Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life and 23

I have watched time fly by me as if days have passed by without ever taking place. Events that would usually have a lot of meaning have proven to be unimportant when it comes to remembering details because my mind has just skipped over them. I have watched people come in and out of my life, as well as realized some of the amazing support I have surrounding me. People have given up things in their lives to be there for me and have constantly done anything they could to help me feel better, yet I continue to struggle. The conversations I have been apart of and the lessons I have been taught are things that I would never want to change. However, as I come up on the 9 month mark of losing my dad I feel as if I have only made steps backward rather than forward. At least I have felt that way lately...

Friday will be 9 months. You may wonder why I would be keeping account of the months since losing my dad but honestly it seems to be an unconscious thought. I feel as if the number 23 will forever be changed in my eyes and that I will never be able to look at that number as anything but the day my dad passed away. For the next year I will be forced to learn to deal with stating the number 23 each time someone asks me how old I am. Hopefully through that process, as well as over time it will become easier and that number will only be significant for the exact day. Constant thoughts like those last ones running through my head are apart of my day and night. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night with some of the most random thoughts that I have ever had. I don't even remember the last time that I actually got a good night of sleep. I feel exhausted often and some days are much worse than others but I know that I must continue to live.

As I read one of my grief share emails this week it talked about the future and not getting stuck in the past, which caused me to question whether I was moving forward or not. For a few weeks I had felt like I was making steps in the right direction and actually saw some light shining on my life plans. As I continued to talk about those plans I began to feel overwhelmed and scared. I immediately felt in a panic and anxious about the things I needed to do to reach my ultimate goal. I am not sure why I am so scared but everything in me is telling me that I can't do it. I used to feel so strong and had a good amount of self confidence. I always gave everything I had when it was something I wanted or something I cared about. Somewhere along the way I feel as if I have lost that. I am unsure if it was when my dad passed away or possibly before but it's a feeling that causes me to run away. I can honestly say that the future terrifies me and that it's very difficult for me to look ahead rather then back to the events of December 23rd.

The past week has been very difficult for me. I had multiple breakdowns where hope was non-existent. The days leading up to the Heart Walk consisted of nights where I cried myself to sleep, woke up throughout the night crying and also woke up for my day crying. I would leave work and the first thing I did when I got in my car was cry. Although all I wanted was to ask for help, I couldn't do it. I was worried about feeling vulnerable and also about bothering people. I wanted to try to make it through by myself, which is why I still haven't asked for anyone to be there. I asked for prayers, which was a very difficult step for me but I knew I needed them. I am not one to ask for that, not sure why but I am just not good at it. I am at a place in my grief journey where I am struggling and have a lot of those nights where I just feel alone. Those nights consist of me laying in bed awake, sometimes in tears because of the pain I am feeling. The hole that my dad once filled seems to be growing and I can't find my way out of it. Different issues in my life keep happening and I just wonder when I will show some sort of improvement. When will I actually feel like I am making forward progress rather than just moving backwards?

The important thing for me is that I must move on. It's not easy to move away from the past when the past includes losing something that was so important. My thoughts immediately return to that day and lately I have wondered if I could have done anything to change it. The thing about that is I know that I can't. I know that all of this was Gods plan, yet I can't seem to grasp that when my emotions begin to take over. The grief share email that I mentioned earlier in this post was something I really needed to read and a few days later another one about moving on appeared again. Now I don't know if that's a sign but I do know that I have had a rough time getting past losing my dad. I have always found analogies to be useful because I feel like they paint a picture for the mind. As I was driving today I was looking back into the rear view mirror and it reminded me of something I had read before about not looking too long at what is behind you. Could you imagine how dangerous it would be if while I was driving I starred into the rear view mirror only looking at what was behind me? The thing about the process of grief is that it forces you to focus on the past because you aren't able to move on from the person you lost. It's especially hard if that person was someone who impacted your life dramatically. The pain of losing that person will never go away. When people try to say that over time the pain will go away, that is not the case. You will in fact always feel pain from the things you lose but over time you have to find ways to move forward.

In my heart I know that I must move forward and that I need to attempt to move on from the things behind me but it's a difficult task. Trying to move forward knowing that my dad won't be apart of anything is a hard concept for me to grasp. He is the one person that I wanted to be there as I continued my life journey. But I have choices and those choices could be detrimental in how my life turns out from this moment forward. I can stay in the grief or I can move on. That doesn't mean that the pain of losing my dad will no longer be there because it always will be. I can't expect that one day I will no longer miss my dad or feel sorry that he is no longer here. That is something that I will always carry but it doesn't mean that I can't use my past to build on my future. I can't forget the past but I also don't want to live there. I don't want to miss out on a lot of great things because I am too focused on things that happened long ago. I want to move on I just have to figure out how to do that. I need to figure out what I can do for myself to help me get past all of this without having to bug other people. I want to be happy but without my dad here it's not easy to allow myself to actually enjoy all aspects of my life. Maybe that is also something that comes with time...

God Bless,

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