home, that is just not in the cards.  BeachBody truly helps me with this.  I can work everyday with people who WANT to have me in their life as an encouragement for their health and fitness, and I LOVE that.  After working in places where people were court ordered to see me, this has been a breath of fresh air.  Is this the path that I would have chosen?  Nope!  But yet again, God took the reins in my life, showing me that he had a better plan.  And, I fully believe that BeachBody is going to help me fund that dream of pursuing my doctorate....that is the beauty of this business.  It is what you make it.  And I am forming and molding it into what I need it to be for me and my husband...and someday our family!

If you can relate at all to this story, I fully welcome questions and comments.  My story is unique as all stories are, but I don't think that how I was feeling was unique.  The more I have shared it with others the more I realized how much hurt there can be, and we just all think 'I must be the only one.'  I am here to tell you that you most certainly aren't.  I am now in a place where I can encourage, uplift, and motivate others, and I TRULY love it, and feel like it is what I was always meant to do.  My goal and mission is to help others who suffer get to a place where they can recognize that their suffering does not have to be in vain.  You can change that suffering into something that motivates you...and then along the road, motivates others.

I will close by sharing my life verse with you: 

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14  
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2 comments:

  1. Hey Candice! I don't think we've touched base since college, but wanted to say hi and let you know I'm following your blog. My husband and I live on the Eastern Shore in MD and have a 1 year old daughter now (crazy!). I didn't realize your husband was in the military, my sister's husband is too and they went through an extremely similar situation when he first enlisted. He also was stationed overseas when their son was only 1 year old and they couldn't go with him. It was an awful time for her and it took her time to ask for the help she needed too. Hope you guys are doing well and you're definitely in my prayers! :)

    - Em

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  2. Em! Oh my goodness, so good to hear from you! And congratulations on having a son, that is awesome!!! Thank you for your prayers and support. It has been a long, hard journey, and we are looking at deployment in a few months here. It's crazy, but I feel like this lifestyle has made me stronger and more reliant on God. It is not always easy being a military spouse, but, I feel like even though that particular part was horrible, I'm thankful now, in hindsight. It's helped me prepare for all of the other times of separation that we will have. Oh, and I just saw Janie and Melinda this weekend, and we totally reminisced about our Grace days :) It sounds like you are doing wonderful, I'm glad we're friends on FB now! ~Candice

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