I recently sat in my therapist’s office, weaving my latest tale of woe. When I finished, she looked at me in that measured way that therapists do, and said:
“How ready are you to really work on yourself?”
My stomach seized up. I wanted to scream, “Not ready at all!” and run from the room. But I didn’t. I sat and thought for a moment.
“I guess I’m ready.”
Remember the post when I compared all the crap I was going through to my spiral aloe? Several months later, I’m still spiraling.
It’s been almost nine months since Jon died. I’ve spent much of those nine months trying to convince myself that I’m fine. You’ve read it on my blog, more than once. (Here’s the most recent example.) It’s not that I’ve been lying, exactly. I often do feel fine, even more than fine. Sometimes I feel insanely happy. Like I’ve got it all figured out.
But inevitably, that fine feeling dissipates and I start sobbing in the shower again. (I don’t know why I always sob in the shower, but it’s certainly convenient. Cuts down on my tissue consumption.)
The past couple of weeks have been particularly difficult. I suddenly can’t figure out who I am or what I’m doing here. Even though I have plenty of support, I’ve become acutely aware of being alone. And I don’t like it. It’s…uncomfortable.
A few weeks ago I was having an emotional discussion with a friend. The friend suggested that I might still have a lot of pain to deal with. That suggestion annoyed me.
“I’m really, really tired of being in pain,” I said, trying (unsuccessfully) not to cry. “It’s so fucking boring. I just want to be normal.”
Looking back now, I think that was a pretty telling response.
I’ve realized that these painful feelings I’m trying to ignore are not about Jon. They’re about me. I started pushing these feelings away long before I met Jon; I’ve actually been pushing them away for my entire life. I know this sounds like psycho-babble. But it’s time I started working on my feelings. Working on me, rather than losing myself in another person.
I’ve chosen to “work on myself” in a rather unconventional way. I can’t describe it to you now, but I will eventually. My friends and family think I’m crazy. They think I’m making life unnecessarily complicated for myself. But I’m determined not to take the easy way out. I’ve come too far, and taken too many chances, to throw it all away because I’m afraid of my feelings. I have a rare opportunity to examine myself in a way that few people get to do. I don’t want to “fix” myself. I just want to understand.
All this working on myself is really hard, and it’s not leaving me with enough time or motivation to do the fun, bloggety-blog things that I normally photograph and blog about. I have to keep blogging though, so here are a few images of my favorite new relaxation activity: walking around the garden and taking photos with Instagram.
Crazy green leaf-plant.
Old mosaic table.
Cactus and cat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m so grateful to have the Melville Cat in my life. Smokey comes and goes but he’s here when I need him most. As Ms. M once told me, “Smokey is an angel in a cat suit.”
One last thing. I’ve just decided that my journey of self-discovery has a theme song.
Do you ever discover a song that you feel like you could listen to nonstop, 24 hours a day, and never get tired of? That’s how I feel about this song right now. I also love that the band’s name (Fun.) has punctuation in it, and that the punctuation is NOT an exclamation point.
I’ll keep you posted on how my work is going. Wish me luck.