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Friday, November 19, 2010

Familiarity

Yesterday, I said goodbye to the psychiatrist and the magic pills. It is funny how I feel that I come to the office to advocate for myself when I sit across the room from him. There is definitely a push-pull. He believes that medication can solve some of life's problems and I don't. I am probably being unfair when I say this about him. He is one of the smartest people I have met and to his credit knows so much about the medications used for psychological purposes. He obviously cares and spends a good bit of time talking to his patients. Unusual these days for a psychiatrist. But we said goodbye with the understanding that he is there when I need him. I imagine that I will see him again in the future but for now I am ready to go it alone for awhile.

I keep on seeing the corner ahead-am I "turning a corner"? That phrase so captures a vision of walking down a familiar street; approaching the turn to the unknown. What is interesting is that there is less a sense of fear than of anticipation. I move cautiously as I do not know what to expect. Yesterday I spoke to Dr. K about the grief street that I have lived on since February 20, 2009. Initially I was so stunned by my loss, by the chain of events that took Bruce from me. I sometimes still feel that "what happened" moment. And the shock stayed with me, so that every single day I relived the moments and the confusion that I felt when I considered my new circumstances.

The second phase of my grief was the adjustment to being by myself. Every new crisis resulted in fear, anger and sadness. I considered that my life without Bruce was not worth living-without really considering how my decisions about my life did not just occur in a vacuum. I was living alone, and felt so isolated, but there were people in my life who would suffer if I were to leave them. I had to start looking around me and choosing to move back into a world that I had trouble recognizing. Coming home at night was challenging and I would have flashes of memories in contrast to the emptiness. And I was so very very sad.

So what now? I am feeling more like myself, more accepting of my situation. I come back home after a long day and am not so stunned when he isn't home. I have to push myself to remember and see him greet me with a drink in his hand and dinner in preparation because I am getting so used to being alone. One day follows the other and the months pass. I try not to dwell on the happiness that I shared with him just days before his death. And of course, I miss him so much. But life has a familiar quality now; I am settling into new routines. There are some days when I am surrounded by my family and I feel grateful that there are so many good people in my life, even though my dear sweet man is gone.

I am not sure how long this feeling will last. The holidays are approaching and after Thanksgiving I am usually very down in the dumps-so I am prepared for the overwhelming sadness to return. Today though I am feeling OK.

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