I am a fighter...I am a survivor!!
I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. It’s been awhile since I cried myself to sleep, but last night, I’m not sure what came over me, but I just started crying when I got into bed. I think I realized that I took a step towards the world where you don’t exist anymore. Without knowing, I walked to the door and have my hand on the doorknob. The baby steps that the therapist recommended actually worked. (I know, I really need to listen to her more!) I got to the door and I didn’t freak out or panic or become hysterical. I think the pain and tears this time wasn’t because you died, but realizing that you’re never coming home. That this is my new reality. There’s no time machine or Earth 2 or any other alternate ending to our story. The nightmare is real. I’m finally awake. I was an emotional wreck today, I was in tears driving all the way to work (I hadn’t cried on the way to work since the first week I went back to work after bereavement leave). I had to pull myself together while I was crossing the bridge and get myself mentally prepared to talk through the doors. I couldn’t even get a handle over my emotions, I was still wiping away tears behind my sunglasses as I was walking through the lobby door.
My therapist wants me to acknowledge that the door to where you don’t exist is there. She wants me to not be afraid of it, to look at it and just acknowledge it’s there. I don’t have to open it or walk through it, I just have to know it’s there. And somehow, without even knowing or realizing it, it occurred to me last night as I was getting into bed that I was no longer afraid or scared when I thought about you never coming home. My heart didn’t beat uncontrollably and I didn’t break down in fear or panic. Before, the mere thought would paralyze and frighten me to the point where I would become hysterical or feel like I’m crumbling into a million pieces. I was resistant to try what the therapist recommended, and even when I was going through the process, I was very reluctant and didn’t think it was working or helping, since I felt like I was just going through the motions. But, somehow I went to bed last night and just started crying profusely for no apparent reason. I wasn’t sad. There were no triggers. Nothing seemed out of place except when I think about a world where you don’t exist, my heart no longer races, and I’m not paralyzed or frozen by fear. I realize how being home alone and doing things on my own seems normal now. I realized that I’m facing the door where you don't exist and I’ve started to walk towards it. I think my heart finally got the memo that you’re never coming home. I finally stepped out of the airstream and the sun is shining on my face as I stare on the only path I can take. The fork in the road is no longer a fork; it’s just one road now, and all I have to do is take my first step whenever I’m ready.
I guess the baby steps and channelling all the strength and courage I could find and muster really worked. This month, I’ve been focusing on getting to know myself again. Trying to figure out who's the person staring back at me in the mirror. I've been reflecting on my life and the journey I’ve taken to get to where I am right now. Realizing that all the peaks, successes, and accomplishments in my life never came without walking the valleys and enduring the struggles. This may be one of the deepest valley I have to walk thru thus far in my life, and I know that I haven’t even hit the bottom of the valley yet, but at least I know I have the tools to endure and conquer the pain and struggles that lay ahead of me. I just had to remember who my 20-something self was. The girl before she met you. The girl that used to love a good fight, who always had her boxing gloves on. She was a survivor. She never let fear become her boundaries. She might have grown soft over the years, but she still has one last fight in her. This is the fight of her life. She refuses to back down or give up or let the universe break her. She just has to remember...She is a fighter...She is a survivor!!
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A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.