You Can’t Always Get What You Want


It’s been a long time since I have written.  I have been struggling with getting my thoughts together. Hell, I have been struggling to get myself together! Sometimes life just gets away from me and I get lost in the shuffle.  Lately I have been running 90 to nothing and feeling like I haven’t been getting anything done.  Is that a grief thing?  A life thing?  An ADD thing? A depression thing?  An age thing?  I don’t know for sure, but I’m certain that it’s definitely a thing.

The 9 months since Brian died has been a total roller coaster.  Just when things seem to get easier, something comes up and knocks us all back down.  Not as far down as we have been, of course, but it’s still a fall. I can say with all honesty and without a doubt that this experience has been the most powerful and educational experience of my life.  I have learned so much about life, about death, about other people, but mostly about myself.  The biggest lesson I have learned is this: I am not Superwoman.

I have been fiercely independent my entire adult life.  I still am.  I am the woman who will fix her own plumbing, carry in all the groceries in one trip, work on my own household projects, open my own doors, pay my own way, etc.  Asking for help is almost impossible for me – it’s just not in my makeup.  My parents tell the story of taking me out on a boat with friends when I was three years old.  The adults were waterskiing and, at one point, I attempted to jump into the water screaming, “MY TURN!” When I was 8 months pregnant with my oldest child, my husband came home to find that I had not only assembled all of the nursery furniture, but had also rearranged our bedroom by myself.  I have painted houses, built fences, moved furniture, held a breastfeeding baby with one hand while plunging a clogged toilet with the other, and superglued my finger back together after I cut it to the bone, but I’ve learned that, as much as I wish I could, there are some things I cannot do.

I cannot process grief or love by myself.

I cannot heal my depression, anxiety, panic, or lack of focus by myself.

I cannot be both mother and father by myself.

I cannot pretend that I’m not a nervous wreck every moment of the day by myself.

I cannot pretend.  Period.

I cannot take care of my children and myself 24/7/365 completely by myself.

I need help.  I hate that I need help.  I mean, I really hate it.  It goes against everything I have ever believed about myself, but it’s my truth now.  I need friends and family to help me with the kids.  I need therapy and medication and meditation to help with my emotional and mental health.  I need to be heard and understood as I process this new life I’m trying to create.  I don’t want any of these things, but I need them and I have learned how to ask for them. Okay, it’s more accurate to say that I am learning how to ask for them.   When I do ask, I am given what I need.  It’s a whole new kind of DIY lesson, but I’m trying. 

Who is this bitch, anyway?


4 responses »

  1. Sarah, it’s a new and different way of doing it yourself: asking for and receiving help GETS THE JOB DONE. You created the friendships that are strong enough to help hold you up right now. You made the calls to get the therapy, and you are arranging for the resources to make them possible. Therapy is no passive walk in the park, this will be more work for you to do. You are doing it. So many facets to being a woman of prominence.

  2. Sarah, I have never lost a spouse, but I have been through horrible grief losing a very close friend and then my daughters best friend when she was 13. I understand your pain, grief, fear. All I can say, is you will get through this. You do have family and friends who will help. We just don’t want to interfere, but we are willing to help in any way. I know you don’t know me, (Dana’s mom) but I will help you anyway I can. You must keep going for your boys. It’s very hard on everyone. Keep your chin up and it’s really ok to cry and for people to see you cry. You can’t hold everything in. Let it out. Take care. Margie

  3. That bitch doesn’t exist. This whole American culture is about competition and separatism. People always talk about Darwin’s survival of the fittest, but Darwin only mentioned that shit twice and other people ran with it because it fit their agenda. Darwin also mentioned love compassion and community and how they help is evolve and are ingrained into our DNA. I think going towards a more community based society may be humanity’s saving grace… But its never easy. Most of the things that are good for us aren’t easy..
    Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts with us. When you accept someone else’s help you’re giving them the chance to serve as well.
    With love,

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