As much as we would like to be invincible and able to accomplish every pressing task at lightening speed, lets face it- we aren’t able to.
Today is September 29th, 2016. Just 7 years ago today, a 21 year old me got on plane and rode all the way to the UK to be with my 23 year old cancer-stricken husband. I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband and I (he was my fiance’ at that point in time) were forced to be separated during his re-diagnosis and stem cell transplant. I had to apply for an expensive fiance’ visa, which was a very long and nerve-wracking experience. Every day while I wondered if my fiance’ would survive the next day, I was also wondering whether we would get approved or not, whether we would be able to finally be together for good. I had to submit all manner of personal documents and photographs – enough to over fill a 2 inch binder. (Many of which I would never get back, so I couldn’t even keep this folder as a memory).
There are so many holidays and special dates that hit a nerve with me. This day is one of them because while this should have been one of the happiest days of my life… it has turned out to be a very sad occasion. It’s now nothing but a memory of a dream, of a tiny sliver of joy I experienced. It’s almost like being awarded a million dollars and then losing it all the next day by dropping it into a shredder on accident. (Okay that’s a horrible analogy lol but that’s because nothing really compares to how this loss feels to me). Of course I’m happy that I was lucky enough to ever be married to my husband, my best friend. However, I’m eternally anguished because of how I lost him and the fact that I had to lose him at all.
This whole week, even while I was in beautiful Destin, Florida. While, I was on the powdery, white sand and overlooking the clear blue ocean, I was filled with anxiety. I woke up with a terrible panic attack on the 25th and was reminded what time of year it is. Today, someone said something to me that has stuck with me all day. Now, this lady, (a new manager at my new place of employment) probably had no idea that it would affect me so much. She made a comment saying that it was good to see that I had “moved on”. I don’t want to discuss the context of the conversation, but the fact that she assumed that anyone could ever just “move on” and the fact that she thought that everything in me has healed disturbed me.
Sometimes, I like to think that I am a super hero. I like to pretend that I don’t ever hurt and I often use my smile as protection. I place such a huge burden on myself to be this image of the person I want to be. When I don’t reach those expectations immediately, I feel like I have not only failed myself, but other people, possibly my late husband. Ever since my husband passed away, I felt that I had to be strong for everyone else. This was in part because people would act different around me and I lost “friends” who judged me for certain decisions I had made during my grief. Truth is, I’m human too.
Right now, I’m learning patience. I’m learning to allow myself time. Sometimes I exhaust myself trying to do everything for everyone else and neglect myself. Then, I rush to do the things I need to do, leaving no room for me to relax or even consciously think. I’m a people pleaser. I love to see other people happy and knowing that I had even just the tiniest part in their happiness makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.
I think we all just need to stop and let ourselves be human. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day. This is why exercise and even meditation is so important to me. I’m learning that even though my best friend died over 6 years ago, I never really allowed myself to deal with it because I was so afraid of not being strong enough to bear everyone else’s burdens. So bear with me as I’m in the beginning process of writing my creative fiction book based on our love story. It has been helping me open up doors that I’ve closed and allowed me to open up to myself. There are times when I have to take a break or even start over because some of it is still very raw and painful. However, it’s helping me to remember, both the joyful and the painful memories so that maybe they can all reside together in… dare I say… peace.