Featured in Divided By Duty

Losing Yourself

It's easy to question everything, but there's one thing you have to remember.

 The most important person in your life has seemingly and suddenly vanished. You said goodbye to him, you gave him a kiss and a hug and left with ten long weeks of waiting stretched between your next meeting. Even if you’ve tried to prepare yourself mentally for the upcoming challenges, nothing truly prepared you for what you’re going through. You find your mind drifting to dark places—the what-ifs, the worries, the fears. You hate him one minute and miss the hell out of him the next. You’re proud that he’s taking his future into his own hands and starting a new and exciting part of his life, but you’re worried that you and your relationship will fade away in his mind in favor of that new future. When you write him letters, you’ll try to be positive, even though you might want to break down more than anything, knowing that he won’t be there to pick up the pieces. When you tell him how much you love and miss him, those sentiments might seem unrequited because he won’t write it nearly as much as you will. It’s easy to lose yourself in the worry, fear and doubt, and to obsess over all of it. It’s easy to question if anything will be the same when he returns to you, if he’ll love you or treat you the same as he did before, and let the brick in your chest drag you down further, and further, until you can’t even see the light any more. You’ll feel like you’re losing him, and then you’ll feel like you’re losing yourself. It’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do.

But you must remember that you are only half of a whole. When you send out those letters, the story isn’t finished. You don’t get to see the second half, the happy ending inevitably to come. You won’t see how his face will light up when he sees your handwriting on the outside of the envelope and your name printed on the top left corner. You won’t see how he’ll tear it open as eagerly as a child on Christmas morning, or how he’ll hang on each of your words like scripture. You won’t feel his heavy chest lighten or see how his day is brightened, no matter how awful it may have been. You won’t understand how those letters are treasured more than gold while he’s away from you. You know how much you miss him, but you can’t feel how much he misses you back. You feel like you’re losing him.

You aren’t. Those letters will make him love you even more. They’ll assure him that you’re still at home, eagerly awaiting his return, that you still love him, and that if there’s one thing that he can count on while he’s gone, it’s you. The more you pour your strength, love, and security into each word that you write, the more he’ll realize how much you mean to him. Even though you’re home, and you’re feeling heartbroken and alone, you’re helping him more than you can ever imagine. And when he graduates from basic training and you get to see him standing proudly in his uniform, you’ll know exactly where you stand and how he feels. You’re the one that will help drive him through the hardest thing he’ll ever had to complete.

He’ll finish, and he’ll thank you for always standing by his side.

You might feel like you’re losing yourself, and you’re losing him. The brick might feel too heavy to handle on your own. Remember that you’re not handling it alone—he has the same one inside of him. You’re both discovering things that you never would have before, and with each passing day the bond between you will grow stronger, because it’s another day it managed to survive. Hang in there. It will all be worth it in the end. 

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Losing Yourself
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