So, as I said in my About Me post, my boyfriend is currently at boot camp, about to take on the Crucible, which means he's almost done (16 more days). But, the past 72 days (and counting down!) has been an emotional roller coaster. So, here's a little advice!
1. Spend as much time as possible before he leaves! This is so important! I have a hard time expressing emotions, so for me, I was constantly pushing him away, to try to save myself from the heartbreak of him leaving. DON'T DO THIS!! I learned this the hard way. I now regret all those days I pushed him away, because that could have been five more times he would have held me or five more times he would have kissed me. Girls, during this time, it's okay to be clingy. Spend every waking moment with him before he leaves (unless you have school or work; in that case, work around that schedule). He needs to know that you love him and you'll stay faithful and the best way to do this is by your actions. So, spend so much time with him before he leaves.
2. You're going to cry the first day. And, the first week. And, multiple times after that. Get used to having tissues in your room. My boyfriend and I have been dating each other for four years (high school sweethearts). So, when he had to leave on that Thursday and head out, hell yeah I cried. Well, I happened to have work that day so I had to stay strong and hold it in until I got home. But, yeah. I cried. A lot. And, girls, that's okay. It's actually really weird if you don't cry. The tears started when I got home and he sent me one last text before his phone got disconnected. I read that text over and over and the tears just wouldn't stop coming. My eyes were almost swollen shut the next day. So, girls, it's okay to cry and you will. I promise.
3. Write him letters! Please! In this world of technology and innovation that makes communication so much easier, recruits get stripped of that and are reduced to snail mail as their only form of communication. Teenagers might be really turned off by the thought of this, but send him letters. I'll write a whole other post of what to write in letters and how to write them.
4. You're gonna feel alone. And, you're not. Trust me, honey, you're not alone. There's 2.7 million people serving in our military, meaning there's, if half of them are married, 1.3 million military spouses who all are going through/have gone through what you are experiencing. So, don't isolate yourself, saying "People don't understand." Civilians won't understand; but, MilSO's (Military Significant Others) will. So, join a Facebook group and connect with other people. It's been the best thing for me. Figure which company and platoon your boyfriend is going into and find the corresponding Facebook group. I didn't do that the first 2 months he was gone and I only hurt myself, because I felt alone and like I was the only one going through this. But, I wasn't. And, plus, you get a lot more information as everyone shares letters and tells you stuff you need to know. So, go out there and find other MilSO's.
5. Keep yourself busy. This is a bit of a no brainer and can be read on every single military spouse site. But, that's because it works. You don't need to be moping around all day like "I want my boyfriend." So, find distractions. For me, it's: my college work, marching band, Area Council, Anthropology Club, working out, making crafts, reading books, and community service projects. Find something, anything, to take your mind off of him.
6. Talk to his family. This one might sound weird, but his mom is going through the same thing you are. So, talk to her about it. Get connected with his family. They all feel your pain. They all experience the same thing. So, talk to his family and support them, as they will support you.
7. Keep a countdown. This really put my mind at ease as I go and erase the number 17 on my white board and put the number 16 instead. It's a "take it day by day mentality". And, sometimes, that's all it takes. When I'm crying, I look at the board and think "It'll be okay. He'll be here in 32 days." and it calms me down to think about him here with me. And, get creative with it. I see countdowns where they put Reese cups in a jar and eat one everyday until they're none left.
8. Make him something special while he's gone. Crucible candles are great (unless you're not allowed candles in the dorm like me), so work on that or something special while he's away. For me, everyday I sit down and write him a little note of what happened to me today or how I felt or how I missed him. Then, I put in an index card box with all the other notes. He can read these when he gets back and see what I've been up and see how I've felt. I've also handmade him a picture frame with a photo of him and me in it so he can take it to MCT and MOS when he has to leave again.
9. Breathe. Everything will be okay. When he's a month into boot camp and you haven't heard any news, breathe. When he tells you his DI has been a jerk and wrecking house and you worry about that, breathe. When he tells you that his bottom wisdom teeth got yanked out in less than a minute and they only numbed it and let him rest for a day and then sent him back on duty, breathe. Inhale and exhale. Everything will be okay. And, let me tell you, no news is good news, because it means everything it going exactly as the DI's have planned.
10. Pray. This may sound childish but definitely pray for your recruit. He needs strength and support almost as badly as he needs oxygen. He needs you and your prayers to help him get through one of the most difficult periods in his new life. And, also, honey, pray that God gives you strength. It's hard, I know. But, soon, your recruit will be a Marine and will be coming back to you. So, put yourself into God's hands and pray.
And, that's all for today. I hope these give good advice about what to do while your boyfriend is at boot camp and I hope it maybe made you smile or laugh. Keep the faith and breathe and remember: no news is good news. Bye!