Monday, February 22, 2016

The sky was bruised, the wine was bled, and there you led me on

It’s been a rough time since Jay died, and only now as I come out of the tunnel do I see just how rough it’s been.

After his death, I kept going through my life through sheer force of will, determined both to grieve as I needed to and to have a life without him.

What I didn’t realize was what it was I really needed to get over his death and what our time together had done and meant to me.

Last April, I had the opportunity to leave my job via a buyout, and I took it.

I pretty promptly fell apart.

I spent time looking for work, but had little success, and my efforts became more and more half-hearted. I was sleeping a lot, and half-heartedly exercising. I started seriously eating my grief.

I moved out of Jay’s house in July, and that disconnection of the last thing connecting me directly to Jay seemed to let me slow down enough to really start to recover from the stress of his illness and his death.

Only I didn’t realize that’s what was happening until very recently, as I start to come out of the darkness.

Our time together was wonderful and full of love. It was also pretty much wall-to-wall full of stress over his illness, his care, his future. Every decision we made together was inflected by the potential shortness of his life. The time we spent in the clinical trial and after we returned home from it was even more stressful than I realized at the time, and there were times during it all that I truly didn’t think I could go on.

The two years we were together sucked me dry, and I had no idea that was the case until I had a moment to just completely stop. And when I did stop, I fell over in exhaustion and didn’t recognize it for what it was.

I’ve spent most of the past year berating myself for not having any energy, for not being a self-starter, for not getting anywhere with my life or doing anything with it.

Now I can see that I was trying to live my life on an empty gas tank - dry tank, dry reserves, nothing but parched and scorched earth as far as I could see.

I’m starting now to catch my breath, to come back to myself in awareness that I’m not nearly done healing, but at least in awareness that I needed to fall apart completely, to stop dead (as it were). Now that I’ve done that, I can start putting myself back together, which means in part getting back to my addiction recovery program and in part just taking better care of myself.

This process is one of those things that makes me wish I didn’t take so long to figure things out, that it wasn’t so hard for me to learn the lesson I’m meant to learn. Being hard of learning is tough.

But then, so am I.