Advice?

It’s interesting to me how over the last few days, so many people have come to me with their thoughts and praise. I’ve been repeatedly told how strong I am as I have heard many times before. I AM a strong person and I can make it on my own… That doesn’t mean I’m not hurting though.
I was told that I always give the best advice in these situations and now I need to take that advice… Hmm.. What advice do I have for myself right now? You can always see things more clearly when you’re on the outside… Well, life is unfair. Sometimes the people you love don’t love you back. You can put your all into something and be the best you can and it’s still not enough. You live and you learn. Someday, the pain will be replaced with happy memories. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and have some fun. You only live once so enjoy it. For a long time, I had myself convinced that I was crazy and just seeing things because of my past. I should trust my instincts (and not my heart.) All in all… Everything is okay in the end… If it’s not okay… It’s not the end.
I’m finding it very difficult to not blame Alex… If he weren’t gone, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I know this wasn’t my fault and it’s so hard not to place blame elsewhere.
Again I am so lucky to have my little girl. I’m not sure how much she understands, but she knows I’m upset. She’s the best thing I could ever ask for and even now tells me to “just keep swimming…”

How did I get here?

How did I get here? Here I am again, almost 31 years old and single… It wasn’t supposed to be that way. I got married somewhat young and that was supposed to be it. We had nothing and built a life together. I couldn’t imagine loving again after him yet I did. I thought I was so lucky to find someone who could deal with my past and wanted to start a new life with me. It turns out, through no fault of my own, love wasn’t enough and I’m left shattered and alone, again with no control over the situation. I can’t help but wonder what is wrong with me and what have I done to deserve to be unhappy.
I’ve been through much worse and I survived…. I will be just fine. Though I lost another part of my heart and soul (two parts this time)and a year of my life wasted.

2 years and a new year

Some days I really think you are a piece of shit for doing this to me… Especially on a holiday. What a low blow dirty move! Ruin the life I had and every New Years to come, even after I’ve rebuilt my life. Yesterday was one of those days.
Then, of course, I come to my senses and realize all the stuff I’ve been fighting for. You made a mistake in a dark moment. You were sick and in pain and couldn’t see what you were doing to the people around you and blah blah blah.
I’ve been doing well and living life and am not a mess anymore, so somehow I convinced myself that yesterday would be the same. “I’ll be fine!” Well yes and no.
I purposely spent the night away from home as not to wake up in my house. I feared it would be too similar to that day. I got up and got ready for work and Alexa ready for daycare. I was fine…. Until I backed out of the driveway. Then.. I lost it. I cried and cried bringing Alexa into daycare and through the Dunkin drive thru. I don’t even really know why. I decided I should stop, take a break and calm myself with a smoke (I know not the healthiest choice but my choice nonetheless.) At that point, it became apparent that I had no lighter. I had somewhat calmed myself down and realized I still had some time, so I ran into the grocery store, grabbed a lighter, and got in the only line open. The woman in front of me had a decent amount of items but what was I to do? She then picks up another item and asks for the price, upon hearing the price, she decides she doesn’t want it. Ok so I’m waiting and waiting when the cashier realizes the price was wrong. She picks up the item again (a window candle) and finds that it really is on clearance. The woman gets excited and runs back for more. She’s digging and digging and counting and counting and announces “well I have 41 windows in my house!”
O..M…G! I ask if there’s another register open, nope. I ask if I can go to customer service… Nope. I ask if I can just have a pack of matches… Nope.
They slowly begin unpacking the box and one by one swiping and discounting them. I was so frustrated by this point that I burst into tears…
Yup… Really, I did.
Finally, they opened another register for me and after 14 minutes, I left with my lighter. Thankfully, that was the worst part of my day.
I got through the work day okay and had a pretty decent night overall…. I was asleep by 11pm
Each year gets a little better. I’m so thankful for all who were there for me, checked in on me, and distracted me.
Yet I’m shocked at those who seemed to have forgotten…
Happy New Year… I’m looking forward to what 2015 has to bring.

December

Here we are. It’s December again and people are wondering and asking how I am doing with it all. I know the dreaded date is coming and I’m worried how I will handle it this year. I’m not going on vacation this year but still plan on hiding away from my house for a few days. I am working on NYE and worry about it feeling too similar to that day. That’s what I did.. Got up, went to work, came home, and then it all happened.
Last year I made a special meal and honored him. This year, I’m tempted to use the phrase “I’m over it…” Not to say I’m over what happened but how many times do I put myself through the agony of a memorial? This year, I want it to just be New Years. I know that is not logical and it will never be “just New Years” but there is more happiness this year than the past two.
When it comes to Alex, I’ve been in the anger zone a lot lately and I don’t really feel like thinking about all of this. Mean? Maybe. But there comes a point when it’s old and annoying. I don’t want my life to revolve around this. I’ve rebuilt my life and I’m happy, yet I will forever have this major bump in the road, major mark on my soul and major dent in my sanity. I don’t want it, and I didn’t deserve it but it is what it is.
The time is coming closer and closer to having to do some explaining to Alexa. She is clearly confused about what a dad is and who her dad is and what a family consists of. How much does a 2 year old understand and how much do I fight her on knowing the truth? Truth is, I’m not so sure anymore. Alex will always be her father but he’s not the one raising her… I am.
Recently someone told me that they wished we could have Alex back for a day. This really got me thinking because, now, at this point in my life, I don’t want that. I have nothing left to say. And feel like my wounds are slowly healing, why would I want to open them again?
I’ve lived my life and raised my daughter without him for almost two years now. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I’m starting to understand letting go of the past and moving forward…..

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to all of my readers. I really do have a lot to be thankful for this year and I hope you all do too. Today, I hosted a Thanksgiving breakfast and then went to work. It’s somewhat sad to miss out on the traditional family dinner, but I work it every year and it really doesn’t bother me anymore. We eat, spend time with co-workers we love, and save animals. What’s not to like? The day is over and I’m so happy to have gotten home in time to put my little girl to bed. Now I’m alone, exhausted, eating eggs and drinking coffee haha!
I attempted to start listing each day what I was thankful for but I’m a slacker and did not follow through. The majority of people probably have similar things on their list, but I’m going to go for it anyway!
1. I am unbelievably thankful for my amazing daughter. She makes me smile and laugh every day. It’s not an easy job, but it is the best job in the world.
2. My friends and family. So many of you have been there with me, through my worst days and my best days, holding me up and cheering me on. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.
3. My “other half.” I never really liked the word “boyfriend.” I don’t know why.. But other half is starting to sound cool. I know, I’m weird. Starting a new life has been tough and I come with a lot of baggage… I’m so thankful to have someone who wants to unpack that baggage with me.. Hahaha cheesy I know… But I heard that phrase somewhere and liked it. I’m thankful for everyone in his life that has accepted Alexa and me. I am thankful for the relationship I am building with his child and the one he is building with mine.
4. My jobs. I am thankful not only for the fact that they pay my bills, but that I enjoy them. Ok not every minute of the day, but I am doing multiple things that I love.
5. I am thankful for the progress that I’ve made. I may be a work in progress, but I have overcome something I never imagined I would have to.
6. I will always be thankful for the time I had with Alex. Life is so different now, but no matter what happened in the end, I’m thankful for the rest of it.
7. Life is never perfect, but I’m thankful for all that I have.
8. I am so thankful for coffee and the fact that Dunkin was open today.
9. My crazy pets… Need I say more?
10. I am thankful to be alive
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there and my angel on the other side.

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Baby it’s cold outside

I have always been open about the fact that since Alex’s death, I have gone on and off antidepressants for various reasons. I recently stopped my second one due to unwanted side effects…. Weight gain among other (more annoying) things. I knew it was helping, and I was doing very well, however I couldn’t stand the side effects enough to continue it. I have now been noticing my mood changing… I have also been told in the past that I have seasonal affective disorder. Basically the winter blues. I know this, and I’ve written in the past that I don’t really know if it is the cold, the darkness or exactly what… But I am certainly down in the winter. This is compounded by the fact that again, we are coming up on the holidays and my “sadiversary.” Again, this time two years ago, I was unknowingly leading up to the end of my life with Alex. I feel it already… I’m cranky.. Things that bother me shouldn’t. I’m tired. I started to become indifferent to things about Alex that bothered me…
More tolerant I guess. These things were stressing me out again.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a happy life and a lot to be thankful for but something is dragging me down.
I hadn’t been to counseling in a while and realized that maybe that was a good idea, and it was time for a discussion with my doctor about changing to yet another medication. It was nice to go to therapy and discuss everything that has gone on over the past few months. My friends call my life a soap opera though, at this point, I find it rather “normal” and simple. I plan to go regularly again and have made another appointment for next month.
My doctor was open to changing my medication. He is happy to keep tweaking what we have to to get it right. He thinks that is the best thing for me.
I started reading the insert that came in the package… (Am I the only one who does this?) and I noticed a few things. Clearly it is for depression… But especially for seasonal affective disorder… Ooh nice. It has helped people quit smoking… And man I’m a big fat failure in that department… It is not known to cause weight gain and can even cause weight loss… Cool!
And then came the point of this blog post…
“Tell your doctor if you or a family member has a history of bipolar disorder or suicidal thoughts or attempts.”
Alexa is going to have to “check that box” for the rest of her life. Like a scarlet letter… she will forever be overshadowed as having mental illness / suicide genetically stamped on her from father. I’m not saying that to be disrespectful of him. He was a wonderful man and that is just ONE small part of his story. But she has to live with that forever… That will always be hard for me.

8 years

I had been thinking about Alex a lot yesterday. I’m not sure why… And I’m not really sure what I was thinking. It’s common for me to be thinking “wow how did life get here.” I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way or a good way… Just a general thought. I didn’t really think anything of it. A friend told me last night that she had been thinking of him a lot that day, and couldn’t really place why. Her young daughter was asking about him suddenly too. She mentioned that she remembered him and remembered her holding him but was starting to forget his face. I can’t really explain how that made me feel… Happy yet sad at the same time in a way…. He loved her and I’m happy that she has a good memory of him. She asks the same questions I do… And I hate that I can’t answer them. I will never be able to fully explain to her why he did what he did. I pondered it last night… What was the significance of today that made us all thinking of him. I couldn’t come up with anything and just forgot about it… Tonight I checked my timehop app and it all became clear…

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That’s what I posted 1 year ago today… We considered our anniversary to be 11/5. I didn’t even think of it! Tomorrow we would have been together 8 years… And yes, the person I was visiting was the one who was thinking of him too… Guess he was trying to get in our heads. So far, I’m not crying this year… I’m doing okay. I’m thankful for the time I had with him, but feeling a little weird with the realization.

Brave?

Warning… This post has some rather strong opinions in it.
All over the news, Facebook and even on the cover of people magazine is a women planning to complete suicide. She has a plan, a date, a method etc….
Why, in this instance, are we glorifying suicide, putting this woman on a pedestal and writing about how brave she is for her choice, yet looking down on, judging and condemning others who have chosen this path? Because she has cancer? So it’s okay if you have an illness? How is that any different from choosing to die instead of suffering from / living with mental illness? Why is this woman being honored, yet others are chastised?
Ok.. So let’s go back to the cancer thing… She has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer… Though this is the exception to the rule, I know… People do survive this! People do beat the odds! People live years and years of happy life long after this diagnosis. How do I know? I’ve seen it… With the exact same diagnosis. I can’t imagine not wanting to fight!
Now the term “euthanasia….” As a veterinary technician, I am obviously in favor of euthanasia as the end of suffering. I do believe that “physician assisted suicide” or whatever you want to call it is a wonderful thing…. In the end. When there is no quality of life left and the end is near, we should have the right to go peacefully in sleep instead of suffering until the last second. When it comes to cancer, the end is agony, and I think it’s a wonderful thing we can do to end suffering… I’ll say it again… In the end.
This woman has a long way to go until that point… However, that’s MY opinion.
All in all… Who are we to judge? People like Alex and Robin Williams were called cowards and selfish while she’s called “brave.” Who are we to “decide” who deserves praise vs who we vilify?

His stuff

It’s amazing how after so much time… To me, things are still “Alex’s camera bag” or “Alex’s bin of randomness.” I’m leaving for vacation in two days and have spent most of today packing. I’m sick so it’s going a little slow. Leave it to me to be sick right before (hopefully not during) vacation. I have an old portable DVD player that I wanted to bring. I admit, I can’t remember the last time I used it. I can’t find the charger, so I started going through some things… Including “Alex’s random box of cords and wires.” Wow! What a mess! I have no idea what this stuff is and even after picking all though it… I didn’t find what I need. I found his old work bag and looked there too… I’m not even sure what the stuff is in there or why it’s still sitting in a closet with stuff in it.
I gave up on that and went through the “junk drawer” (everyone has one of those, right?) looking for some other random items I needed for vacation and found his old car keys… With a coach keychain with photos of us. I even found his passport, birth certificate and social security card.
I packed my camera and still, to this day, that camera bag feels like “his.” Strange…
What do I even do with all of this stuff?

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Strange how your mind works

I drive past the funeral home from
Alex’s funeral often… Most of the time I hardly notice and if I do, I don’t really think much of it. Other days are different. I drive past and see myself laying on the ground of the parking lot, like I did that day. I see the fountain and am reminded of staring into it in such a haze. I remember the stairs so well… Dragging myself up them the night of the private viewing. A lot of those days are a blur. Truly some of the worst days of my life, yet I struggle to remember the details. Though the ins and outs of the place I have been to all of 4 times in my life stick out in my mind the most.

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