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.