Surviving unintentionally – and creating a new picture

The holiday season always brings with it the whole gamut of emotions: excitement, happiness, sadness, anxiety, melancholy, recollection. Our Thanksgiving this year was great. I cooked a few family tradition dishes that are always must haves for my girls, and we were with family for dinner. Cooking always makes me happy and gets my mind in the flow.  I really need to cook more often – I always feel good when I’m doing it. Not so much when doing the dishes afterwards…

So, Thanksgiving was easy this year – no huge emotions or sadness really, and it was great to just spend a long, relaxing afternoon and evening with family and sink into that. But holy moly, the day after this year. Ugh. I woke up on Friday feeling like a truck hit me – and no, I was not hungover. I was SAD. So sad. I couldn’t shake it. I was a mess. Why? So weird. Usually with tough days, it’s the anticipation of the day, the day before and/or the day itself that causes the emotions to swell up. Usually , the day after brings relief. Not so this time. I was totally unprepared for the pit I fell into. I never saw it coming and I kept trying to identify what was dragging my soul down, even though identifying it wouldn’t make it better. I stayed in bed most of the day and then at some point in the afternoon, I climbed out of bed, got dressed, told my girls that I had to get out for a while and went for a very long drive. I had to get out, thinking that would halt this session of the depression diaries. I drove. And drove. And I thought. And thought.

This time last year, I was headed into the holidays with a great man in my life. My second first, my chapter two. We were so happy thru the holidays last year, and even though we each had our own struggles, we had each other and we were happy. Goddamn, happy felt good. And I remember looking  forward to the holidays this year, knowing that we would be together and life was moving forward, moving towards more abundance and more love.

Fast forward to this Thanksgiving. Guess what? Life is not what I had thought it would be this time last year. I have my children who I love beyond measure. And I love that they are my people, they are my rocks, we are an amazing unit and that relationship and that love will never be disturbed. But I no longer had who I thought was going to be my partner – for the rest of my life. It is not as if this realization just hit me on Thanksgiving – it’s been true for months. But every now and again, the enormity of it hits me. And my heart says, “Holy shit – again?” It says – “We have endured this before, you and I, this shattering of the picture of what the future is supposed to look like. We have endured this and come thru the other side. Why the fuck would you put us thru this again?” I hate this empty feeling.

The first time we went thru this, I had no control over it. My husband died in the blink of an eye, after I had fought with him and for him, worked so damn hard to help him be better, us be better, worked to make our life together work. All of that struggle and fight didn’t matter – he was gone. And there wasn’t a thing I could do to stop it, wasn’t a thing I could do to change it, wasn’t a thing I could do to prevent it or fix it. It just happened. I felt like a bystander in my own life. I have often felt that way – like life just happens to me, with our without my consent.

This feels similar in that I gave all of my heart to someone and thought we were on a path – the same path. And then all of a sudden, our path together split. He went one way and I went another. There was nothing I could say or do to stop it. I had loved and given all that I could. I had done nothing wrong and had been the best partner and lover. And yet, here I am again. A bystander, looking forward now at my life and seeing all the scattered, broken pieces that crashed to the floor when this new picture of my future was just shattered.

Steve had called me a fighter when we were together and I was. This wonderful man had said the same, and he told me he wanted someone that was passionate and someone that would care so much and fight for the relationship when things got hard. It doesn’t matter how strong of a fighter you are if people simply die in the blink of an eye or walk away. It doesn’t matter. And that is a really terrible feeling – being completely irrelevant to your own story. Not irrelevant I suppose, but not exactly having the starring role, being the pivotal character, or being the deciding factor.

I am surviving unintentionally. I never intended for my life to be this difficult, but it has been – almost always. I am learning more about being in control, keeping the power that I so easily and willingly give away to others. I am not someone that needs a relationship in her life. I can stand on my own, take care of myself, create my own happiness. But damn, I really do want one. I love being in relationship with someone, supporting them, being supported, being loved, held and cherished. Learning from each other, experiencing and sharing with each other. I have so much love in my heart to give and I have always so enjoyed doing just that. I am not going to give up on the hope of finding that person, not going to give up on the joy of love. Right now, I am struggling with getting past what has happened to me and to my life – and putting the correct practices in place to try and ensure I am not picking up all these pieces again. But, I am going to pick them all up, and try to stop cutting myself on all the jagged edges. I am going to pick them all up and eventually put them back together in a way that makes sense and a way that best displays the beauty that is my life, my family’s life. We are amazing women and I am a woman that is worth fighting for. I am fighting for my life and I will manifest all the good that I know is in my future. One minute at a time.

Like a Sad Song

3 thoughts on “Surviving unintentionally – and creating a new picture”

  1. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story!
    It resonated with me so much as I have been in your position and now find myself in a situation where I don’t know what to do.
    We must be brave and move forward for our beautiful children but it’s also okay to have moments were we allow ourselves be a mess and let go of that energy that has been pent up during our brave moments.
    Remember you are strong and you are loved.
    Keep going hun as things will eventually will get better. ❤️

  2. Wendy, I am so happy to have found your blog. I was widowed with three daughters 3 years ago. Mine were much older than yours but so much of your story resonates with me! I too adored my husband of many years and lost him suddenly. I recognize SO many of the experiences along your grief journey. Thank you so much for sharing. The thing I hang on to is that when all is said and done you have a choice. To become bitter or become better. No judgements. I just try ever day to chose the one that honors my husband.

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