There are times when life throws you curve balls and you find yourself trying to duck and not get hit too badly. Then you get up and try to dust off and pull it together and regroup. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now.
After Willie died I made the decision to continue on the path I had started of living true to myself and that included making some tough choices. Those choices included moving cities and jobs and leaving behind people that I love and care for. I know they were the right decisions though and I’m content and happy with the choices I’ve made.
The move was somewhat long distance and that precipitated paring down my belongings to what would fit in a couple of loads of my car.
I found it very cathartic and almost freeing. To slash and burn essentially. Harsh looks at what I loved – really loved – in my physical belongings and only keeping those things. It became apparent very quickly that very few “things” really meant anything to me,. I did have times when I wondered if grief and shock were clouding my decisions and whether I would regret some of my brutal purging later. Now, more than a year later, I know that I don’t regret any of it.
So I find myself now at an odd cross-roads here in my new direction. I struggle with a feeling of being unsettled and not feeling “right”; with my surroundings as well as other aspects of my life and self. I have very little furniture but what I do have doesn’t feel like “me”. While I love my apartment, it has a feeling that it isn’t reflective of who I am. I have always had a tough time with feeling uncomfortable in my own skin even and that is now reaching proportions that are disturbingly intense. My clothes feel “wrong” on my body. Like a costume that I wear. I am conflicted about whether I want to be alone or to have arms around me at night. Solitude or companionship, the option is beyond me.
I go shopping and look for bookcases and chairs and dressers and come up empty. I wander stores looking for shirts or skirts or shoes and walk away with nothing. Searching for a picture to hang on my wall is endless hours of browsing followed by no purchases being made.
My forays into replacing my belongings and clothing “me” are filled with second guessing and an inability to make a judgement on even the simplest of things. Picking out a t-shirt is an impossibility for me right now.
I’ll be out and starving and can’t make the base selection of what to eat so I just won’t eat anything.
I have always been one to be able to do what needs to be done. I make decisions.Being the Mom, I was the one who never faltered with what to do. So why now? Why can’t I even pick out a pair of boots without analyzing whether my choice is “right” or “wrong”?
It came to me today when I was thinking about Willie and how his mental illness progressed and the care that he had, or didn’t have. I have done more than my share of thinking about the “what-ifs” and the possibilities that could have been had something been done differently. I have gone over every minute of every day that I can recall from the few short months that we struggled to get Willie help. Dissecting options that we came through and trying to uncover whether things would have turned out differently had our actions been different. We all have things like this in life but in this case, it is life or death that I second guess.
I know that we can’t go back and change things. I also know that there is no way to know if any of the choices would have made any difference at all. The worst realization has been that no matter how many times I question all that has happened, Willie is dead and that will never change.
So that brings me to where I now find myself. In the midst of finally feeling like I’m finding my footing again and where moments of joy are peeking back into my life… where I am starting to see that life will always be lived with grief as a companion but not as the weight it is now… in the midst of this sliver of hope and belief in healing I find myself frozen my fear. Fear that comes from deep down that somehow I DO believe that it was one of my decisions that carried us on the direction that ended with Willie giving up and ending his life. In the face of that, I am scared to make any decisions now, no matter how trivial or meaningless. Crippled by being afraid to make the wrong decision and then have to face the repercussions, I instead make no decision at all. I function at work just fine but in my personal life, it is starts and stops of functionality.
So for now, I try to take the advice that resonates. To be kind with myself. For now, that means that I will simply accept that this is how the grieving process is affecting me at this time.
I am choosing to be decisively indecisive. That’s the only choice that I can make right now.