I feel really good so I need to write it down here. I feel alive. I feel excited. I feel like I'm being and doing exactly what she would have wanted and expected me to do. I have this really odd feeling that she feels that she set me free. I don't know if that's coming from inside, or coming from her, but it's what I'm intuiting. Our relationship was long, intense, challenging, and full of longing. For the last years, we both struggled to be who we were while being together. We both struggled with her addiction and illness/poor health. I loved her deeply and intensely, but in the last years it turned into something different. I was committed to her and she to me, but it became a caregiving situation for me and she (I think) felt a dependency that she was not comfortable with. I think she and I were so intertwined, so intensely connected, that it was beginning to be too painful and something had to happen. I read her journals, from years past, and she always had an intuition that she would not be on this earth for a long time. She knew that her time was short. I felt her looking at me sometimes, in the last two years, and she saw my health and my being 10 years younger, and she would sometimes comment on it. I knew then that she felt she was holding me from something. I would assure her that I was ok where I was and that I accepted her and all of her illness and dis-ease. But, it was a darkness. I loved her with all my heart and would have probably been with her for the rest of my life, if she were alive. But, I feel that her passing was a gift for both of us and I'm grateful for it. For her, it was freedom from the human shell that she inhabited so that her spirit and soul could move on in beauty and without the weight of dis-ease and suffering. For me, it is freedom from the weight of caregiving and the dysfunction of addiction and someone else's suffering.
So, I feel like I am shedding all of it, slowly but surely. I can feel life. I am alive and healthy and young. My body feels strong and my spirit feels free. The experience of caring for a dying loved one and then letting them go has changed me profoundly. I'm grateful for her allowing me to be a huge part of her journey in that way. It was all done with love. It was all done with compassion and acceptance. I am learning how to be quiet. How to sit with my SELF. How to just BE present. I see others around me and I know that I don't have to give up myself for anyone ever again, and I never will. I have learned about relationship, about partnership. I have learned that it's ok to be alone and that it's ok to like someone but not have to change who I am for them. I feel confident in who I am and love my life. I also love to love. I love passion and sex and relationship. But, I'm excited to create love in a different way. To hold back, to create relationships without anxiety, to built up to intensity rather than starting there, to pay attention to those little things that I might not like rather than ignoring them because of wanting, to be assertive and speak my truth and tell my story.
Life is good. I will hold her close, in a special place, and will think of her and all of the things she taught me for a long time. She and I are still connected, and always will be. But, I know that she is smiling at the energy she feels coming from me. I know she would be proud of where I am and where I am going. I hope that where ever her spirit is, that it is truly happy, joyous, and free.
Friday, January 27, 2012
I feel like I'm walking out of a very dark and very long tunnel. Out into light that's too bright and somewhat overwhelming, but warm and full of hope and possibility. I'm still just outside the tunnel and do feel a bit of an urge to turn back and lick my wounds in the darkness for awhile longer....but, I've made the decision to only look forward, remembering the lessons and experiences of the past but not dwelling there any longer. I feel alive. I feel relieved. Even though the sadness and pain lingers. I know it will fade and all that will be left are memories and gratitude.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
It's amazing to me that through grief I am learning what "Being" truly is. Through grief I am understanding mindfulness. I am understanding being still. All of these things that I could not be before....I now have no choice but to be them. I'm learning that I like these things. I like to just sit. To be. Mindful. I'm finding fullness in the emptiness of grief. Intense.
i was reading something recently where the writer was saying, “i am powerless.” it made me pause and think about that statement. as a recovering member of AA, i know that “powerlessness” is one of the things that must be admitted/accepted in order to begin to recover. i understand the concept, and accepted powerless, myself. but, as i’ve continued in recovery, i’ve begun to question this concept. i don’t question that as an addict, when i was actively using drugs and alcohol, i was powerless over these things. when in my active addiction, i did not have the ability to control or the power to overcome, on my own. i needed help (i chose the 12-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous). once i had taken that step into recovery and had asked for help, i began to be empowered. gradually, as the 24-hr periods of sobriety stacked up, i became healthy, empowered, and stronger than my addiction. in order to remain empowered, i need to continue doing what i’m doing in recovery. but, i am no longer powerless. nor would i be completely powerless again, if i were to pick up a drink or drug….at least not right away. because of my believe in “the law of attraction,” it concerns me when i hear/read someone say “i am powerless.” there is such power in that statement. i believe that statement (or any statement that declares “i am”) sets into motion the power of creation. the person who states “i am powerless” is creating themselves as powerless. over and over again, the statement re-establishes their powerlessness and brings more powerlessness to them. i did not crawl out of the hopelessness and despair that is addiction so that i could continue to be a powerless person in recovery. so, i create myself by saying, “i am free,” “i am strong,” “i am joy.”
Monday, January 9, 2012
Don't you love when something happens and you see yourself responding/reacting differently than you may have in the past? This happened to me just yesterday. We had our monthly women's circle at my house and during the activity part I struggled with the activity. I tried to do it, but just couldn't be inspired, couldn't follow it through, and just really felt like I didn't want to do it. So, I didn't. That may sound really small and like it doesn't even really matter. But, for me, it was big. First of all, by honoring myself I was able to use the activity in my own way to realize whatever I was supposed to realize. If I had followed the directions, and done the activity, like I would feel was expected of me (so as not to call attention to myself, not follow directions, or look some certain way to others) I would not have gotten the message that Spirit was giving me through the activity. Secondly, I affirmed my own feelings and allowed myself to go with what I felt I needed to do, regardless of what anyone would think. Those things are huge for me. In the past, I would ALWAYS put others first. Whether it was others' needs, others' perceptions, others' opinions....whatever. No matter what feeling I was having, if I felt you might think negatively of that feeling then I would ignore it. If I was in a group situation, I would NEVER stray from what the group was doing, even if I didn't want to do it. (tangent: I wonder, now, if that lack of self confidence and self care was what allowed me to get so deep into addiction. My "not saying no" was less about what I wanted, and more about what you thought.) And, during the activity yesterday, I did not even think "I'm going to honor myself," "I'm going to allow myself to NOT do the activity"...it just kind of happened. I didn't realize what I had done until later when I was talking to my daughter, Amber, about it. Then I was like, "Hey! Cool! I let myself NOT do it because that's what I needed!" I think what happened was that I'm just in deep pain and deep grief so I really just don't care. My self care yesterday happened because I just couldn't do it. I just didn't have the energy. I just didn't care enough about what other people thought so I just didn't do it. And, then, during sharing, I cried openly and allowed those women to "hold" me and empathize with me. I went there. That's big, too. I think I felt, for one of the first times in my life, that I could trust and let go of my composure in that circle. I felt that they would love me even if I cried....and maybe even more. They didn't care that I didn't do the activity. They understood. It was about me and not about whether I successfully completed the assignment. This would have been one of those things I would have shared with Jamie. She would have told me how proud she was of me and how much I'm growing. She would have made me feel really good about it. Interestingly enough, I think Jamie has everything to do with this growth. Through her death I'm learning how to allow myself to feel, how to let myself go there, and how to walk through my pain without disassociating from it. I don't have a choice because the pain is so deep that I can't get away from it if I try. I'm grateful for all of it.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I was afraid to enter this new year. Jamie has never been alive in this year. I felt afraid and like moving into a new year without her would take me further from her, would make things more real and permanent. And, I do feel that way. Time keeps on moving on, it doesn't care what happens, who is born, who dies...it just keeps on moving. The first few days, after Jamie died, I felt that it was wrong that time didn't stop. I felt that the Earth and everything on and in it should pause, stop, and acknowledge the loss of her. But nothing stopped. I paid my bills the day after she died, the mail came the next day, I had to take out the garbage and do the dishes. The movement of the earth and nature the universe never ends, the cycle is never broken. I can count on it. And that's why my trust is in those things, that is where deity lies, for me...in those things that are constant, consistent, and unconditional. They give me comfort and motivation to keep on going. The fundamentalist Christian god is full of "if and then"....(ie. if you sin, then you go to hell)....it's not consistent, it's full of contradiction. It's unpredictable and full of conditions. I never felt I could have trust in that. If I allow my body and spirit to follow the natural cycles of the Earth and nature, then I will flow with it....I will understand that my health, success, growth, and balance does not rely on the events of human existence. I can continue to be healthy, successful, and balanced in the midst of turmoil and suffering. I don't have to stop being. I can be like a tree and simply grow around and through the fence that a human put up in the way of my growth. I can be like the "weed" that finds a way through the concrete. I find that strength in the natural world, I find the truth of living. I put my hands on the Earth, on a Tree, and I feel full of unconditional, unwavering, absolutely reliable love and strength. And THAT is how I keep on going.