As I sit here just 3 and a half months into my third year I have been forced by myself to take a long hard look back to the last year. Some things I can say I am proud of, some …well…not so much, but all of them are a part of my journey and a part that had to happen for me to be where I am now. Here is view and outlook on the second year…
Those around us that have never been in our shoes have the great advantage of thinking they know everything. Thinking they know where we should be in “the healing process”, however if they had ever been in our shoes they would know that “the healing process” is a long lifetime full of ups and downs. I have had my fair share of friends and family judging me for where I am or am not in the process. And at times I thought they were right and wondered myself why it was that I was not better than I was, at other times was angry because I thought I was doing pretty damn well. Well taking the time to look back, read my journals and blogs over the last year and talk to some very honest and wonderful friends, I have now found out exactly how rough the second year really was.
For me the second year, as I was living it; was much much easier in my head at that time, in real life and looking back now it was much harder. The obvious of this is the lifting of the “widow fog”, becoming very well aware of my situation and turning into a blubbering idiot at the drop of a hat. With this also came the desperate need to numb the pain. There are many that will not admit they turned to some sort of substance to aid in this quest, however I can say with pride that not only did I do this; but I no longer need it either. I drank to numb the pain, and it was not during the day, it was not everyday; but I did drink to numb the pain. At the time did I know this was happening, oh hell no. Denial? Most likely but until recently I did not know how bad I really was. Then there was the full blown anger, wow was I a very angry person inside. Not much of this anger ever was shown to others and I suppose that is why some thought I was doing so well, they just never saw all my pain. I was angry at Chris, his Commander, some of his friends and not until I took this journey of healing to the next level did I realize how angry I was at myself. For the most part the second year for me, was just spent with the hope that no one would talk to me or notice me. That my phone would stop ringing and everyone would just stop giving a damn about me.
I went through the motions to get through that second year, that did not change from the first year. I did what it took to get through the day and as night fell and the depression set it I would get online and turn to those who knew what I was going through the best. Most of those people were from the Gold Star Wives online chat and although I do not belong to it anymore, at the time they were a great help to me. It was an outlet to get it off my chest, an outlet I thought was helping but looking back now was just enabling me to hold onto all the pain and anger. I had other friends online too, some were there with Chris and some just knew him. They were an outlet for me too but still a crutch that enabled me to drink alone and not face, although talking still about the pain.
Now in my third year something happened, a window to a beautiful blue skied, sunny spring day opened. I started to feel better about me. I started to want to live life again. I wanted to be the person I was before this all happened to me. Now I fully understand that being that person pretty much died with Chris but there was a part of me that knew the person I was when I was happy and content with life was still in there. As I started to make small adjustments in my life to change it, I started to really see things I had been missing out on. My kids were growing up as I was going through the motions. My ass had spread to basically cover the entire chair that I planted it in every night to chat online and the person in the mirror was this sad pathetic girl that just wanted to hide. And lord only know what had been spuing from my mouth on those late drunken nights and the funniest part of this I now know some of it and wonder what the hell I was thinking! But I began to lose weight which made me feel great about myself and with that came a new found confidence to face what I had created in my life……a disaster.
Oh the things I did and said in that second year are at times astonishing to me, but would I change any of them if I could, no! I believe that was a right of passage, something I had to go through in order to get to where I am today…just three months into my third year. I believe that without my second year starring my many disasters I would not be where I am today. I have taken steps to change who I am for the positive, does that mean I don’t still miss the hell out of Chris every day? Of course not but now I can think of him and not burst into tears, or turn to a bottle for comfort but mostly I have found out who I am and like who I am. I am a strong person, one who strives every day to make sure Chris’ memory stays alive in the boys as well as his family and friends, but its not a struggle any longer its just a part of who I am. I am a person who now looks in the mirror and sees me, a thinner version of me; thank god but one that I recognize and am learning to not only like again but love again and mostly be proud of again. I smile all the time now and it not a mask as it was a year ago, its real happiness behind my smile. My smile makes others smile now too, and makes them wonder what I’m up to. I enjoy life again, living it not just going through the motions. And its a kick ass feeling too!!
Do I still have my down days, of course; I lost the love of my life after all, but its not as hard to get back up from those days and they are not half as devastating to me either. And speaking of love, do I look forward to finding a new one, yes! Does it scare me, oh hell yeah but if its meant to be it will be. But the important thing in that area now, is that I am open to a new love but a different love, because there is no one like Chris and there shouldn’t be either!
The second year was spent trying to find a way to live with this and after a year of failing I decided to make a change one that has proven to be the right one. I hope by sharing my thoughts on the second year for me, it will help someone else on here to see that what they are going through is okay and given time you will move through this too and come to a time where you make the same decision I did and I hope that you will look back on this and make the right one for you!