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Military Life and Accepting Help

By Stephanie

All right who knew what they were getting into when they signed up to be a military spouse? I had an idea in my head what to expect. Expect to do everything on your own (honestly I rather do things on my own, I know they will get done and I’m not disappointed if someone doesn’t follow through). Expect for deployments to come up and be long and hard. Expect to tell your family constantly “I don’t know.” Expect to be a positive listening ear for your service member when they are gone. The list goes on and on.

Our first duty station was AK. Arkansas right? Haha NOPE. Alaska. Talk about an experience. There are so many great things about AK, more that I appreciate now then I did when I was there. It was were I really started my teaching career. It was where I grew to love the outdoors even more and most importantly where life went at a slower pace. It is a dream of ours to take the kids their someday to let them know where we started and where our first home as a couple was.

Fast forward and three years later we were stationed at Fort Bragg. A month after being here we welcomed our little boy and my hubby started his two-year schooling adventure to be in Civil Affairs. Shortly after that we welcomed baby number two and our first deployment. In a nutshell it wasn’t all I expected. I excelled in some areas and had some areas to work on. I really didn’t have time to focus on him being gone. With a two year old in speech and a 4 month old my hands were full. I was constantly on the go. At night was my only time to breathe for a few seconds before my daughter woke up for her night feeding or my son woke up from a nightmare.

Fast forward again a year and a half and cancer knocked on my door. I was thrown into a world where people were trying to take care of my family and me and I was no longer the one able to take care of everything. I absolutely hated it. I’m a control freak. I wanted to do everything myself. And I no longer could. The guilt set in and I felt like I was failing everyone and myself. It was only after talking to the Chaplain that I learned I needed to let everyone help. It was just as beneficial for them to do what they could as it was for me to accept there help. Talk about a humbling experience.

Finally after chemo, radiation, surgeries and reconstruction I’m at a place again where I cannot only help others again, but I can accept help. If this is you right now struggling to be the “independent do it yourself cancer slayer” remember accepting help is just as much about you caring for yourself as it is about the other person being able to care for you After all if the shoe was on the other foot wouldn’t you want to do the same?

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