My view of the world through words & photos
Tomorrow is my birthday. Last year, at this time, I was in Chicago celebrating with family during the weekend. This year’s birthday is on a Monday. The only plan is to have dinner out with my daughter. And that is only because she keeps asking what special thing I have planned for my birthday. I’m so grateful for this teen who wants only good for her mom in spite of the death of her dad.
She shouldn’t have to worry about me. But she does. Much the same way she says I don’t have to worry about her. But I do.
As we begin this second year without Bill, I realize I lived a good part of the first year in a bit of a fog. There are things I don’t remember. There are other things I have a vague memory of, especially if someone recounts the incident. Many things are very sharp – and most of those of quite painful.
Shortly after Bill died, I wrote a post about how incredible my friends have been in rallying around us. Someone who read this post said I was very lucky because her friends seemed to have abandoned her as soon as the funeral was over, as if her widowhood was contagious.
My friends are still very supportive. That doesn’t change the fact that I often feel isolated. When you are a couple, you go and do things with other couples. Because of Bill’s illness, we stopped doing things with others many years ago. Bill felt it was just too difficult to deal with all of his issues in public settings. I learned that forcing someone who is fighting depression and anxiety, on top of physical illnesses and conditions, into social situations is not a good thing. No one ends up having a good time. And the aftereffects can take a long time to go away.
So, now, it doesn’t surprise me that while my friends call and arrange to meet for dinner or lunch, they don’t automatically think to invite me to other social gatherings. We stopped accepting their invitations for reasons they never fully understood. Bill saw his mental illness as something to hide, so we didn’t talk about it with family or friends. I don’t think he gave them enough credit, but I honored his wishes at that time.
I realize I am going to have to make changes. No one else is responsible for my happiness but me. I know this isn’t going to be easy, but I am going to have to find a way to establish the life I want to live from now on. I have a choice to sit home and feel sorry for myself, or to find a way to put some life back into my life.
I choose to cross this next bridge. I choose life.