clean break

I was cleaning our babe cave all morning and over and over and over and OVER my brain is reminding me, “He would be doing this… and this… and cleaning that… or fixing that…”

I do not get a break.

I repeat: NO BREAKS. Especially not mental ones.

And it angers me.

I can’t scrub down my fan blades without the anger or sadness or anxiety rising… he would be here, doing this. Or that.

My brain won’t shut it off.
It all rises and theres no where for it to go… but out of my eyes, or here.
Here is where I lay it down. And into among a few other things (yoga, trail running and watching sunsets), this is also where I retreat.
My mind has found solace in these places that let me lay it down, healthfully unload some of it and focus.

My truth is: I haven’t spoken to a grief group or therapist.
The girls and I were meeting with a bereavement counselor, once a week, but she has since left that office. Now back to square one.
I am currently trying to quiet my anxiety long enough to find someone else for us.
I have not talked to anyone alone, for me.
I have not been and am on zero medication.

I am just barreling through all of this, as sloppy and haphazardly… finding my footing.
Whether or not that is “right” or “wrong” — no matter.
I wouldn’t shame anyone for going any other route, don’t shame mine.
I am still getting up and getting days done.
Slow as the progress is, I’ve lived all this time without him and still here to tell about it.

This life I am now building, a fellow widow poignantly said it: starting over with a (significant) deficit, already feels lonely.
Add on top of that, living in a new town, no family or close friends, starting completely over in many respects. With everything.
You couldn’t possibly understand how isolating this can feel. How much loneliness I experience?
It’s deflating… to say the least.

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But
, in those same deflating breaths, do you know what I also feel?
Freedom.

I made this choice. To move us here. Be the three of us. Without a significant support system or… plan, other than take it one day at a time.
But, I didn’t make this choice out of default.
Perspective made me think about it…
Its my first life-altering choice since I was 19 that I made without him.
Not that we ever did, so true to form, I didn’t take the assumed or expected or …logical… route.
I didn’t tag out, or check out of my own desires for my life. I honored my growth, and stayed current to what I wanted.

Certainly, I could have stayed near my own family in Texas. Comforts of family, life-long, helpful, caring friends. Familiarity. Belonging.
But I didn’t.
I looked at everything we had been through, everything we ever said, did, hoped for, dreamed of, aspired, and gut-checked myself… which pain(s) was I willing to exchange for a pleasure I hadn’t had …yet.
And honored Shayne, us.. but, me.

That’s every decision in life we make, every day, all day.
Is this going to bring me more pleasure, or pain?

And there’s always a trade-off. The pains trade-off. The pleasures.
Which are you willing to endure?
I was willing to endure the pains of feeling isolated and lonely, in exchange for the pleasure of feeling a slight empowerment and freedom in my choice and doing it. I was willing to endure those pains to gain pleasure I had not ever experienced with him.
On my own.

Like I have said time and time again to my health clients in our support groups, pick your hard.
It translates to almost anything you’re trying to change, overcome or progress.
You can either continue to do what you have always done and get what you’ve always gotten from life… or choose different and acquire a different result.
You will always receive what you tolerate.

Well… I suppose I just wasn’t willing to endure the pain of giving up my freedom to choose what I did with the rest of my life.

This tragedy, this moment, wasn’t going to make decisions for me.
To live this life on my own terms.
Make a choice in the face of tragedy that seemed not… right… but made plenty sense to my heart.
Confidence in my choice.

That’s what our processes need to be about.
Honoring us, the living.
The lives that still exist and move onward after the death.
Because yes, the life lost matters… but we still deserve to honor ourselves and what we truly desire out of this life we are here to still live, do we not?

To my fellow wids, onward.
Honor you, too. You’re the one still here.
Be who you are, and say exactly what you feel. And make decisions that set you free.

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And those who mind what you do and say and who you are in this season especially, don’t matter. They can’t.
And those who love you… won’t ever mind who you are and what you do and say, and are the ones who matter.
You already know this, because perspective has shown you, but you know exactly who they are because the rest will fall away.

joy+health+peace,

caroline

#widowstrong

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