Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The (Not Quite) Agony and the (Nowhere Near) Ecstasy

I haven't blogged here much the last month. I have been so miserable I haven't wanted to inflict it on anyone. I would never have believed that I could still be feeling this screwed up nearly three years after the Golfer's death, but I am. In fact, I feel worse now than I did at the beginning. But that is a good sign, at least I hope it is.

In the first couple of years, I was focussed on surviving, proving to myself and the world that I could manage on my own. There were lots of new things to learn, new challenges and also, let's be honest, the novelty of having no-one to answer to. I didn't have time to think about the reality of it all. Hell, I didn't let myself think about the reality of it all. Now I find I am beginning to thaw out, I'm raising my head for the first time in three years and I'm saying "Shit! How the hell did I get here? I don't like this. Can I go back now please?"

In this respect, I don't think my situation is much different from people who have been through divorce. It's the same feeling (I would think) of a life plan torn up and of the unpalatable choice of starting out all over again or of clinging to what is left of the old life. Neither is appealing.

For the first time since he died, I have been ill. That doesn't help the mood but, more importantly, it feels as if my body is telling me that it's had enough of all this bravery and stiff-upper-lippedness and that it wants to have a damn good tantrum.

All this seems to be heralding a new phase in my life. I am, for the first time, unbearably lonely. After two years of my house being my safe haven, now it feels like a prison, and a pretty sad one at that. I'm only really happy when I'm with other people. I even found myself crying when friends went away this weekend. (I have rarely cried since he died.) And I'm back with a counsellor - mainly because I'm scared that I'll cover up all this new pain as I am used to doing, and I don't think I should be doing that. But this is all good, I am certain. I think it marks the end of my grief process (or at least the beginning of the end) and the re-emergence of a Puddock, blinking as she steps back out into the sunlit lanes of society. I hope so!

I'm still not at all certain that I want to leave behind those thirty years that I spent with the Golfer. I'm not sure how you move ahead into another path, into new relationships without nullifying the past. It's going to be an interesting next few steps, that's for sure.


Kate said...


I wish I had some sage words of advice. I don't. I don't think you need to deny the past in any way to get on with the future, it just becomes part of the whole. When you're ready to leave the security of all you have built up and break free, you will. Someday it'll just be there, a little bit of hope, the urge to take that leap of faith, and you'll just do it.

You don't nullify the past, you build on it, you learn for it, you cherish it, but you also know that it IS your past and not your future.

Treat yourself well. You deserve it.

Puddock said...

Thanks Kate. I feel completely out of my depth. I have spent my whole life becoming an expert on family life and now I don't have one and after three years of trying to ignore that fact, it is hitting me full in the face.

But I know that all this pain is probably a good sign that I am thawing out at last and I am hoping that there is a wonderful green field just out of sight over the hill, and that keeps me motivated.

Anonymous said...

My heart really goes out to you.

My husband left me 10 years ago when I was 32. I had no other family and it sent me spiralling downwards into a deep and long lasting depression which has affected every area of my life. The loneliness is still unbearable.

Im sure lots of people will understand when I say that I take it one day at a time.

Last week I was really low and dispairing and searched the web for "surviving alone"

Up came your blog and I want you to know that it really helped me and lifted me up. I now dont feel so alone.

I think that people like you who make time to do something like this are some of life's genuine angels

I hope the good that you are bringing to other people comes back to you

Please keep blogging !

Puddock said...

Hi anonymous

Thanks so much for your kind words. It means a lot to know that the blog might be helping other people.

The extent of the loneliness is the thing that took me by surprise. Even though I've met loads of new people and have more of a social life than I did when I was married, the loneliness is unbearable sometimes.

I hope you'll stay in touch and keep commenting on the blog.