Well, after nearly three years of widowhood, I have finally snapped. I seem to be a different person. I am fed up being lonely and cannot bear the thought of another thirty years of isolation and ever-increasing loopiness. I WANT TO BE NORMAL AGAIN!!
So I have taken the plunge and joined a dating agency. Who'd have thought it? I certainly wouldn't until last week.
I think (I hope) that it's a good and normal thing to want to do though. All I know is that I don't want to spend another day, never mind the rest of my life, alone. So what happened?
For the first two and a half years after the Golfer died, the grief was all about him. It was a mixture of sadness at the life he wouldn't have; and guilt that I would carry on living; it was partly a kind of loyalty to the Puddock/Golfer tribe - he might be gone but we'd keep things going; and there was an overwhelming feeling that I had had my go at love - I had had my throw of the dice at 18, fallen in love, filled a house, I had done the raising kids bit, it was just bad luck that our go had run out early but I just had to accept it and live with the consequences. I don't know where this thought came from but it was at the bottom of everything I did these last thirty-odd months. I behaved, I guess, as if he had gone away on a particularly long business trip, and I had done what I usually did when he went away - I had done my best to be brave and fill my time productively. Then - bam! - out of nowhere a voice in my head began yelling - "This is not enough! I'm drowning here. I'm invisible and I'm drowning."
It is as if my body has got fed up waiting for my brain to come to its senses and is giving me permission to risk being happy again. I'm feeling grotty and I know it's down to stress and loneliness and frustration. All my symptoms disappear when I'm with friends or busy. The house, which was a refuge for me in the early days, I never felt lonely here, now feels like a prison. Yet all the time my brain was plodding along with the plan. But the body has won out - it made me feel so ill and so depressed that I knew I had to do something. And first order of the day seemed to be to at least meet some men. Second order of the day is to move away from this unhappy place and third order is to find a new career but first things first...
So I've done it! I don't expect to meet the second love of my life but it will be lovely to have male company again, even if it's just coffee and a chat. Wish me luck!