So last week I put it out there that I’d been feeling happy and ‘doing ok’. I seriously didn’t realise how scary that would feel, as if I was tempting the universe. As the weekend came and went, I found myself full of anticipation and it took a while to work out what I was waiting for. Then I realised, I was waiting for the crash.
I know it’s coming. It may not be today, or this week, or even for another couple of weeks, but I know for a fact that it will come again and I’ll feel foolish for my cockiness. I know this, because there’s a proven track record. The grief always seems to build and build and then surge into a wave that drags me under again. Sometimes it’s dramatic and I find myself mid-meltdown in public, scrambling for a safe place to take cover while I try to keep my head above the tidal wave. Other times it sneaks up on my when I’m not looking – I’ll wake up one morning and it’s back, just smothering me in its heavy cloak of misery.
Gee, what a pessimist, huh!? Here I am feeling pretty good, but rather than just soaking it up, I’m fighting this internal dialogue: ‘Hey lady, who do you think you are! Don’t you remember that your husband died!? HELLOOOOO!! Who are you kidding, pretending that you’re not only coping – but actually finding some enjoyment in this world? Pfft, good luck with that, enjoy your DENIAL, fool!’ Yeah, my niggling negative voice is harsh.
There it is… denial. That’s what I’m worried about. Am I really doing ok at the moment or am I just in a temporary state of denial where I’m subconsciously pretending that Dan isn’t really dead, he’s just gone away for a while. Is it possible that I’ve just blocked out the horror of his suicide because it’s just too painful to deal with? Maybe I’m not actually taking steps forward by feeling happy in my life, but rather, I’m regressing into a shock-like state where my brain is just having a holiday from the trauma?
How exhausting it is to be constantly questioning and judging myself. When did I lost my confidence in my ability to know my own heart? Why can't I just trust myself? I think a big part of it is that I didn’t see Dan’s death coming. I was so happy in my newly-wed glow, so secure in our love, so excited for our future together, so confident that Dan’s treatment was on the right track, so sure that he’d talk to me if he didn’t feel ok. Now I look at that person and just think – you were so naive. It’s always there – I missed the signs, I let him down, I failed him. Will I ever trust myself again? Will I ever let myself off the hook for not seeing how much he was struggling
I really hope so. I know it’s not my fault and I didn’t cause his death, but I can’t imagine ever not wishing that I’d been able to save him. I will miss him forever.