Monday, July 4, 2011

A Unique Fourth of July

Three months ago I would have thought that I was handling the process of grief pretty well, but recently I am not so sure about that. Time seems to be making things harder rather than easier. Don't get me wrong, I did not expect that six months down the road that everything would be fine but I didn't expect it to be this hard. I was warned from the start that people really don't need anyone the first couple weeks that something traumatic happens, rather they need people months down the road. It is at that point that the majority of people around seem to disappear and forget that someone is still grieving months down the road. I am lucky to have people in my life that continue to be there and want to see me get through all of this, but at times this is the loneliest road I have ever been on.

This weekend, fourth of July weekend, is a time to spend with family and friends enjoying the freedom that has been fought for. Usually, my fourth of July consisted of a lot of family time and also time with family friends. For the last few years we have done the same thing every fourth, which was spending time with the Schramm family for dinner and fireworks. It was something I always looked forward to because our families had so much fun when we spent time together. This year things would be a little different though and I wasn't exactly prepared for it to be so difficult.

Saturday I spent the day at the beach with Theresa and some of her family, it was a very relaxing time. We went to OB and once we left the beach we had dinner at OB Noodle House, which I had heard was good but had never been there. Those rumors were true because the food was awesome. That night we went out in OB to a few different bars, which was actually pretty fun. About a month ago I decided that I was going to no longer drink alcohol because I felt that it was only making things worse. I saw the person I was when I would drink and hated that person more than anything. I need to wait until I am further along on this journey before I can drink and actually control my emotions. Saturday was my first real experience being around people who were drinking and weren't really aware of why I wasn't drinking. It was more difficult then I expected. I can't imagine how people struggling with drinking deal with being around it. If it's that difficult for people who don't rely on alcohol to function then how is it for those people that do? It was a test, but a test that I needed to pass.

Sunday was also a good day. I went to church at the Rock in the morning, which was something that I really needed. I have been watching the services online but there is something about actually being there that changes the meaning of both the music and the message. It's important that I don't run away from church because it's a place that I need to be. The message included words that I needed to hear to open my eyes to how I have been lately. I have a lot of things that I need to work on but the most important is relying more on God, I shouldn't even think I can handle this on my own. After church Theresa and I went to lunch and then went to the beach. Kyle and Deni met us at the beach and it turned out to be a great day. Being at the beach is so peaceful and relaxing, which are two things I need so badly. The next part of my Sunday was spent at Kristen's house celebrating her birthday with a BBQ. It was a really good time spent with people that have become my second family. The conclusion to my night was a workout at the gym. I had a great workout and it was some time for me to really think about things.

Then there was today, fourth of July, a day that is meant to be filled with friends, family, barbecuing, and watching fireworks. However for me my day consisted of none of that. I was invited to some parties but had no interest in going. I had been running around all weekend and I didn't feel like doing that today, I didn't really feel like doing anything. I was exhausted so I slept part of the day and watched tv on and off. I decided that I wanted to go to the gym because right now that is something that is really important to me. I need to make some sacrifices to get to where I want to be and make working out more of a priority. Right now, my ultimate goal is to do whatever I can to make sure I don't have to have surgery again. This past week I got the results from my MRI and CT scan. I was informed that a bone spur has grown in my ankle again and is causing a block, a block that could turn out to be a big issue if it doesn't get resolved. I handled the news better than I expected but it definitely was hard to hear. I have worked really hard at getting better after this past surgery, so to think that I may have to go through it again isn't easy to deal with.  Anyways, my plan was to go to the gym, run some errands and then go somewhere to watch fireworks. When it came time to watch fireworks I decided I wasn't interested. There was so much missing.

I was used to being with my family, but this year I wasn't with my family at all. I saw my mom for all of an hour the entire weekend and each time I saw her she was leaving to go somewhere else. I am glad that my mom is enjoying life and meeting new people, but I miss family time. I didn't feel like watching fireworks without my dad here and without anyone from my family. It's been hard lately because at times I feel like I don't even have a family. The brother that told me that he would always be there for me is non-existent, and my mom needs to be out doing things to help herself get through this. I need to figure out what things I can do to help myself get through this, rather than worrying about people that are focused on themselves more than me. I am not saying all this in a negative tone, I am just realizing more and more that I tend to put too much energy towards others. Most of my life has been spent giving as much as I had to give to those around me and then ending up being left alone. I keep telling myself that I will focus more on my life but then I don't. I don't know how to just focus on me, and when I do I feel like I am more of a mess. Why can't I just focus on my life? Why am I so scared?

It may have been a bad decision to run away from the fourth of July, but it felt right at the time. The meaning hasn't left but the festivities were something I wanted nothing to do with. It might be the fact that usually I get excited once the fourth has come and gone because I know how close it is to my birthday. This year I don't even want a birthday, I just wish it could go by without me even knowing. Once again a huge part of my day will be missing and I don't feel strong enough to handle that. Hopefully I am wrong, and it turns out to be a good thing, something that I need.

Might as well end this post with the good things that happened this weekend. The majority of the weekend really was good, so hopefully this post doesn't seem completely negative. For the first weekend in a while my ankle actually felt really good. I didn't have a lot of pain and the things I did allowed my ankle the time it needed to heal. My gym workouts were extremely hard but they weren't hard on my ankle. I was able to push myself without pushing myself over the limits of what my ankle can handle. I saw an improvement in things and hopefully those improvements continue.

I also figured out some important things. I made some decisions that I am hoping will benefit my emotions and how I am dealing with things. It may not be what everyone else wants but it's a choice I am sticking to for the time being. I also realized a few things that are very important to me and I am willing to make sacrifices to get there. Today turned out to be a good day, different but good.

I hope everyone had a good fourth of July. I am so thankful for those people who fight for our freedom and constantly protect the US of A. I can honestly say that I am proud to be American.

God Bless,

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