Life happens. Plain and simple, life does happen. Sometimes our lives can be filled with happiness and bounty, and sometimes it can be filled with grief, loss and despair. We can't control what happens to us during our lifetime, but we can control how we choose to deal with it, how we react to it. Sometimes, we can convince ourselves that we have everything under control and that we are "Fine", "OK", or even "doing great!" No matter how we choose to deal with circumstances that come our way, there will always come a time when a true reckoning occurs, where no matter whether or not you've been deceiving yourself or others, reality will eventually be staring you right in the face. We can never hide from the truth.
For me, my reality and truth is that I never honestly dealt with the death of Geordon. When he died, I honestly didn't know how to deal with the loss. The pain was so great and overwhelming, so I just chose to NOT deal with it. I ignored the support that was offered. I pushed away people who really cared about me. I pushed anyone aside who tried to reach out to me so that they wouldn't remind me daily of what I had lost. I stayed busy. I kept myself so busy that by the end of each day I would fall asleep out of sheer and utter exhaustion. I convinced myself that I was "fine" and "doing great" and just kept plugging away. I ignored the feelings of emptiness in my heart. I ignored the despair I felt every single day. I ignored the desperate need to cry, scream, yell, etc,,, and just kept a frozen smile upon my face, showing the world that I was doing great. It was all a lie. I worked so hard to avoid dealing with the tragic loss of my partner, that I started to live the lie. The lie began to consume me and in the end I think it almost did.
Mental health issues have such a dark and dirty stigma in our society that I think it scares most of us into hiding it from the world. We keep it in the closet - our little secret. I have suffered from MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) for most of my life. It is no surprise that his death would have a profound impact on me and certainly no surprise to me that I would experience an increase in my depressive symptoms. How did I not see what I was doing? How did I manage to live a lie - even keeping myself in the dark for all these months? When reality finally did hit - like a BRICK, just this past summer, I was completely unprepared for the backlash of emotions and despair that literally hit me. You can't hide from grief. It will find you. To lose someone who you shared so much of your life with so suddenly... I still can't put into words what that feels like. I may never be able to... I can however, share the experience with others, in hopes that anyone out there like me, who hides from thier emotions and ignores the reality of thier situation. Don't hide from it! In doing so, you will lose so much more. By choosing to hide and not deal with my situation I have lost so much more than Geordon. I have lost family. I have lost friends. Most importantly maybe, I lost myself.
There came a point this past summer when I think I realized that in order to put myself back together, I had to go into hiding once again. I needed to shut off part of myself in order for it to heal. I chose to no longer go on Facebook. I needed to sheild myself from everyone for a while so I could find myself again. For some time I was fighting an uphill battle, trying desperately to win myself back. Then finally came a moment when I realized that there was no sense in trying to find the person that I WAS, because that person no longer existed! I was forever changed, and if I was to move forward in life again, that meant letting go of who I was and learning to embrace who I had become. Choosing to ignore my grief was likely the biggest mstake I've made thus far in my life. What I have since learned from it has made me wiser and hopefully stronger than ever before. I can't say that I am fully healed yet. I am sure I have plenty more to discover and learn from all of this. What I can say though, is that I am still here! I am still alive! I am still fighting!
I've made a decision that it is finally time to plug back in to the world. I am hesitant. I am afraid. I am vulnerable. I am open. I am excited. I am ready!
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France
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