I interrupt this Grief Wave for a random thought on Wanting and Living

So I know I am supposed to continue on about support systems as I am exploring all of them. It should be Support systems and mediums today. But, this is my blog and my outlet. I do not know who reads it and who does not and that is ok. It is anonymous for a reason. It is here to share my thoughts and continue my honest truth and living presently. I have bottled up some of the stuff beyond the grief.

So, instead of support and mediums. I bring you this….

I am being me. I am living. I am 8.5 months into this and I am ok. I am happy sometimes. I am sad sometimes. I am angry sometimes. I am emotional sometimes. I am quiet and a loner sometimes. I am ready for action sometimes. I do not need anyone or anything really in order to get by (well maybe some help w my 5 pets when I travel!) I am independent, self-reliant, smart, educated, and successful. I own a place, pay my bills, work hard and play hard. My heart is huge and empty but that is just how it is right now. I am learning to go on hikes and swim alone, reading a ton, writing even more, booking yoga retreats and maybe even camping too. I am learning to live like I never have; taking back what his depression took from us. I admit I have been convinced to try the crazy online dating thing. Guys ask me out at bars, random places, or online. I am finding peace and happiness in myself and in this moment.

It is not about getting a date; that is easy; it’s finding a person who I could even consider talking beyond one moment to. The guy that challenges your mind, that shares your beliefs, that makes your heart beat faster, that infuriates you in a good way, that makes you want again. That pulls you closer with one look. That you knew the moment you saw them that they would impact your life forever.

So, I have convinced you this is not need. That I am riding grief waves with the best of them and not drowning.

I cannot control however that I sometimes Want. I want to share things with him, laugh with him, hold him close to me, I want to develop something again, I want my friend to be there more. Who would not want to share time with someone they get along well with. I think I blew it long ago (well that’s pretty much what he said). I expressed where I am at and was shot down. But I was honest, raw, open, and vulnerable for the first time in a long time.

I am doing fine, I am not crying and pining away. I am not depressed. I did not stop living and woe is me. It’s more of a disappointment. I am strong and resilient. I am doing me. I am opening myself up to new things, new people, experiences. I have been through hell and this is NOT going to break me if THAT did not.

The Want I have to let go of is there in the background.

I cannot control how I started to feel, how he feels, or how either of us choose to respond to those feelings or lack thereof. I know that he either feels nothing, feels something & won’t admit it, or sees no reason to explore for a myriad of reasons. Maybe it’s scary to try for him I know for sure it is for me. Maybe for some people risk outweighs potential benefits. Maybe the past is harder to forget than people think. Maybe there is someone else. Maybe he doesn’t want to look like the one who is talking to the Widow Girl. And the worst one maybe a person can be attracted to and friendly with someone, but not want more than that because they simply are uninterested and feel nothing around them. Ouch that one hurts.

It is not about the future it is about the present moment. And now at this moment we are not on the same page and that is ok. It is not my place to change his mind, convince him I won’t hurt him again, or give him my list of qualities. Nor would I want to. It has to be organic. It is not something you chase after. It is not something I would want to rush into. I know that I bring a set of issues and complications that most people would not want to take on. I know that I will be his friend and there for him regardless of this.

All I wanted was a chance to see. My experience is that the best relationships I had started as friendship (I had two amazing ones my late husband and well this person). You cannot get someone to let you in. You cannot change how someone feels and you cannot change how they respond. You can only go by what they say even if you are uncertain you believe it or understand it fully. You can be their friend, drop the flirtations, let your feelings out, then you can push those feelings aside because they do not feel the same.

For myself and my own sorting – I had given it a lot of thought.

  • What it isn’t for me: need, loneliness, settling, convenient, easy, rushed, a band-aid/rebound
  • What it is for me: complicated, confusing, insane, potential, scary, living, joy, fun
  • What it was for me: special, memorable, passionate, outstanding, emotional, amazing, comfort, joy, love, regretful in the end
  • What it could have been: everything we never thought we would ever have a chance at again because of how life went…plus the good stuff we had before…. (and I did not even share the half of it).
  • What it is instead: A friendship that I hope continues to grow strong. I hope it becomes a two-way street where he comes to me too on bad days. I hope he values and enjoys our time as friends as I do.
  • What he did for me: Made me smile and laugh when I did not think I could. Gave me something to look forward to when the messages came through. Was a voice in a very quiet time when only a couple of people checked on me. Gave me ideas and encouragement (paint, write, get out of your head). During this same period of time I started to heal, live, sleep, feel, respond. I give credit in many places for this… mainly to me and the work I did, the medium, family & friends, the therapy, yoga, support groups, suicide survivors, and to him.  This friendship awakened me and brought back something inside my dead carcass. It pulled me out of a dumpster of sadness.
  • My hope for Him: Happiness, love, success, passion. A continued ability to be supportive to those in need, this is a true gift. Forgiveness of the past. Everything to be great and fun all of the time 🙂 ! He is a good man, genuine, and whoever finally wins his heart is a lucky girl.

Here are a few additional and random reflections:

  • I hate the one-sidedness of grief. I want to reciprocate our friendships and be there too for people.
  • I want people in my life because they want to be not because of obligation or perceived needs I have.
  • I am doing me, I am ok, I am alive, I am living, I do not need another person to make me happy.
  • Think before you act because what you put out you cannot always take back.

The 4th of July

I am still writing about support systems but I wanted to hold off on that next post a moment to reflect on today the 4th of July. Every 4th that I can recall was filled with friends and food. Smoker meat and grilling out. Pool time, sprinkler fun, fireworks, togetherness. I mentioned the other day that I had gone through all the firsts without my husband but this one snuck up on me.

I am of a couple of minds these days. One side of my brain is “faking it until I make it” while the other side is “keep being independent you got this down you are doing fine”. Maybe I am not sure which is true sometimes but I also do not think it matters. The goal of both sides of the brain is to keep living and keep moving forward.

I think the way you get through the firsts is to honor what came before but live for now in your new normal. Reflect on what you had and lost but do not spend your day wallowing there. I find that a lot of my time is alone and needs to be that way. I think some people surround themselves with loads of people during their worst grief days and I am probably the opposite. I push myself to be alone because in the end all we have is ourselves. Next year no one will even be around on those big days so rip off the Band-Aid now I say!

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So I am getting my coffee on this morning. I am grabbing my dog C and we are going to go on a hike just her and I. In the past I would get worried doing things like this alone. I am afraid to get lost or that someone creepy will approach us or something. I am without fear anymore. I jump in more now. I saw the most horrifying thing and it gave me perspective. Even if someone approaches me negatively I won’t be as afraid and it won’t be as scary as what I already have lived. If I get lost I have a phone and there is a park ranger. So today I will embrace my new normal, my aloneness, enjoying the day and celebrating the 4th of July with fewer people than the past and that is ok.

I hope that someday I won’t have to go it all alone because the right person will see me as a fiercely independent, strong, self reliant, healthy woman (without being intimidated that I actually do not NEED anyone). The fact is though, I cannot make someone see what I am. I cannot control someone’s feelings towards me. I cannot continue to live for what may come in the future. I can control now and the present moment. This girl is up for hiking. She is ready to jump in the lake.

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you live and are free today. Thank you to all those who keep our country safe and allow us to enjoy this lovely day.

 

Where do you put your warmth, kindness, and affection now?

Where should all the affection and warmth and kindness go now?  I keep putting it in a bottle. The bottle may burst soon. When is the right time to move forward and pursue more than a friendship?  From what I read there is No answer to this. We should do what we feel and not worry about what others think.

I am reading Second Firsts by Christina Rasmussen and it is wonderful. She is so inspirational when she speaks about life re-entry. She explains that you had a life you lived with your spouse, a life you live while your waiting and this is something we should keep to a short term. Then there is your new life when you embrace re-entry. When she said that grabbing your new life is hard because you are afraid to get hurt and experience more grief, that resonated.

I want nothing more than to take a leap into life and love but doing so means putting my fragile and vulnerable self out there.

I am forever changed. I am trying new things and new experiences. I am independent and strong. While I do not need a man, I do want to share my time with someone wonderful.  One amazing man came around unexpectedly and on paper I’m sure it seems ridiculous to consider me as anything more than a friend. But I do want to get to know more about him. Grief and fear hold me back. But really what else is there to lose? I have so much warmth, love, kindness and affection and nowhere to put it. It is more than lonely it is painful. More uncertainty and doubt in myself. My heart is ready to try but how do I proceed without knowing?

Pause the Grief… and Hope

All I want is to smile, laugh, and to be happy again. Someone or something to make my mind stop questioning, wondering, and second guessing.

As you marry or have a serious relationship so much is wrapped up into your coupling. When 12 years is taken in the blink of an eye and unexpectedly so is the identity you have had.  I want to allow my new self to shine through because  while I am forever altered, this new self is a good person trying to live now. Different but still kind, affectionate, passionate, loyal, independent, strong, weak, compassionate, faithful, friendly, and emotional.

Another thing about grief loss is how self centered your forced to be. I am the caregiver and problem solver usually. This focus of others to fix or help me is just not normal for me. I do not like that. I prefer to be needed not needy.

I am looking for my certainty, confidence, self-worth, and especially my relevance. Where do you put this major part of you when the person you chose walks away (and yes I know he was not thinking of me, he was mentally in anguish and it was not rational)? Tired of being sad, worthless, and unneeded. The new girl is wanting to try live, to dance, hope, wish, and scarier still dream of happiness. Fake it until you make it seems to be what riding grief waves mean.

What has worked to help me PAUSE and HOPE:

  • Yoga
  • Writing
  • Painting and Drawing (and no I am not good!)
  • Time with friends
  • Distractions
  • My job
  • The trips planned back home
  • Reflecting on who I am now and trying to find a balance between strength, weakness, grace, and peace
  • The hope that there is something good coming out of tragedy

Some days are harder than others. I try to keep my spirits up. I want to feel anything but down. Take it away for a minute, hour, day. Need me. Let me in. Give me a chance. Show me why I am here.