I am going to turn my focus slightly with this blog from snowmobilers to my fellow widows and widowers, or anyone else who is finding themselves in a really dark place.
My last few blogs have been full of light and motivation, and positivity and they are real, but I think I owe it to those reading this who have suffered loss, to explain the truth of how I got here.
I am just starting to go back to the gym. The first two days I will admit were a bit ridiculous. I basically picked up weights, put them back down. I wandered around the gym, not really knowing what the hell to do. I was there for about 45 minutes and decided okay, that’s enough. I remember looking in the mirror at my arms thinking what the hell happened to me. Many of you don’t know me, but those who do, know that my fitness used to be my number one priority, and I was jacked. When I got home, I just felt bad. I felt embarrassed and weak, and all I wanted to do was have a glass of wine. Fuck getting in shape; Nick was in amazing shape, and he died anyway.
I am going to be completely honest today. Not that I am not always honest when I write, but this is a bit deeper, and I think it needs to be said.
A couple of weeks ago when I was camping with my parents and my oldest nephew, my nephew asked me one morning why I drank a whole bottle of wine the night before. I was mad. He and my Mom were pretty much accusing me of having a drinking problem. I told my nephew he didn’t understand, and it was no different than Papa having four beers. I got so mad at my Mom and said if I have to explain to him why I am like this I will, he is twelve years old; he doesn’t understand what I am going through. So that night, I drank more wine.
It’s not always wine; sometimes it’s vodka (I don’t even like Vodka but it was in the house cause that’s what Nick drank), maybe even beer but I find beer takes longer to mask the pain. I have been drinking steadily since about two weeks after Nick died. I was a little hesitant at first because I prayed so hard that I was pregnant and I didn’t want to risk losing the baby. Once I realized I wasn’t pregnant (which was the hardest thing to accept), I hit the bottle, and I have been hitting it hard ever since.
Yesterday I went to the gym, and I pushed myself harder than I had ever pushed myself. I pushed so hard that when I finally finished all I could do was cry. I had no idea I still had that strength and power in me. I could see my muscles contracting, and I realized they are still in there, they just need to be woken up. Just like I needed to be woken up.
So here is the brutal truth of this blog ladies and gentlemen who are in a similar type of hell as me. People ARE NOT going to be there for you no matter what. They just aren’t. They are going to be with you at the beginning when everyone has a constant adrenaline rush because of what happened, and then they are going to ‘friend the widow’ for a little while, and then they will vanish. When shit starts to get real, you will find yourself with no one except those family members and closest friends who will accuse you of being an alcoholic (they were right). Those people love you, and you have to hold on to them, but the rest will vanish, and many will avoid you simply because you are a reminder of reality. You have to find a way to be okay with that an to be okay on your own. I say this with love and understanding, because the truth is, YOU are alone.
After my work out yesterday, I felt powerful. I felt like I was going to get my health back and my body back and be the vibrant woman I used to be. However, with that said, it was the hardest fucking thing I have done. How do you work on your health when deep down you really don’t even care anymore.
The gym I went to yesterday was the one Nick and I always went to together. I looked around, but I couldn’t find him. I would always peak around my shoulder to catch a glimpse of him working out because it was so damn sexy (sorry Dad), but he wasn’t there. It was just me. I said to myself, “I can’t fucking do this; I am not doing this.” I was just about to leave, and I got a text message from someone that has been holding me accountable. I just thought, “Well fuck.” Now I have to stay.
What I want to say today is that voice in my head saying “you can’t do this” is a demon. I have so many demons, and they have controlled me for the last five months. No one has really seen this part because it happens when I am alone; which is a lot.
Now I know how frustrating it is when someone who doesn’t have the slightest clue how hard this is, gives you advice and tells you what you “should” be doing. They are mostly all well-intended people but my God, don’t tell me I should just DO something when you don’t know how debilitating it actually is. But fellow widows and widowers, if you are reading this, I get it. I know how fucking hard it is. I know that it physically hurts your entire body to sit up and pull yourself out of bed. I know that drinking helps. It helps so much. Ya, it’s a depressant, but when you start feeling depressed again, you just have to drink more. I know that sometimes you think maybe if I just don’t eat I will die, and it won’t be considered suicide. I know that sometimes you just want to take a few sleeping pills, (the right dose) but then sit in the bath tub in hopes that maybe it just happens. “It” being you don’t wake up in this hell again.
I know how hard this is, I know you don’t want to see people happy because it’s not fair. I know you want to punch holes in every wall of your house and break everything you have ever worked for because it doesn’t mean shit anymore. I know that somedays you just want to scream at the top of your lungs and just say, “fucking take me already.”
I am so sorry for everyone who is reading this who didn’t know these details, but this is as REAL as it gets. For those of you who don’t get it, this is reality, and for those of you who do; I got you.
Yesterday at the gym I felt powerful. Something came over me, and I had no idea I could feel like that again. I came home afterward, I had a protein shake, I made plans for dinner, and I didn’t drink myself to sleep. I had hot water with magnesium powder, and I felt good.
I know it’s so easy to say “I can’t” because of what we have been through. We have been through an unimaginable loss that no one should ever have to go through before 90 years old. Nick was 30, and he is dead. The man I was so in love with is dead. If I want to be an alcoholic I have a right because I have been through hell. Right?
I have realized that this isn’t truly how I feel, those are my demons talking, and I know that now. I know that I have so many hard days coming up with the sledding season, our “wedding day”, our shared birthday, and holidays. I know the hard days aren’t over yet, but I wonder if it would be easier to get through those days if I am a little bit healthier and not ashamed of who I have become, because I am truly ashamed.
We have to fight those demons. It’s so fucking hard, but we have to because if we don’t now, they will ruin our life. The death of our loved one does not have to be the end of us, but your demons are going to do anything in their power to make you believe it’s true.
When you find yourself alone and ashamed and feeling worthless and unimportant, and you have no one to call, let me be that person. I had what Oprah would call and Ah Ha moment yesterday and I want to do what I can to help you get there too. It’s not easy; it’s fucking hard, and I know that, so you can TRUST me. I have been lucky enough to have someone wake me up who gets it, and understands my pain, but not everyone has that.
We will rise from this, but we have to keep fighting those demons, and we MUST win. If you need a little pick me up today, have a listen to Rise Up by Andrea Day. That is my song for you today.
To my fellow widows and widowers who are reading this, my sincerest of love and hugs to you. Lets Rise Up and live again. We can do this.
Ps. I am going to the grocery store to buy groceries today. Real groceries. Not Boost. For those who know me, know that this is a big deal. I am so scared and my demons have been telling me I can’t, but today I am going to fight them and choose me, not them.