Visits of Comfort

image1_(1).JPGIt's been a week now since I made the big move up to Ohio, to live near Mike. I've had a roller coaster of emotions going on. At this point I'm just feeling like it's a miracle I've made it through one whole week. While I don't have any reservations about my decision to move here, still I'm having anxiety and headaches pretty much daily. A lot of change always does this to me. This is the farthest by far that I have lived away from home, and the homesickness has already kicked in too. Feeling vulnerable doesn't help things. Having grief wrapped up into it all doesn't help things. Needing to find work still doesn't help things. It hasn't taken long for all of this to constrict around me and start creating anxiety. I've caught myself spiraling into my own thoughts and fears about all this newness. The irrational sort of stuff that doesn't to any good to focus on. And for a time, this strong, resilient person that I am is worn down and overwhelmed too much to be so. I hate being in this state of overwhelm... 

It's not unlike grief itself. It makes you vulnerable. It takes your energy away and leaves you depleted, less able to function like you normally do. It creates limitations. It creates irrational stories in your mind. It gets your mind running rampant on you. In this sense, how similar my grief and the change of moving have felt. 

I've wanted to be able to just enjoy this move, to open my heart to it and just let it all happen. To meet it all fearlessly and in a positive light. It's clear though, it's going to be a battle for me to relax and be able to trust. It is just how I am now after so much loss and so much painful change has happened in my life. 

For the last few days at least, I have had a small break in the anxiety of it all. My best friend came up from Texas for a first visit Friday. It's been so comforting to have her here, and so much fun. Halloween has been our holiday since Drew died, and so the plan was to celebrate it up here in a new way. She, Mike and I went out Friday night to the bar for a costume party - all dressed as pirates. We danced and enjoyed the night, and for a little while, I didn't feel the anxiety or the fear or any of it. Yesterday, Mike chauffeured us around the area. He took us to a bunch of the best nature areas and parks. We saw old barns and waterfalls and gorges and lakes. With the fall leaves in full effect, it was nothing short of breathtaking. Getting to see it all for the first time with my best friend made it even more special. And watching Mike and her together, talking and laughing and getting along so well gave me such joy. Especially being that she has been my closest friend through all the years dating Drew and through his death and these years or surviving after. And now she not only approves of Mike, but she has gained a wonderful new friend in him too. For this new person in my world and my best friend to get along so flawlessly feels like the most comforting and beautiful full-circle kind of thing. 

In an eerie way, these past few days, it has started to feel like things are exactly how they should be - despite how painfully we arrived at this point. Having her here and getting to see new sights with her has helped to switch my panic mode off some, and help me see this new adventure as just that - an adventure. A new and exciting journey that she and I will be going on together, even if from very far apart much of the time. It's beginning to sink in, that things will be exciting, and new, and beautiful. Grief will still be here. But There will be new landscapes to explore... a whole new winter world soon unlike anything I have ever experienced in Texas. Sometimes, all you need is a good friend to remind you to shake off your fears and find the positive again. 

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  • commented 2015-11-06 22:10:45 -0800
    I’m so glad your bestie came to be with you especially for Halloween and getting along so well with Mike – that had to ease things just a little bit. Moves like this are hard with the change. Remembering also when Justin moved from Boston to New Jersey and he really wanted to get to Florida – but it took us 2 years to get to that point. Moving for love means so much. Welcome to Ohio – and I know things will eventually settle in for you.
  • commented 2015-11-01 17:41:58 -0800
    Yes, thank goodness for those friends, who take us away from our day to day worries of “what if…” with diversions. I almost feel “normal” when this happens, but the reality of how it really is always creeps back in. At least those glimpses of what can be still come our way, and maybe as time goes on they will be more permanent. Welcome to Ohio, my home state for 20 years.
  • commented 2015-11-01 07:12:43 -0800
    God it had to be SO wonderful having her there. I know how much Halloween meant to you and Drew, and Im sure it was different this year and maybe even a bit weird. You talking about being homesick really brings me back to Don’s move to NJ. He was very homesick for Florida, and all the little things he could do there that he just couldnt do up here, like ride his bike outside year round , or play golf year round, or park his car without PAYING a fee or getting a ticket. I remember feeling so guilty everytime he seemed sad or missed his friends and life in Florida. I probably over compensated because of that, and was always trying really hard to make him feel like this was his HOME and that people loved him here. I wish like hell I could tell him how much it meant to me that he moved his entire life to be with me and take a chance on us. I definitely didnt tell him that NEARLY enough, how muich I appreciated that and admired it. It was so courageous, just like what you are doing. So if Mike hasnt told you already, whcih Im sure he has, Ill tell you what I should have told Don many times – thank you for taking this risk and for sacrificing so much for love.