Where I was a year ago (1-16-15)... Where I am now (1-6-16)
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
This is part of my blog from January 16, 2015:
~ My husband passed away on 12-22-14
~ I think I was in a mid-life crises before this happened and I think it's still in full swing. I am more confused about who I am now and what I believe than I ever was as a teenager.
~ It's time for me to take charge of my life and make it what I know it can be.
~ I don't know how to begin.
~ Blogging has been a huge help to me in the past.
~ I feel like I've lost part of me, yet, I think the best is yet to come.
As I read that blog, I never read all my blogs here, like I planned (read several though), but I FEEL like I am in a better place than last year, but before I can move on FULLY to 2016, I feel like I need to recap 2015 and place some emphasis on the things I did right. I need to do this because I feel like I keep setting the same goals and never accomplishing any of them and then I feel like a failure. Perhaps, by recapping this past year, I will be able to see what goals I need to set for 2016 more clearly.
So, here goes... 2015 started out with me newly widowed breathing a HUGE sigh of relief! Those of you who have read my blogs in the past KNOW that my marriage was not one for the books. We loved each other, but we struggled... ALOT. In fact, I was SOooo relieved that I didn't think grief would affect me.
I hung out with a sweet friend of mine alot. We had known each other for many years but became close during marching band season, and then starting going places and hanging out at her house some in November of 2014. After John died, she was there for me!
In January, I went to Regional Rally with Premier (been a direct sales consultant with them since June 2014) and got loved on, recognized for some achievements and motivated and inspired!! I came back determined to make this business work for me... but life gets crazy and I've never been good at continuing on with my goals during challenging times.
I found myself volunteering to do things for others so that I could feel wanted and needed. I signed up on dating sites, cause I was lonely and started having conversations I shouldn't have been having, etc... STILL thinking that I was not affected by grief. I felt sex-deprived BEFORE John died and it got worse after he died, it was like a raging inferno with nothing to douse the flames. I didn't want a relationship, but somehow thought I could do a "no strings attached" thing.
In February, I went to a retreat called "Making Peace with Your Past". The tools and information I learned at that retreat was like stumbling onto a gold mine! In all my psychology classes, I'd never heard anything so eye opening and practical, etc... This retreat came with a 12 week workbook and follow up group meeting with the participants and facilitators. The things I learned and the people I met and the things we shared are unforgettable! Best $160 I ever spent. I came home and deleted the dating sites, chat apps and numbers of those I had been talking too, realizing that it was not God's best for me. Upon leaving the retreat, I had as of that time, NOT cried in I couldn't remember when. On the way home, I stopped at a church and went in to the service late and it was a big church and I could go in, sit on the back row unnoticed and by myself. I was able to focus on the message brought forth and during the altar call, as the songs were playing, I felt like God himself descended on me and me alone and just held me reassuring me of His love for me while I cried like I had not cried in a very long time. It was very healing. Also, when i got home, I was strong enough to tell my 21 yo daughter no when she asked for money to buy tobacco. She really fought me on that and I had to stand firm, but I was able to do it with God's strength.
As I worked through the workbook and spent time with God and went to the weekly follow-up meetings I kept getting stronger until I was able to kick my daughter out of my home. She wasn't on the lease, she had gotten alcohol poisoning on my watch, and several other things she was doing that made it to where I could not trust her. Since she had OD'd on alcohol and I had to call 911 for the ambulance, that broke her parole and she was given a choice of jail or rehab and she chose rehab. I took her to rehab on March 24th. By the time I got home that night, I was feeling rough. I ended up with the flu, respiratory infection and bronchitis and some other stuff. I was sick for 3 weeks straight. I couldn't do anything and was exhausted. I felt so horrible that I would sit in the recliner and stare at the wall, no tv, no phone, no computer, etc... While I was sick, the depression hit and even when the sickness got better, I could not get out of bed. I struggled for a LONG time... There were times when I tried to function and did ok on some days, but for the most part, I was non-functioning for about 3 months.
Part of that was probably the withdrawal from my anti-depressant medications that I stopped after the retreat with the permission of my doctor who kept a close eye on me. I hadn't cried in so long and was so numb for so long that I had to do something so I could FEEL again. I still struggled some even after that 3 months, but I started forcing myself to do things.
In the meantime, I didn't really see or hang out with my friend since right before I left to go to the retreat as she was busy with a new romantic interest and I was busy not functioning. We went to lunch once though. My premier business kind of went down the drain. I tried in spurts, but my consistency was lacking. In August, after almost 5 full months in rehab, my daughter was discharged early due to not following the rules. NOT using, but not getting up on time and dipping her tobacco in the house and she yelled at a staff member. When I got the call, I was totally and completely freaked out! Scared to death, etc... as HER plan was to graduate the program and then live in that town and not come back to our town. However, long story short, she was 9 months sober on Christmas Day!
But, due to being discharged early, she had to go to jail for 14 days and that threw me for a loop and so I went to my first ever al anon meeting on August 31st... BEST decision of my life!
Al anon is teaching me so much!! It's about taking care of yourself and letting the consequences fall where they may for the alcoholic/user. I'm learning slowly. It's so much more than I thought it was or could be.
The apt. complex moved us from the handicap accessible apt. We lived in for John to a regular one in August as well. It was hard moving for the first time without John there...
I've learned alot about myself, like for over 40 years my motivation came from what others insisted I do or what they expected of me... It's rough learning who you are and trying to motivate yourself FOR yourself. I also realized that I blamed John alot for things I should have taken responsibility for myself. It wasn't him, it was me. I never took the time to heal from my childhood and become my own person before I got married and had kids. I didn't know I needed to, but I still can't blame him for everything.
I learned that over the years I only THOUGHT I had a relationship with Jesus. At first I think I did, but slowly it became me trying to manipulate God into doing what I wanted, thinking if I prayed enough, went to church enough, etc... Then my husband and children would behave the way I wanted them to. I'm still struggling with my relationship with Him, my church attendance, my prayer life and reading the bible, but I know He loves me. I know he won't leave me this way either...
I started subbing again in October and my first day, they asked me to sub 3 days a week in ISS at the middle school. That forced me up and out and I've worked almost every school day since I started. During Fall break in October, I went in a road trip to Alabama with Susie. We visited her dad and son and had fun hanging out in our hotel room. We had ALOT of driving time so we talked and talked, it was fabulous!
My fibro has been acting up worse and worse and my insurance quit covering the meds that worked and have been trying to put me back on antidepressants, nerve pulls, muscle relaxers, etc... I've been going to the chiropractor and that helps some, but I've also been to physical therapy for therapeutic massage and if my insurance keeps covering it, I think it will help ALOT!!
The 1yr. Anniversary of John's death came and we made it through ok. Christmas wasn't even all that bad, but we didn't decorate and we went to Indiana to be with my oldest son and stepson and his kids for Christmas.
So, it's been a year of struggle, failure, but also a year of taking steps in the right direction and making self discoveries. I hope to blog in the next few days of my plans and goals for 2016 & what I plan on doing with these self discoveries. I'm not sure what it all entails, but I do feel an excitement afoot this new year. I think I may have to go back and rework some things, review and let the lessons sink in some more. Also, I need more reflection time to review progress as I go and then revamp based on how I'm doing and what is going on in my life at the time, etc...
Thanks for reading, hugs to all,