It took me months, but eventually I stopped crying every day and cried only a couple of times a week. From there, it became once a month. Eventually, I could fall asleep and stay asleep for at least six hours. I had a period of a few good months, where I could finally enjoy some of my former favorite activities again. But every once in a while, I would experience a setback. Sometimes it seemed to come from nowhere, other times I could pinpoint a trigger. As what would have been our first wedding anniversary approached, my conscious mind worked hard at forgetting about it. However, my unconscious mind had a field day. I found myself wide awake at 3am again, scowling from a series of bad dreams. I broke out in itchy, red hives and constantly felt run down. Of course, I realized what was going on, and the fact that this proved that I was not “over it” made me upset all over again. What was wrong with me?
I am still in the process of figuring out how to be my new “self.” My old self never had a problem being happy, appreciating a good meal, and enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon. My intermediate self is often grumpy and tired from trying to “act happy” all the time. Sometimes it’s sincere, sometimes not. But it’s always exhausting. Having never had to work at being cheerful, this transitioning self finds it terribly unnerving. Many of my current emotions don’t feel right, as though I’m being forced to wear a stifling costume in the heat of summer. It’s not that it hurts, it just feels really uncomfortable.
How my new self will emerge is still unclear. My intermediate self started my website (www.thathappenedtome.com) in order to help heal my past self and launch my future self into greatness. I created it strictly out of need – my own needs and the needs of other women going through a similar experience. Despite feeling totally alone, I knew I couldn’t be. I knew that other women had to going through what I was – even at this very moment! I wanted to find them all, to call them all on the phone and ask, “how did this happen?” I didn’t think I would find answers, just comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the only soul out there paralyzed by shock and sadness.
This year, I spent a few days wondering what my “Thanksgiving Post” would be about. While I am acutely aware of the things I have going for me, it’s hard not to feel badly about what we might think is lacking in our lives. It’s easy to list things we want, things we are planning for in the future, and things that we are waiting for to magically happen. But that wish list doesn’t help us navigate the right now, unless we take conscious steps each day to achieve those goals. I felt a great sense of pride when my site actually launched; it was a small step with a big meaning. I am grateful for every single visitor and I answer each post and/or comment personally. I am interested in every woman’s story; no problem is too big or small.
I might not have everything in place in my life just yet – but my goal is to do one thing each day that pushes me towards my goals. That’s how I stay motivated without beating myself up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can’t expect my New Life to be, either.