Sunday, January 11, 2015
Finding Myself...where did I go?
One of the strangest things I have been experiencing lately is finding myself. I never even noticed I had lost myself to the extent that I had. To be honest, I almost feel as if a lot of me had disappeared. I know since June 2014 every second was devoted to my husband's care. What little bit of photography I did, I did outside in the yard, my artwork had stopped because I lost the desire to do it, and my online storefront completely went on the back burner.
After the doctor had told me that my husband had approximately six month to live, I tried to think of different ways to make my storefront more successful. I made a few purchases and brought in some new things but to be honest, I am not even sure I got everything listed. I tried to do things but never feel like I accomplished anything except for caring for my husband. Everything about me became a vessel for caring for him. His appetite went to nothing...so I kept doing research trying to find foods that were highly nutritious that could possibly help him. I designed recipe after recipe but once I seen he did not care for them or could not eat them, I trashed them. Towards the end all I could get him to eat was frozen protein shakes and frozen grapes. He started to have a hard time swallowing so chewing things almost became impossible.
Sometimes as we are going through drastic changes after losing a spouse, we start to experience things that truly question our stability and mental condition. So instead of talking about any of those things, I started doing Google searches and found many of the things I was experiencing are indeed legitimate problems and even phobias. Yes, I said it phobias. Two that jumped out for me is: Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder which use to only occur in children but many cases from adults began to surface. Once a spouse dies and leaves you alone, life changes drastically.
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia). Fear of stepping back into a sociability. Consciously or not, most married people become adjusted to always being around their spouse. Of course there are other cases where both spouses continues on their social activities, but the biggest majority will give their full focus to each other therefore, cutting their self out of the social circles. That happened in my marriage. My husband and I did not need to be in social networks, we made our own either going out doing photography and/or taking rides on our motorcycle. Yes, we were in a riding club, but even than if other members did not want to ride with us we didn't care, we still went on the ride alone.
I was watching this video on YouTube the other day about these four people talking about losing their spouses. One of the ladies I could identify with almost 100%. She went on to talk about when her husband died and she went from being a couple to a single person, their friends did not fully know how to act around her anymore. I have experienced this so much especially with members from our riding club. I had this crazy idea that the guys were my friends too... but actually I found out they were only my husband's friends, besides my husband hated the thought of me having a guy as a friend... which was one of many hurdles we had to walk through in our marriage.
The holidays were really a trip on different levels. First you are going through this very emotional grief process, especially in my case since I lost my husband 10 days before our anniversary and 9 days before the holidays officially started. You want to be involve with family gatherings and I was invited to dinner a few times, but with the exception of one family gathering, I chose to stay at home. I did not want to be around people and cast any negative energy on their holidays. I found myself doing a lot of crying alone but not because of being alone on the holidays just the fact of losing my husband. He was never a big holiday kind of person so getting through the holidays was not that hard...but the fact of him not being here really hurt.