Facing Challenges, Uncategorized

First Fall

Once again (how many times do I start posts like this??), I’ve been wanting to write, and I have so many topics floating around in my head, but I just haven’t.  There is always an excuse–something I should do that is more important.  I can’t seem to get anything completed….I START LOTS of things, and I have plenty to do…..I seem to be falling deeper into a hole.  So, this post is important to me.  If I finish it, then I’ve accomplished something that I told myself I would do.

Today, I haven’t felt well.  Nothing major-just a dull headache, a little nausea, general blahness.  Normally, despite the fact that I don’t always feel well emotionally, I feel good physically.  I attribute that to all my regular oil and supplement use because if my body felt like my mind–Whew!  It’s NOT pretty!!  So, it worries me a little.  I have these thoughts about what if all this emotional stress is affecting my physical well-being?  Not something I want to let happen.

I have a theory that I’ve just been too busy until lately to mourn properly.  I don’t really know if it’s a valid theory, but it is one way to explain how I feel.  I share this because I know there are others out there who have similar thoughts and who sometimes wonder if they are going crazy.  I honestly don’t think I’m going crazy; I just think life has caught up with me in a big way.

I was in the midst of such chaos when Bobby passed away. I was still trying to recover from Harvey and trying to find a permanent place for us.  His death  was just one of the many things that I had to deal with, and maybe I just didn’t deal with it very well.  Who really does?  What does dealing well with death even look like??  Packing boxes, cancelling a new lease, cleaning out the house, apartment, and getting what I needed from storage for a final time plus just the physical details of his death left me little time to think.  I was physically and mentally exhausted.

Moving back to my hometown to regroup ended up being the best decision ever because I got to be with my mom for a brief time before her death.  But then, I was faced with her funeral and my husband’s memorial service all in one weekend.  Then, there were the holidays, and in January my son moved back with me (in the RV!).  I don’t even think I remember some of this time.  It was just too much for my brain to process!!  There was also my pretty major decision to live permanently next door to my dad and do a complete remodel of my grandparent’s old house.

Just after we got the remodel moving forward, Daddy fell and broke his hip.  He was in ICU for a while, and if it weren’t for my family, I don’t know how I would have managed.  I had a really hard time dealing with just being at the hospital.  Too many memories.  Thankfully, my dad is doing better.  I’m not sure how he manages to deal with all that he has had to face either.  He is a reminder that if we will look around and open our eyes, there is always someone to use as a role model to help us get through.  My dad is one of many!

The remodel of the house and being around for my dad and son took over my life, and I was so tired mentally and physically that I didn’t have a lot of time for anything else.  I enjoyed throwing myself into the home project.  It became my escape, and escape I did!  I spent hours/days/nights pouring over internet sites and home magazines.  I agonized over paint colors and drawer pulls.  I ordered samples and compared prices forever to find the perfect couch, the perfect mattress, the perfect bathtub…..   Sometimes I would look up from my home remodel research long enough to realize that NONE of this stuff mattered, that I was simply hiding in it.  It became my reason for living because I couldn’t come up with a better one at the time.  As awful as that sounds, it worked.  It kept me getting out of bed in the morning (that and the fact that staying in bed all day in the RV wasn’t really a good option); it kept my mind from simply wandering off.

Towards the end of the construction but still while it was in full swing, I made a trip to Houston to retrieve all of my leftover from that other life stuff that had been hastily thrown in storage after Harvey.  Again, there was that thought that as much as I had longingly coveted these items, NONE of it mattered.  That  storage unit did NOT hold what I thought that it would.   Some of those things that were packed away were nice to find because they saved me money by not having to buy them, but they didn’t bring me the comfort that I guess I thought they would bring.  Surprise, surprise: my old life was not packed away in a 10×20 space!

Then there was my daughter’s graduation from college and her move 1000 miles away all in a few weeks time.  And my son’s move 1000 miles away in the opposite direction.  Both good moves for good reasons but kind of hard on a momma.  So what did I do to cope after getting my lovely home fixed up nicely?  I started traveling…..running away…..from what I don’t know.  I guess from myself and my thoughts.  I took 3 amazing trips: one week in Utah, two weeks in Florida, and a two week trip through the midwest and all the way up to Lake Superior.  I spent time with friends, family, my precious kids, and my dog (of course).

As I started my last drive home, I began to feel out of sorts, and I honestly haven’t’ felt right since.  I realize this is my life.  I love my home; it’s a wonderful space, and I love that it’s all mine.  I like my old/new small town and all the sweet old friends and family who have welcomed me and been so kind.  I’m glad to be next door to my dad, and I’m hoping to learn a little more about farming!  I’m growing my essential oil business which I love.  I plan on doing some substitute teaching (if my application ever gets approved).  I have all sorts of interests and ideas for my future.  SO….WHY??? Why do I just want to stay in bed or sit and stare or watch HGTV for hours while not really seeing it?

During this past year, I have tried a few of those things that are often the downfall of depressed people.  I drank too much a couple of times; I ate too much too many times (why I’ve gained so much weight); I shopped too much (thank goodness I actually needed stuff); I’ve gone without a shower for a few days and NOT cared at all how I look.  Thankfully, so far, none of these things have completely sucked me under.  Thankfully, I am still accountable and feel responsible to keep trying for my dad and for others that I know pay attention and need me to be okay.  It’s hard though.  Disappearing does seem like an easier solution sometimes.  I just know that I won’t do that.  I’m glad that there is something in my core being that knows that.  I will keep living my life and trying to find the joy every day despite my not caring sometimes.   I feel certain that these feelings will eventually pass.  Though I will still have the grief and pain, I will adapt.  That’s one thing about us humans; we are extremely adaptable.

Right now I just need to get through THIS–whatever it is.  This funk that is making me hate football season and the approach of fall.  My husband adored both of these things.  He loved getting back into the routine of school and looked forward to a classroom of new students.  He loved the lower humidity of fall where he could go for a run mid-morning and watch football in the afternoon.  Whether we went to the Razorback game, watched at home with some wings in the smoker, or went to our favorite sports bar to watch with a cold beer, this time of year floods me with memories.

Early in our relationship, he proposed an NFL fantasy football league for our family, and we’ve enjoyed sparring with each other every year since.  This would be our 10th year.  Despite some reservations, our family decided to play again this year.  I’m glad, mainly just that we are sticking together.  I’m struggling to care about it though.  The only reason I ever cared was because of B.  It was fun talking about our teams.  It was fun agonizing over our lineups together.  It was fun watching him pretend not to care but really caring A LOT!  Last fall, despite the fact that B was not up for a run, couldn’t have a beer, and struggled to eat much of anything, we could still watch football together.  It was a way to forget for a few minutes or hours all that he was facing. fall leaves in water

I am hopeful that this football season and everything that the fall season brings will trigger wonderful memories without paralyzing sadness.  I know that I will continue to move forward.  My sadness and loss will always be part of me just as it is with all of us.  Denying or ignoring that awful things happen only makes us numb to the beautiful and wonderful things.  It’s that balance that I’m looking for, and this first fall is the place to start.