Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Used To It

Okay, it's time for another Puddock ramble. I'm still not sure which direction this blog is going to head in, so forgive me if I plunge one way, then change my mind in a week or two.

I've had a pretty good week. Widowed now for more than two and a half years, I find that I am definitely through the grief process. How do I define that? Well, in my experience at least, I knew I was through it when I became comfortable with myself as a single unit, instead of as part of a couple.

I reached this point by way of baby steps, and the occasional grazed knee. In fact, it's been after some of my worst moments that I have really begun to make progress - it really has been a case of 'always darkest before the dawn'. January 1st was a horrendous day for me - a drain-centred domestic crisis, with no-one to call on as all my friends were off doing nice normal family things with their nice normal families, being in the midst of a dark and gloomy winter, and the feeling that things were never going to get any better, had me calling the Samaritans after really beginning to think that suicide might become an option for me.

After talking myself out for half an hour, I felt a bit better, and found I had regained some of my old resilience and defiance. I got the big gloves on, screwed up the drain rods, and set to work on my drains again - this time not thinking poor little me (well - a bit) but instead - brave, clever me and stuff the rest of the world. I still had to get the professionals in the next day but I was so proud of myself for attempting the job myself. No-one could take that away from me. Ever since that low point, life has been steadily improving. And somewhere along the line, I stopped feeling like a wife left to cope while her husband was away on some (extremely) long business trip and began to feel like my own person. There is nothing like being up to your elbows in shit (literally) for giving you credibility as a real, genuine grown-up.

With that new-found self-belief, I began to really believe that I had a right to exist. I began to stand up for myself. And I stopped feeling guilty for being alive, when my lovely husband was dead.

So now, three months on, how am I doing? I still get depressed from time to time - sometimes unexpectedly and inexplicably. I still think about the pain of the Golfer's illness and his anger at dying before he was ready, but it doesn't crack me up the way it used to. And at last, after thirty years of being entwined with another human being, I feel that I am standing straight on my own - I am going to be okay.

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