Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm Back

Hi all

I've been away, I am rather horrified to discover, for two months. The good news is that it has been, on the whole, for positive reasons. I've been sort of building a bit of a new life for myself, or at least, the foundations of one, and I guess I didn't want to risk jinxing it by writing about it here.

Now, don't get too excited, my little rosehips/prunes, I haven't taken any huge leaps. I just kept on taking the baby steps that I've been taking for the last three years. It's just that I found that the last few baby steps took me out of the shadows and into the sunshine.

Grief is a process, the experts tell us. I didn't understand that until recently, when I found that I was moving along this conveyor belt, almost despite myself. Despite myself, because the further you move along it, the further behind you leave the dead person that you loved. But you can't move back, you have to go with it and, at last, after three horrible years, I can say that I feel almost whole.

Things started moving fast forward when I decided to have a go at dating. Not that I have actually succeeded in dating anyone yet but at least the willingness is there. The only thing I was brave enough to try at first was an introduction agency. Felt very brave, and nervous, signing on with them but found pretty quickly that it was too conservative and slow-moving for me. I began to fancy speed dating, and wondered if they did it for old people like me. I was amazed to discover that they did and signed up for an evening before I had time to change my mind.

I was nervous when I went along but amazed to discover when I got there that there were other people much more nervous than I was. I had a great night. I didn't meet the man of my dreams, and I didn't meet anyone I really wanted to date, but I did talk to a dozen guys without sending them screaming from the room. When I drove home the next day (having had to drive south for the event - the Highlands are a dating dead zone) I felt like a new woman. I'd also spent a night in the big city and was impatient at the thought of coming back to the isolation and boredom of life here. By the time I got home I realised that I wanted to work again - now that was a surprise!

So now, a month later, I am working towards opening my own business. When I stop and take a breath, I can scarcely believe that I'm doing it. Back in January, when I was almost suicidal with loneliness and desperation, I couldn't have dreamt that I would be where I am today. It's not perfect, of course. I'm still too isolated. I still panic when something goes wrong round the house. But I have plans now, and modest ambitions. I am living again.


Kate said...

I'm so glad to see you back. I've been wondering how you were doing.

Glad to see that things are going well and you're moving forward in life!

Megan said...

"I found that I was moving along this conveyor belt, almost despite myself. Despite myself, because the further you move along it, the further behind you leave the dead person that you loved."

Absolutely. Trying to have forward progress (rather than the sideways drift I seem to have been doing for the last several years) is so painful when the loved one can't progress too. I know - I've always known that he would not have wanted to be an anchor, tying me down to that lost past, but it still doesn't make it any easier to start on the journey. It was complicated for me because for three years I didn't know what had happened - whether he was alive or dead - so that state of limbo began to feel like normality and choosing to move on was like killing him myself: admitting, publicly declaring that yes, most likely he would never come back.

I'm impressed with the multiple new ventures - courage and renewal in spades!