Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just thinking ....

Hi everyone! It's good to be back and I'm thankful to Colleen for taking over for me while I was gone. Interestingly enough, she and I share the same anniversary. It was my second without Jim and I'm not gonna lie .... it was tough.
But I'm still here.
And that's something.

Anyway ..... I was just writing to a friend and we were both talking about "thinking". She had been having a tough day and started thinking about how rotten her life is .... and then she thought of me. And so ended her pity party.
I received her e-mail just minutes after I had experienced something similar.

I thought that I had adjusted to the jet lag pretty easily, but it would appear that I have not.
I keep waking up earlier and earlier each day. Today I was wide awake at 5:00.
I hate not being able to sleep.
Very, very much.

So in those first black minutes of realizing that I was not going to win the sleep battle, my thoughts started racing. I could almost feel them pouring into my head. You know the ones: I can't believe this is my life .... still; I miss him; I don't want to do this for the rest of my life if "the rest of my life" is going to be long; why him?; why me?; 
my life sucks .....
I'm sure we all have many more we could add.

I could feel myself being carried down that current very swiftly. And then, I realized what was going on and knew that I didn't want to go down that river of emotions and pain and grief. So I chose to get out of the river. I physically stopped myself from thinking those thoughts.

When Jim died I didn't have the ability or the strength to stop the thoughts. Heck, I didn't have the ability to eat, let alone keep my thoughts in check.
They just came ..... all of the time, relentlessly. I felt as if I were drowning in them.
I could not stand to be alone in the house and so I wasn't. I couldn't stand the quiet and so the TV was on as a distraction all of the time.
I didn't want to think.
And if I was alone ..... that's all I could do.
And it was horrible.

But slowly ...... ever so slowly ...... that changed.
It was so slow that I didn't see it happening.
One day, I realized that I had been alone in the house for an hour ..... and had survived.
And then, even later, another day came when I realized that I had been alone in the house for an hour and I had stayed busy ...... and done more than survived: I hadn't even gone down the river for an hour.
That was a big moment.

And so I'm sharing this with you to let you know two things:
1. It's normal that your thoughts will take over and carry you for quite a while.
You can't stop them .... not in the beginning and there's no definition for how long your "beginning" is. Mine was very long. So don't beat yourself up if that's where you are. And more importantly, don't let anyone else beat you up for being there. It's your grief and yours only. It will be what it will be ...... for as long as it will be.

and .....
2. You will survive. You will move forward ..... one step at a time. Sometimes it's one step forward and then seven steps back. But you will move forward. I promise.
Even if, sometimes it's only one breath at a time.


  1. cheering very loudly at that post!!! :) my, how i wish i could forward that to those who were my critics...but they probably wouldn't care anyway.

  2. Welcome Back Janine! I am finding that the thoughts you speak of are being more controlled now. The intense thoughts of John every minute of every day aren't so much on the forefront of my mind, if that makes any sense. Right now, he is in my thoughts, 24/7, but I am able to function while having them. At first, I struggled with this happening. I didn't want the thoughts to go into the back of my mind, I felt like I was betraying him, but now, my body just can't struggle with keeping them up front. I am so exhausted. Now it's that one breath at a time that I try and concentrate on. It's good to see you back here. Hugs to you! Lorry

  3. It is such a long path with so many unexpected valleys, mountains, and rivers to cross. The thoughts may try to entangle you, but over time your healing has helped you to pick up your feet and move forward.

    Thanks ,