Monday, March 4, 2013

Symbiotic Comforting


I turned 37 on the 2nd and simply didn't care or want to give my birthday a bit of acknowledgment.

My life right now feels a bit unsteady. It's as though it's on the cusp of something. What, I don't know. The unsteady feeling is rough on me and my anxiety levels have been high lately. The weather is all weird and I'm restless and anxious and irritated.  I'm infinitely sad that Dave isn't here and lately reminders of him abound.

I saw an Ellen episode tonight that featured a scientist. The guy did some fun and flashy science experiments that I know just over 21 months ago, Dave would have gotten so thrilled about and would have doggedly gone to work creating those demonstrations for his middle school science students. He then would have come home and shown me a million pictures of his students lit up over science because of the hard work he had put into the lesson.

I sat on the couch watching this guy and wanted so badly to turn to Dave and start discussing how we could make the demonstration work in his classroom. I wanted to cry and I couldn't. I can't quite freely cry right now as I type this, though I want to. It feels like I need a good cry but it's stuck within me.

Replacing the crying is worrying. I worry about so much these days. I don't quite know where the worrying has come from. I haven't felt this consumed by anxiety since the days Dave was in the hospital and right after he died. It is beginning to get even harder to be alone for so long. I've been longing for someone to just come over and stay the night with me. Just to know another human is in the house with me. I'm suddenly afraid to be alone and I haven't felt that since right after Dave died.

And yet, I still have much to be grateful for. I did get to have someone stay the night last night, my beloved girlfriend who was also there for me right after Dave died. I slept better because she was there. The other girlfriend who was my constant companion after Dave died got me a beautiful rose for my birthday to plant in a big planter for my balcony. The name of the rose is New Year. A new year of hope. I can't wait to watch it grow.

There is someone very new in my life, who was also widowed, who feels like a special gift I was lucky enough to find.

I have choir which lifts me up like nothing else and I have these sweet cats who shadow me everywhere I go, even more so when I'm feeling bad. I have a big trip to look forward to. I have life to live.

I just can't wait for this fog of worry and anxiety to pass so I can once again breathe deeply and enjoy the little things again. I can't wait to feel at peace again. 

I guess more than anything I wish I had someone with me right now to hold me and let me be really weak for a few hours. To cry while supported by loving arms. To hear reassurances from a voice other than my own. I get so tired of reassuring myself. It feels better to hear it from another source, somehow. I feel like maybe I've been so strong for long and I've simply run out of strength.

If anything, the last week or two has shown me so clearly, once again, how I have to reach out for help, earlier on rather than once it's reached a level of complete breakdown.

I need to allow myself to take a break from holding myself up and ask for someone else to do it for me just for a while. It's also shown me that at times, I still have to retreat to a deep grieving place where I simply need to treat myself like I'm in intensive care again. All but my most basic needs have to be put aside until my strength returns and I must get used to claiming that rather than pushing it away as something that is weak. It's damn strong to admit you've run out of strength. It's brave to say "help me because I can't help myself right now". I just forget that sometimes.

If you get to the point where you feel as though you don't have any strength left and even the normal little things that usually bring you comfort don't, I know. I know how hard it is. I know how scary it is. It won't always be. Things never stay the same.

I suppose I'm reassuring myself as much as I'm attempting to reassure you right now, but that's the great thing about this blog. It's symbiotic comforting.


  1. I truly understand. And for the longest time, I have longed to be "held". Not like a girlfriend or a brother in law or one of my adult children can do. But I guess, for me, like only my husband could do. Held, really held so I can let it all out into his chest instead of my pillow.
    I get "reassuring oneself" - that only goes so far. I long for someone that I trust - my husband - to tell me "its all going to be okay" with his hand on my knee like it used to be.
    The longings lend themselves to the strong reminder of "what is not" and the now that I hate.

  2. That really is the struggle, isnt it? That there isn't any respite now - it's all on our shoulders and we must comfort ourselves. I have wonderful, loving friends who would do anything for me, but ultimately there are parts of this journey that I must make alone. And, while I may lay down my burdens and rest as I must, there is no one to pick them up and carry them for a while. There is no one we can turn to who knows us that way, who we trust in that way to reassure us that we're on the right path and heading in the right direction.

  3. Yes. I get this Cassie. 'Claiming' the weakness for what it is rather than pushing it away.
    I've been stubborn and self-sufficient all my life and the weakness & confusion caused by this loss & grief is frustrating to me at times.
    I'm trying to learn to to embrace it for what it is. It's making me a different person and sometimes I don't always like what I'm seeing. Initially more compassion for others is now turning to indifference sometimes. (I just can't handle others pain and drama every time I turn around.)

    Anyway, recognizing the ebb & flow of emotions helps to ride it out. (Right now I'm in a shitty 'ebb', but I know the flow will come again.)

    And, like you, writing it down here or in a journal is comforting.


  4. I am right there with all of you. Thank goodness for this blog and Cassie's posts! I am NOT the only one..............

    1. Thank goodness for you. Really. I'm in this place emotionally where I need comfort. I need to hear others tell me it's going to be okay. I need to hear others say they've been there and they survived and I need to hear someone say that what I do matters. So thank YOU.

  5. This is sooooo me . . . "My life right now feels a bit unsteady. It's as though it's on the cusp of something."

    I feel like I'm in limbo and something is going to tip me over the edge soon (hopefully, in a good way!), but I just can't see what it is right now. It's a little scary and exhilirating at once.


    1. It's as though the scary part comes along with the exhilarating much more so lately for me.