Not all THAT bad.

December 7, 2010 at 10:53 am | Posted in Heartbreak, My life | 10 Comments

Second semester freshman year of college, I started dating a guy I met in the music department. He was a french horn player with a quiet way about him that I really liked.

We had been dating for maybe a month when it was time to go home for the summer break. But we promised to keep in touch via the US Postal Service. (Oh god, I’m dating myself. I was in COLLEGE when there wasn’t an INTERNET!)

Then I went home, and within days of being there, my world fell apart when I got the news of my cousin Amy’s suicide.

I spent that summer writing endless letters to all of my friends. I’d pour out my pain and grief into the written word. But during the day, with a few exceptions, life marched on. I didn’t cry much… and when I did, it was in the privacy of my own bedroom, far away from my parents.

And my poor sweet french horn player couldn’t understand it. How, when he called, I’d stand in the kitchen, my parents in earshot, and talk about my softball games, the kids I was nannying, playing volleyball at the rec center with my high school friends, practicing my clarinet (rarely).

Then he’d get these letters raw with pain, regret, and grief.

I never really could explain to his satisfaction how I was able to hold it together during the day and save up my grief for my letters and times where I was alone. How I was just emotionally stunted private that way.

Either way, it didn’t matter. That summer was our undoing, and I never really saw him again.

I seem to be repeating that right now. Except this time it’s my blog that is the outlet for my pain. I wonder if J reads this and wonders why I don’t let him in, grieve with him, use him for comfort.

If I’m being truthful, I don’t really know why either.

Maybe it’s because I don’t want to fall apart. Because grief colors EVERYTHING, and I’m more afraid of wallowing and becoming bitter that other people have what I don’t than I am of pushing it aside and continuing to stand.

Because I don’t want O to have memories of when his mommy took to her bed for weeks.

So I keep standing. And most of the time, the days go by, and I get home and think, well, today wasn’t THAT bad.

And then I post, and all of the emotion comes rushing to the surface, and I write about pain and loss and how bleak everything seems.

Just seems to be the way I process stuff, that’s all.

So I just wanted you all to know. Yes, I’m working through a lot of loss right now. And unfortunately, you all get to see the raw, unadulterated stuff. Stuff I don’t really even share with my husband.

And in the meantime, I’m trying to be gentle with myself. I’m giving myself leeway to take the rest of the month off of running, since it’s been so busy and I’m having such a hard time with motivation. My plan is to start up in January with a schedule which has me running 3 times a week with lower overall mileage, so that I get the benefits of my runs without the current pain. Maybe I’ll sign up for the Superbowl 10k race I ran last year. Maybe I won’t. We’ll see.

And in the meantime, whenever I’m with my family, I focus on being WITH them. Staying in the moment, even with O’s tantrums on steroids we’ve been dealing with lately. Focusing on the things I actually HAVE in my life, instead of what I’ve lost.

And mostly, I’m okay.

I’m just muddling through, which is the best I can do, right?



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  1. What you do, it’s the best you can do at the moment and that is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Hold it together, don’t hold it together, allow the ebb and flow. Allowing it is so important so that it has a place to go (the alternative, pent up grief, is toxic to mind, body and spirit).

    Keep doing what you are doing…just hold on.

  2. I thought that was the reason blogs were invented…a diary with a support system. My blog is my vent. It is my ugly place. To go and grieve and vent and lash out and have my tantrums…

    It is healthy to let it out. And we love you. Let J and O have the happier bits and we will take the raw bits. We will put salve on it and help a scab form. That is what our community does.

  3. It sounds like what you’re doing isn’t so bad. You need a place to grieve, and you need a place/time to focus on your life. So you are doing both. It’ll get better.

    Something you said caught my attention, though – do you now know whether or not J reads the blog? and he doesn’t say anything to you? I can’t imagine my husband doing that.

  4. I think what you’re doing makes perfect sense … that’s what we’re here for. I feel the same way about my blog, and so, so, lucky to have a community of people who will read it, sort the chaff from the grain, and support me. What you share with us, these raw bits, are a gift … not everyone gets to be this close to another human heart. I’m so thankful that you’re willing to share your story, and your pain, with us.

  5. I seem to be a lot like you. I want to shoulder the burdens of others and when I am burdened, I mostly keep it to myself…although I am not able to put it down on my blog (my family and husband reads it). Sometimes I wish I had a space to do what you are doing (maybe I will eventually find energy to do so).

    Until then–all you can do is muddle through. And you are right–you do have many things to be thankful for. (You kinda reminded me of that in this post)

    Thinking of you.

    (BTW–I have a video on my blog of my son playing clarinet–thought you would be one of handful people who would appreciate it)

  6. Serenity, that/this is the most beautiful post you have ever written (and that’s saying something considering how amazing you write) …I felt every single thing with you and now that you have finally told us, that I finally understand,,,,and who you are…well I love you even more. For being that vulnerable with us, for choosing us to share it with.

    I couldn’t think you’re more amazing than I do right now.
    HUGS My friend.

  7. Serenity-
    I understand the outlet and needing a private place, but in a previous post you stated that you didn’t want to be intimate or snuggly with your husband. In the long run, that will cause some pain on his part and he won’t “see” that you are grieving cuz he doesn’t see that part of you. Unless ofcourse he reads your blog, then he should understand perfectly!

    Leslie B.

  8. I know it’s easier to grieve in your own space, but I hope you will share at least a little of this with J. It’s a huge part of who you are right now, and it’s important to let him be there for you, even if your primary outlet is this blog. Hugs.

  9. I’m the same way, so I guess that in some twisted way, misery does love company. You have a good guy in J-he does seem to understand the process and doesn’t take it personally. If this is the right space for you to work through everything in a place that feels safe, then by all means use it-it’s a far better thing that pushing it so deep down that you never deal with it.

  10. Definitely do the best you can to muddle through. Sometimes it’s easier to put the raw stuff here, or in a letter, than deal with it face to face. Especially at first.


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