I think I'm confused. Am I actually doing better? Have I turned a very large corner? Is the worst of this hell actually behind me? Or is there no such thing as that being true? Am I about to set myself up for a ginormous fall? Like I said, I think I'm confused.
Last Sunday was the 3 year death anniversary. I wrote about it in here last week. I was in San Diego for Camp Widow. I watched the sunrise. I had a beautiful day and evening with some widowed friends, and I took the time to feel the beauty of the night and the sky around me, and to feel his love through music and lyrics, and how it still permeates everything around my heart. And then I waited. When the day was over, and when I woke up the next day, I waited for that inevitable "day after the important day grief hangover" thing that I always get. That delayed reaction of intense sorrow and unstoppable sobbing. I waited. It never came.
And so I came home, got back on the plane to NY, and unpacked and fit myself back into my own day-to-day life here. And then I waited. I waited for the inevitable "Camp Crash" that always happens whenever I get home from Camp Widow. I waited. It never came. Sure, there was some crying and I did go to sleep intensely missing him and feeling a bit of delayed reaction about the death anniversary, but it was subtle and quiet and didn't make much of a mark. I was able to feel it, and then still feel good afterwards. Nothing about this 3-year death anniversary devastated or destroyed me. There was no re-living of "that morning." There was no panic or anxiety. For the first time ever, it just simply didn't happen.
And now, almost two weeks later, I'm in a state of confusion and weirdness because I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am not used to feeling okay. I am not used to feeling a little more than okay. I am not used to feeling inspired and hopeful and like I can see a future that doesn't make me want to crawl into a hole and hide until the end of time. I am not used to this new state of "carefree" that I seem to be feeling lately. Part of me likes this new feeling, and I feel proud of myself for how far I have come. But a huge part of me doesn't trust it. What do I do with this? I don't know how to hold these feelings. I am not familiar with how they operate. And I keep fearing that maybe it is all a big dream of some kind, and when I wake up, I will be back to that terrified, hopeless, joyless person - marking time and moving around earth like a robot.
How do you know when you've made tremendous progress? How do you know when it's real, and when you've turned a corner, or walked down a different hallway altogether? How do you know that it's not a lie, and that you just think you are maybe coming into a new place in this grief and loss, but that in reality, it's just one of those "5 steps forward, 3 steps back" type of moments? How do I know?
I think I'm confused.