Mike and Sarah share Sunday posts, as they are two widows who are in a new relationship together. Today’s post is from Sarah:
Well this post sure is a night and day difference from my last one. In my last post I was feeling so empowered and taking control of an otherwise negative situation. But today is not the case. The past few weeks a lot has been building inside for me I think. This would have been the week that Mike and I were on our honeymoon at Yellowstone. Instead, it’s life as usual – or life with coronavirus as usual. Even though I haven’t actually been thinking about that honeymoon all that much, I think there is a subtle negative self talk that has been building inside me probably since the day we decided we had to postpone the wedding.
It is a voice I’ve heard inside me my whole life… a voice that basically says “You’re undeserving”. It comes from losing my mom as a kid, and having a dad who was mostly checked out in dealing with his own grief and depression to really be there for me emotionally. It comes from having a “normal” life taken away from me at a young age. From allowing an abusive boyfriend into my life in my twenties and continuing to allow that for years. No one else told me this by the way. Somehow, I just internalized all on my own that I don’t deserve to have a happy, beautiful, full life. That I don’t deserve a successful career, or a happy family, or a normal life like everyone else’s. For as long as I can remember, that’s how it has felt… “Not like everyone else”. Most people in my life don’t really know about this. I do well to keep that old narrative quiet, and try to forge ahead in my life without listening to it, and to be confident and proud of who I am. And most of the time I’d say that voice is a thing of the past. But I guess sometimes ghosts can still come back to haunt you.
When Drew died, we were about to begin planning a wedding. It was the first time in my life that I truly let myself believe I deserved something beautiful. That I deserved a husband that was strong and supportive and loving. I remember feeling the exact moment that I finally let that old voice go and allowed myself to believe with all of me, that I was going to have that, and that I deserved it. I finally had a joy about it that was so full and rich, without any of the fear of what would go wrong to take it away. And then he died. Literally, the very week after that revelation happened for me, he died. It was yet another message reaffirming that I’m not deserving.
In those first few years after he died, I basically said fuck it to all those old negative thoughts though. I don’t even know how I managed to do that except that I was so pissed off I basically called bullshit on the negativity. I pushed ahead with the things I wanted in my life. I followed my passions and I began in some way at least allowing myself to have the things I’d always wanted in other areas of my life. In a way, his death fueled me. But after some years, it feels like I’ve lost that steam, or got lost. I hit a bit of a wall and that was all my self doubt needed to creep back in. And now here we are in 2020… with the coronavirus basically telling the entire world “You can’t”.
I think I was managing pretty well with this virus stuff in the beginning. We were going for walks, and hiking, and I was chatting with friends a few times a week, doing a lot of art and feeling inspired. But last weekend hitting, and having to postpone what would have been mine and Mike’s wedding day… it honestly just broke something in me. I have noticed myself getting quieter and quieter, isolating more and more in the past few weeks. I’ve noticed something just feeling off, heavy, inside me. Hell, I haven’t even really talked with Mike about any of this much, because I was stuffing it down so deep I don’t think I really was aware what was going on until now, writing it out.
Now we’re looking at October for the wedding, but even that is seeming like it will likely not be possible as the virus ramps up again this week. I guess I didn’t realize it until now, but what happened was not just postponing one of the most important days in my life, after having had that day taken away completely in the past. What happened instead is that an opening was made, for that voice to come back and haunt me. That voice that tells me I am cursed in some way from ever having those milestone, big, beautiful moments in my life. The voice that tells me “You’ll never have a big, beautiful wedding. You’ll never have a loving, dedicated husband. You’re never going to make a successful career out of your art. Who do you think you are? You don’t deserve any of that, and every time you get hopeful about it, it’s going to get taken away.”
THAT. THAT right there.
I HATE it. I hate that after all these years and everything I’ve made my way through, it can still get to me and break me down. After all I’ve gone through, I do NOT deserve to feel this way, yet I do.
Suddenly, I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face while I write because that voice has gotten so loud, so quickly, and I feel unsure what to even do with it this time. I spent a year and a half existing in the pure excitement that I was finally going to get to have a beautiful wedding and marry this new amazing man in my life. It took a tremendous amount of energy and faith to even get excited and allow myself the right to BE excited about a wedding again. That is a long time to build up to having it all taken away and life saying “Nope, sorry, there is a pandemic now and you’re not going to have this. You really thought you’d get to?” It has totally shut my heart down, yet again, to the idea of getting hopeful or excited about anything to come. And I hate this.
Usually, I know how to take action to combat that negative voice. But this time, I don’t know how. The added complexities of coronavirus have left me even more depleted than normal, and I just feel really low right now. I’m still trying… trying to get creative about how we might get married in October anyway, even with zero people present. Trying to say “it doesn’t matter how we do it, as long as we’re married”. And I logically know that’s true, and I do feel that. I would get married tomorrow, with no one else even there but us, and be happy. But that negative voice in me is really using this whole thing as ammunition… fueling all these thoughts of how I don’t deserve happiness and therefore something bad is going to happen.
I think Mike has some of his own similar feelings, maybe not about the wedding in particular, but about not being where he hoped to be right now in his life, or our life, and possibly even feeling undeserving himself of a good, happy life. I think we’re both battling a lot of stress and negativity. I’ve been trying to swallow down a lot of this stuff, but I guess it has just needed to be said out loud today. So thank you for listening. It does feel good to just put these words down and get them out of my insides. Maybe it will help me gain a little bit of separation from this negative voice. If there is one thing I know, it’s that sharing the hard stuff does help it lose it’s power over us.
I guess I can say, to end this post, that this stuff may really hurt right now, but I know it’s temporary. I know because of grief… because grief put me through such a hellish journey, and I have come out time and time again. Life has taken so much, over and over again, and still I find my way to joy. So I’m sure I’ll find my way again with all of this too. I’ll find my power and my tenacity again. I’ll find my silliness again. It’s there somewhere still. That I am sure of. But today… today may just not be that day. Today, I am just sad, and tired, and not feeling strong, and that’s okay sometimes. Thank you tremendously for reading. <3