Saturday, January 31, 2015

Do you think I'm sort of alive?

Very slowly, I'm picking up some important threads of the life I had before Jay.

Mostly this revolves around my eating habits. While Jay and I were together, we ate out for almost all lunches and dinners. Food was one of his greatest pleasures, and it was one that he lost whenever he was in chemo, so we chose to indulge that pleasure as much as we could while he could enjoy it.

But given that my addiction recovery program is based in food, that led to a lot of not-so-good eating and meal timing choices for me. I made it through without doing too much damage to the progress I'd made, but all that pleasure eating sometimes made things difficult.

I've had a lot of trouble getting back in the habit of cooking since Jay died, not the least because I'm now two years out of practice and was never a particularly good cook to start with.

But a couple of things have conspired to help get me back on track. The biggest thing is that I've been spending about half the week at my boyfriend's house, and his idea of meal timing and mine are way different. So it's become important for me to bring food with me that I can reheat whenever I'm ready to eat, which has nicely forced me back into cooking. I always arrive with my bag of food and take over the fridge.

So slowly, I'm recovering my cooking skill and finding a certain comfort zone with other people eating what I cook. This has long been an emotional issue for me - I'm extremely uncomfortable cooking for other people. But so far, the BF has been kind enough to eat what I've brought to share with little complaint (well, except for that lasagna that really didn't work out well - can't blame him for that!). So that's another step in the right direction.

And I can feel the difference. There's joy in my heart again, for so many reasons.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A motorcade of 'meant to be's', parades of beauty queens

It's been a tough couple of weeks on my grief journey.

It's been a year since we took Jay to Maryland for the clinical trial at NIH, as my Timehop app is relentless in reminding me.  Seeing those daily reminders of that experience has sent me right back into a grief spiral that bottomed out (I hope) with me sobbing at a pair of scenes in the movie Transcendence.

I'm still in that place of grief where I can't remember the good times. All I can remember are the hard times, the bad times, the scary times.  All the joy, the frankly ecstatic times - all erased from my mind, bleached into faded sepia scenes printed on shredded paper, barely visible, unable to be seen and comprehended.

I still have hope that this will pass, and that all the wonderful memories will come back, whether in a flood or in drips and drops over the passing of time.

The thing that concerns me the most about this is that I have the sneaking feeling that regaining those good memories is also the key to recovering some piece of my old snappy, snarky, witty self. She's still missing in action, and I still miss her.

So for now, I continue to grieve both losses.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't write me no more letters, my mailbox is full of bombs

Back at the beginning of the month, I ended one of the final rituals connected to the last year or so of Jay's life.

For anyone who doesn't already know, Jay used to have waist-length blond hair. You can get the idea from this picture of him:

This was long before I knew him, but it made me angry at the universe that chemo took his beautiful hair.

So somewhere along the line in 2013, I decided I was going to stick a finger in the eye of the universe and let my hair grow until he was either dead or had his hair back. At its longest in May, a few days before he died, it looked like this:

I got a trim then, which took a little bit of length off, enough to make me less crazy.

I didn't get it cut again until January 2nd, when it looked like this:

It was long enough again to make me crazy, and the whole purpose in keeping it long was utterly over. So I got it cut much shorter:

So the last visible bit of my grief is gone, the last sign in the world of my fight against the wishes of the universe is finally gone.

I'm glad to have my hair shorter, but it makes me sad, too, that my bit of magical thinking had no effect on the world.