In my admittedly limited experience in the CG world, I've tried to deal with things on my own, or with only civilian friends/family. I've also had trying times that seemed much more manageable because of the support found in other military wives.
I found a journal yesterday that I'd written when my husband was in A-school. He had been in the Coast Guard for maybe 6 months. I was living in temporary housing with my then 2 year old. I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was too shy to get out and introduce myself to others, not to mention that most of my neighbors were just passing through. I was so scared. So scared of getting orders. So confused with the change in BAH from TX to CA. My bank account was overdrawn because things weren't going the way in reality that I had planned on paper. I was helpless and flying by the seat of my pants.
Did I make it through? Of course. Would contact with other spouses have fixed my bank account and made my life easier? Of course not. It sure would've felt better to have a shoulder to lean on, though .
What I'm trying to say is that support and contact with others in a similar situation is invaluable. There are message boards available, spouses organizations, ladies' nights out, and playgroups available. Many of these things are seen in a negative light because someone got burned, bureaucratic boloney got in the way, or whatever.
I just want to say that I'm relieved that I jumped in with both feet and tried to get involved when we got to our first duty station. I needed to know that there were other families around me or only a phone call away that could offer advice or a hug when I needed it. I made friends that I am able to laugh and cry with. Friends that I wouldn't have really gotten to know had I just hidden away in my living room like I'm inclined to do. I have friends that I "met" on message boards that I talk to more frequently than some of my family members. It's a real friendship that I treasure, whether we've seen each other face to face or not.
To the women who have given me hugs - in person and online - I love you. I mean it. I might say those words more often than most, but they are sincere. I appreciate the advice, concern, and laughs that I've shared with you. Thank you to all the fellow spouses that are brave enough to share their concerns, weaknesses, fears, and lives with people they were just thrust in contact with.
That's a really remarkable thing, now that I think about it. I've said before that it takes all kinds of people to make a family, and it's really true. Here's another thought... you get to choose your friends but not your family. It's possible for them to be interchangeable, though.
Stick that in your juice box and suck it. ;)