Not So By Myself; A Struggle With Loneliness

pilot wife life

What Happens When You Feel Lonely in Your Marriage?

Peyton Garland, pilot wife, author, and advocate for Mental Health and Wellness shares her story of struggle and loneliness when her life situation changed with her husband's career change.


Peyton is a writer, wanna-be rapper, and coffee shop hopper who loves connecting people to a grace much bigger than expected. Her debut book, Not so by Myself, was promoted by Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and endorsed by TED Talk speaker Hannah Brencher. When Peyton's not writing, she's exploring Colorado with her husband Josh and their two gremlin dogs Alfie and Daisy.   



In the book, Not so By Myself she shares her struggle with the loneliness and isolation she felt when her Atlanta Falcons sales rep husband changed course to follow his dream of being pilot.


Peyton's story is not just for pilot wives or those in aviation, but anyone who might struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation when their partner travels for work; is in the military, or is gone for periods of time, beyond the typical corporate job. 

Peyton is not new to a traveling family member, as she grew up with a father in the Army.


Peyton was quickly thrust into the role of “Pilot Wife” and introduced to the pilot wife lifestyle when her husband, Josh changed careers shortly after their marriage.


They struggled through her taking on 3 jobs to get him through flight training; their separation when he left on his job in sales for the Atlanta Falcons, after a conversation with a Delta pilot that reignited his dream of being a pilot himself; his abrupt, furloughed career during Covid, and their recent celebration of his upcoming commercial airline job.

As one might imagine, this created a lot of financial and emotional stress, and she struggle with lack of sleep while balancing more and more. All while only having been married for six to 10 months.

She talks about isolation and loneliness in an unhealthy church regarding women. Her tendency to be a perfectionist and her realization while sitting across from a therapist how she had struggled with this for years, shoving much under the rug.

Peyton shares: "I was lonely because I wasn't content with myself, and what I quickly learned is all those monsters I'd shoved in the back of my closet all the things i'd never wanted to deal with in my life.

I now had no choice but to deal with them, because there were no distractions the House was quiet, there was no noise, there was no one to talk to, and I finally had to deal with me and I think that lack of contentment is where the actual loneliness came from.


And so I open with kind of the toughest place my story started and where I finally had to say 'you're going to have to sit with yourself you're going to have to let your thoughts be something that are present.

Being a woman in the Church, is sometimes as isolating if you're not in a very healthy church culture as a woman you're told to be quiet it's not your place to speak.

I talk a lot about my mental health, and I was actually diagnosed with OCD when I went to therapy, while my husband was gone.

So I talked about the isolation mentally that mental health can give you when it's something that you're wrestling with or you carry shame with.

And so, literally from a physical, mental emotional relational career type perspective I hit on all of those points, and what that looks like when you're lonely versus when you learn to say 'hey. I am not going to handle this season, well, I am not perfect and let's tap into that freedom to just say i'm Okay, it is okay to not handle this like a pro.


I come from a long line of military men.  And, my family kind of adopted this concrete tough mantra that silence is strength you're strong if you don't say anything you're strong if you don't let people see your weak spot.

I learned that silence actually is not strength and that speaking up that's where not only your freedom and healing comes from, but that's where you give other people, the strength to find healing too.

Therapy isn't as stereotypical, you know as the movies portray it, but that first day is, it is a woman sitting across from me with a pen and pad and I am spilling my guts and she's just writing everything down.

And when I get to the end of the session i'm like oh buddy your life has kind of been a mess, the whole time you were just really good at sweeping it under the rug and not saying a word.

And that was the first time I realized, not only was perfection not going to work because I was in a therapist office, it had never worked.

So, and I think that's what changed the game for me, was it never was something pivotal it was never feeding anything positive it was constantly feeding me shame. I've got a lot of things to unpack and so being willing to show up for that week after week, and not only kept my pride and check, but it kept reaffirming that perfection is just not going to be the winning game."


And, she did the work to unpack herself, her thoughts, her limiting beliefs and the work she did on herself.


The “Brain spotting” technique, and how much of what she thought was an issue with her husband or outside situations were actually internal conflicts within herself.


Her drunken saga on her honeymoon flight, trying to fight a fever!


She was led to write the book when she felt the tug of struggle and loneliness, wondering why she felt this way. She’s a strong woman of Christian faith, and vulnerably shares her struggles with mental health.


 Peyton is a 1 on the Enneagram, and her husband is a 3.


About the Book, Not So By Myself: Fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. But, believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it's scary, but this emptiness is where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You're safe because God is so good at owning goodness in the midst of our lonely, confusing seasons, and because of Him, you aren't so by yourself.  


Are you ready to live your best life?


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