I’ve been scary sad in the past few weeks. The kind of sad that feels impossible to withstand for one more second, that tears through me and sounds more like a scream than a sob, that makes me afraid to be alone, that makes me want to give up.
I think I’ve just felt too much pain to keep up the charade anymore. It wasn’t that recent events were that awful (nothing can come close to Dave dying). It was that I hadn’t had enough in reserves to withstand ONE MORE loss.
It’s sent me back to the same symptoms I experienced in the month or two after Dave died. Tremors, generalized fears, chaotic mind, trouble reading, trouble sitting still, trouble eating, sleeping and getting through the day without crying, giant memory lapses. I feel trapped, desperate for comfort and not sure what would comfort me short of Dave returning from the dead.
I think I am simply terrified of being alone. The idea of living the rest of my life in my home, alone, freaks me out. I have an incredible network of loving, funny and intelligent friends. I have the time and space and money to explore my passions and discover a new path for my life that might make me happy. I have my health (when I’m not suffering from trauma-related symptoms), I have so much. Somehow, though, the one thing I can’t have, has become the one thing I’ve decided I don’t want to live without.
But I don’t get to live with it now. Thinking that I might never have companionship like that again makes me miserable, so I try not to get too attached to that particular worry. I’d rather spend energy thinking that there’s a great chance I will have that again or just attempt to direct my energies toward self care and let everything else fall into place as it will.
But what if a partner is not the answer? What if Dave’s death cracked me open to uncover the real truth which is that I never felt good enough on my own and needed others’ love and approval to feel worthy? What if I have to learn for the first time, how to live without it while deciding I’m good enough, regardless? If that’s so, how the hell do I do that? Especially when the status of a single woman over 35 in this society is that of a spinster, a crazy cat lady or at the very least, is to be slightly pitied? Or when every time I see a smiling couple and their kids strolling through the park, I feel my heart spasm in jealousy? When I’m suddenly, for the first time since before I met Dave, afraid to be alone? Or when I most need the particular comfort you can only get from a loving spouse at the exact time in my life when I don’t have one?
Okay. So I do it again. I get my feet under me again and regain my strength. I heal enough to get to the point where I feel a tiny spark of hope for the next day. I turn to my loved ones for as much comfort as I can find. I try to find comfort in helping others. I distract myself, stay busy, take baths, get massages, see my therapist, make gratitude lists, write, treat myself gently, heal, heal, heal.
I’ve done it before, I can do it again. It only feels like I’ll never be happy again. It onlyseems like life isn’t worth living if I’m alone, but it’s a lie. Life is worth living simply because it is and there’s only one chance at it. Right? Remind me until I can believe it again, myself. Please.