There are so many things that have been running through my head and in conversations with those around me that I really want to get posted in here… I’m just currently lacking the discipline to sit down and write it all out.
For now, I’ll stick with what feels to me to be a “lighter” topic. No actuality it is pretty big and a major undertaking for anybody, but especially for anyone so fresh out of a trauma and/or loss. But as I have read from many individuals who have lost a spouse, it is a common journey to take. Some just do it a little sooner than others.
The journey that I’m referring to is the journey of self-discovery. A lot of what I’m going to say here is going to be paraphrased from some incredibly wise and compassionate people in my life as well as a few books that I’ve been reading, but it’s all important information even if it’s not 100% mine.
My husband’s final gift to me, although he unknowingly gave it, was the opportunity to take a deeper look and to find myself. I’m not sure if I ever knew who I was, but I do know that in the time that I dedicated to being who I thought Josh needed, I lost a lot of myself. This is not to say that I regret anything. I would do it all over again a million times to get the opportunity to be a part of that man’s life and his story. But there were some sacrifices that I made that I hope to find again. And I also hope to learn how to hold on to myself and all of the good that I can bring to any and all situations I am placed into in the future.
Currently in my journey I am working on something that I have never done before. I am allowing myself to have emotions. Whatever feelings that I have, I let myself have. It’s really weird. I feel something come over me, I acknowledge it and I try to understand why that feeling has occurred. That’s it, simple as that. I let myself feel something and then I let it dissipate in it’s own time. Who says emotions are scary?! Kidding. They can be downright terrifying. But the way I understand it, every emotion that you have is trying to tell you something. Sometimes it is obvious, other times it’s quite perplexing. I’m also working on not beating myself up when I can’t understand why I feel a certain way and talking it out with other people to maybe figure out an answer. Turns out, I don’t actually know everything. I do not like that one bit, but unfortunately it is true.
I have also been trying to just figure out who I am. Evidently WHAT you do is not WHO you are. News to me. What I do is rescue, help, fix. For as long as I can remember I have been a rescuer, many people in the healthcare field fall into this category. But it is doing myself a disservice to identify who I am by that one simple term. I am still trying to figure out the right words to describe who I am, but I am also still trying to dig up pieces of myself that have been hidden for a very long time. Some probably even since childhood.
Here is what I do know (although I bet I will get an argument about a couple of these!): I am kind. I am smart – I know a little bit about a lot of things. I have a talent for spelling and a knack for expressing myself through writing. I am tough. I am resilient. I have passion. I possess the ability to be courageous. I have strong morals and value honesty and loyalty first and foremost. I have incredible patience, but will quickly lose it with people who don’t want to work to improve themselves. I have strong opinions but won’t force them on anybody. I know what it’s like to love unconditionally (even though I’ve been told that you can only do that with your own child – I call BS). I like to “dance” in the middle of the room if the feeling hits me. I don’t care what people think of me, but I care greatly how others perceive those that I love (I do not understand this).
I could go on but I don’t like talking about myself in that way.
Overall, you could say that I’m doing fairly well. I am learning about emotional intelligence. My favorite little tidbit of knowledge that I heard recently is this: vulnerability is not weakness. I am trying to embrace that instead of judging myself for being weak in my most painful and raw moments.
For voluntarily and openly beginning this journey, I am strong.
Please, take this journey with me. And share any helpful information you may have come across.
This is how we learn. This is how we grow.