Tuesday-Question of the Day!

Would you want to relive the best year of your life if it meant you also had to relive the worst?

Absolutely fucking not.

For one, we’re not meant to go back, good or bad. I’m right where I’m meant to be, here in the present.

For two, I don’t want to go through losing Parker again. No way. There isn’t enough of anything in the world.

What about you?

Joy Sucking Ghost Wife

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I’m supposed to be on cloud nine right now.

And on one hand I am (Probably my left hand, the one wearing my shiny new ring.)

On the other hand, I’m stuck in widow hell.

There is so much grief over my happiness.  Grief I didn’t expect.  And I don’t know what to do with it, where to put it, where to store it this time around.  You’d think by now, I’d be used to this.

Every major event brings with it mourning because Parker isn’t here to see it and be a part of it.

But I don’t want Parker to be a part of my engagement to Wonder Woman.

I also hate that Parker has to be dead for me to have an engagement to Wonder Woman.

And I just want to be engaged, lovingly engaged, happily engaged, without it pulling up all of these feelings about a ghost.  It’s as if I’m still afraid of hurting her even though she’s dead and gone.  But I don’t even want to be thinking about any of this, I just want to be engaged.

A woman, engaged, to her fiancee.

I don’t want to be a widow right now.  I just want to enjoy this ring on my finger.

But the more I push these emotions away, the more I push them down and the more I reject this grief, the more it will push back.

I just need to learn how to let these emotions have their space with this.  They caught me off guard with the intensity and persistence and I wasn’t prepared.  Sometimes grief comes back up at inopportune times, and I don’t really get a choice in that.

I feel guilty about it.  I feel guilty for being a widow who is now engaged, and I feel guilty for being engaged and thinking about my widowhood.

Widowing ain’t easy.

Monday Question of the Day!

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If you could convince everyone in the world to do one thing at least once, what would it be?

I would convince everyone to do a professional photo shoot.  Photos are so important and no matter how many reasons you convince yourself that you need to wait to be thinner, happier, have a better home, better reason, better clothes, more money, etc.  Just get the photos done.  I’m so glad my fiancee and I went and I really wish my late wife and I would have made the time/found the money to get a set done at least once.

TS-7_websize

The Question?

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Relationship Post.

And a Really Real Widow Post.

This is a post I’m writing Saturday morning but I won’t post till at least Saturday night because Wonder Woman cannot know about it.

I’m more anxious than I can ever remember being, and I cannot talk to the one person I want to talk to most.

I’ve kept secrets all week long from the one person I don’t want to keep secrets from.

But it’s for her own good.

Tonight is the night.

Tonight I ask her to marry me.  Tonight I ask her to be my forever.  A step I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to take again after it was taken from me so suddenly.

Right now I’m more anxious than I can ever remember being but also more excited.  I’m thinking of all of the things that can go wrong tonight, but also thinking of the look on her face and all the ways this can go right.

I’m not a great secret keeper, I think she has it figured out by now, that it’s happening tonight, but she has no way of knowing when or how.

She’s done so many amazing things with me, taken me on trips and experiences that I’ve never gotten to have before.  I wanted her to have this experience.  I wanted our derby people to be there to see this.  I wanted the world to see this.  I’m so thankful that from my little idea of “I want it to happen at the roller derby bout” to this final idea, there has been so much input from the people around us.  This wasn’t just me, it was a group effort and it is going to be amazing.

But I’m so very fucking anxious.  I don’t do crowds and I don’t do public speaking and tonight I’ll be standing up in front of a crowd with a mic to ask my girl to marry me.

But I don’t get to leave my widowhood behind, even in this, unfortunately.  Mixed in with the excitement and the anxiety is a guilt.  Is it too soon, am I leaving Parker behind by moving forward.  Am I forgetting who she was and what we had by asking someone else to stand in the space she once held.  Am I giving up my title of widow because I want to take on the title of wife?

There’s also a grief.  The grief of knowing how much I have grieved to be at this place after 2 years and 9 months.  I couldn’t have predicted this, and in the shock of my newly formed grief I couldn’t have believed that in less than 3 years I’d be asking another woman to marry me.  I didn’t think I’d ever believe in forever again.

But I’m not naive.  Forever is something we hope for, and wish for, and strive for.  But even a ring doesn’t guarantee forever.  It can be taken away in an instant.  I could go to bed a fiance, go to bed a wife, and wake up a widow, again.  I’m constantly thinking of all of the things that can go wrong in a relationship, all the things that can go wrong in our life.

But I’m also thinking of all of the things that can go right.

With this knowledge I am asking Wonder Woman to marry me.

I’m the most excited, and the most anxious, I can ever remember being.

Tonight is the night.

.

.

.

And she said yes!

Saturday Question of the Day!

QOTD Saturday:  What are you doing for fun this weekend?

Tonight I have my Roller Derby game that I will officiate at.  It’s a mixture of fun, anxiety and work.  I look forward to seeing all of my derby people.

Tomorrow I have a friend coming over for crafting and dinner.  We will work on a chainmaille project and we’re having corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

What are you doing for fun?

No Change Please

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’m having a really hard time with change right now.

Even when the change is good for me, but especially when it isn’t.

If I expect _this_ to happen and _that_ is going to happen instead…

Fuck.

That.

All hell breaks loose in my head.  I feel the rage building.

I want to throw a temper tantrum.

I’ve been working on sitting with that feeling.  Seeing what I can do with it.  I know it’s irrational, things change all the damn time.

Sometimes the change is good for me.  I’m too tired to go someplace, and plans change last minute and I no longer need to go, it makes zero sense that I get angry.  Sitting with that feeling of upset is hard though.  I want to react to it.

But when there’s a change in plans that I have no control over?  What happens when I was really looking forward to something and it ends up not being able to happen?  There’s a mixture of rage and disappointment.  There’s a feeling of being let down.  I feel it settle in the pit of my gut and I want to lash out.  I want everyone to know that it isn’t fair.

But it wouldn’t do anyone any good for me to lash out.

I haven’t yet figured out how to find the balance between speaking up about my disappointment, dwelling on it, and just ignoring it and letting it dissipate.  Sometimes squashing my feelings isn’t healthy, but spending too much time focusing on them or complaining about them isn’t healthy either.

There is no easy answer.

I’m stuck tonight.  Feeling that gut wrenching upset in the pit of my stomach and being unsure of what to do with it.  Is it me, is it just my mental illness, is it just that I’m sick in the head and I need to deal with this on my own.  Or am I right to be upset over this and I need to speak up.

Just because I overreact sometimes doesn’t mean I’m never allowed to react.  But how do I know what is an appropriate reaction when I’ve been overreacting for so long?

How do I know when I’m just upset because of change, and when I’m upset because of the thing that caused the change?

How about we just avoid changing things?  If everything goes the way I have it planned in my little head, I’ll be a much happier person.

Being Heard

This is a Really Real Relationship Post.

I’m not used to being heard.

I’m also not used to listening, and that’s definitely a thing for me to work on.

This is the scenario I’m talking about.

I get upset about my needs not being met in the relationship and speak up.  My partner would get upset, lashing out because I have been wrong in the past, too.  Then I dump 20 other things that my partner has done wrong in the past.  It became a fight because neither of us was hearing each other.

We were too worried about egos and being right.

But yet again I’ve been surprised at how different things are with Wonder Woman.  Surprised at how differently we communicate and it makes it easier to speak up sooner, before I have a list of problems.

Wonder Woman is working longer hours.  I’m spending more time out of the house with appointments and school and the gym.  We’ve both become homebodies when we don’t have other obligations.

Time together outside of the house has suffered.

Time together in general has suffered.

It bothered me and I spoke up.

And with Wonder Woman it was different.  I was heard.  I wasn’t attacked and told I was wrong.  Even more, she made time and we went out and did things together.  We had an amazing date day together.

I’m still kind of in shock about this because I’m not used to it being this way.

I’m not used to being able to speak up without retaliation, so I would wait until my emotions have hit critical mass and I explode.  Instead of pointing out one thing that bothers me, 20 would spill out and it would become a blame game.

I’m enjoying the difference that healthy communication makes.  We’re working hard to keep these skills in place from the beginning.

It helps to have such a gentle, loving partner in my life.

Windows Wide Open

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I had a really hard time getting out of bed this morning.

Like, drag myself by the scruff of the neck kicking and screaming kind of difficult.

It was a school morning, followed by therapy and I
just.
didn’t.
wanna.

But I did.

And when I got to school my chosen sister was there with her infant daughter and that made everything a little better.  And class was quite interesting as usual and that made everything a little better.  And therapy gave me a lot to work on and think about and that made everything a little better.

And then I got home and it was hot and stuffy in the house and I decided today was going to be the first day.

Windows.

Wide.

Open.

It’s one of my favorite days of the year.  The first day that I get to air out the house after a long winter of everything closed up.  The first day with the blinds open and the air blowing through.

I made calls that needed to be made, and washed dishes, and wrote an essay, and did lots of adulting all while hearing papers blowing off table tops in the house and kids yelling outside.

It’s 6:30pm and it’s just starting to get that chill in the air but it’s not time to close up yet, the sun is starting to go down, the light through the front windows is perfect, shadows cast across the living room floor.

It’s the first day.  Maybe not the first day of spring yet, maybe not the last day of cold weather yet, but it’s that first day that lets me know that spring is coming and soon, soon I can pack away the coats and the winter clothes.

So, I had a really hard time waking up this morning, but I didn’t let it destroy the whole day.  I didn’t let depression take hold today.  I turned it around and made it a better day.

It’s the first day.

Windows.

Wide.

Open.

Round and Round We Go!

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW: Mention of Suicidal Thoughts.

I’ve had nothing to write about, really.  But the longer I go without writing, the less I want to write, and the more I know I need to write.

I had a great day Sunday.  An all day date, of sorts, with Wonder Woman, doing all of the things.  An amazing breakfast, good coffee, walking around Annapolis, and dinner at The Melting Pot.  One of those days that you want to never end.

But it did.

And I woke up this morning and didn’t want to get out of bed.  Eventually, I crawled out of bed, late, and went to the gym, late.  And when I got back home I climbed right back into bed.

I crawled back out twice, convincing myself that I had to find something to occupy my time so that I didn’t waste my day away under the covers, but each time I crawled back under, turned off the lights, and rolled over.

The entire time I was beating myself up for how useless I was.  And beating myself up over how useless it was to beat myself up.

Finally the suicidal thoughts started creeping in slowly and I rode that wave for a few minutes before they dissipated.  If I’m always going to end up stuck in bed again, what’s the point of being alive.

Days like Sunday are the point of being alive.  Now, Shut.  The Fuck.  Up.

The thing is, I’m really in a good place mostly, or I should be.  I’m doing all of the right things, I’m taking my meds, I’m getting sun and water and food, and I’m exercising.

Cooperate brain, cooperate.

Eventually I crawled out of bed for good.  I did some of the weekly stuff that I never got to this morning, I drank coffee, I freshened the color on my hair, I started dinner.

I know that when I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, it’s typically a sign that the day is going to be rough with depression, so I’m hoping tomorrow morning goes better.

Good Morning

This is a Really Real Life Post.

Or maybe a Really Real Appreciation of Life Post.

I cleaned out the fridge yesterday.

That makes a whole lot of dishes, because we’re horrible about eating leftovers, and I’m horrible about cooking the right amount of food (but I’m getting better at it).

That meant after taking the trash and recycling out, I had a sink full of nasty Tupperware that needed to be addressed, and couldn’t be put off.

I was already ouchy just from the fridge and trash.  I mean, lets break this down some.  Opening and emptying each of the containers took a toll on the joints in my fingers.  When you live with chronic pain, each individual part of a job becomes very noticeable, it’s no longer cleaning out the fridge as a whole.  Even grasping the cold bottles of pickles to move them around and get to other items is painful.

But this is supposed to be a post about appreciating life, you say, well I’m getting there.

So last night I did up the dozen Tupperware containers and few cups, and our drainer was overflowing.  I later cooked dinner (Chicken Parmesan with frozen patties, nothing extravagant) and left those dishes for this morning.

We ate on paper plates to minimize the mess because I was kind of over it by then.

So this morning I’m staring at a stove top with soaking pots and pans from noodles and sauce, and a drainer full of Tupperware that needs to be dried off the rest of the way. . .

And I’m thankful.

Because I’m capable of doing this stuff now.

And a few years ago I would have thrown up my hands in complete overwhelm and needed to get someone else to handle it.

A few years ago I had a home health aid partially to help with the dishes that I couldn’t handle so that it didn’t only fall on my late wife and son.

A few years ago I couldn’t have stood long enough to do the trash and the fridge and the dishes without taking a long break.

So as frustrated as I was to stare at more dishes this morning, and to realize (again) that  this homemaker thing is a never ending set of tasks that I have a love/hate relationship with, I was thankful.

Even though it hurts I now have the ability to push through.

I’m thankful for this life I have now, because at one point, all I wanted was this.