For the better part of the last 36 hours or so I have been in a bit of a funk. I am stuck in a very negative thought cycle and every time I start to pull myself out of it, I’m sucked under again. So, I guess it’s time to pull out my secret weapon to getting out of a situation like this: write about it.
I am struggling with the idea that there was something more that I could have done while Joshua was still here. I know that I did a LOT for him (most of you have no idea just how much, actually) and I don’t believe that anything that I did could have changed the outcome. I am mostly convinced that his soul signed a contract before heading down to earth and that he agreed to the path that his life would take. Maybe that is a little too “New Age” for you, but it is something that I believe to be true. With that being said, I am still hung up on there being something more that I could and/or should have done.
I should have been more encouraging, more supportive and more loving. Don’t get mad…stay with me here. In the beginning of our relationship, we wrote each other little love notes and left them all over the house. I found a letter in his truck that I wrote to him about five months into our relationship (I can’t believe he still had it!) where I told him that it seemed like something was bothering him but no matter what it was, we would get through it together. I told him that I was in his corner, behind him for whatever may come. Why did I stop doing that? I got comfortable, complacent and I assumed that my actions showed him how I felt. If I could go back, I would never stop doing those things. Yes, it would be hard sometimes when he got in his moods to tell him that I love him, that I’m proud of him and that I’m in his corner but I would do it anyway. No matter how much of a turd he was being, it never changed the way that I felt about him. My love, my support and my pride were and will always be unconditional.
I am very much a logical, emotion-avoidant person. I’m actively working on embracing my feelings and even talking about them, but it has not been easy. I have no problem describing my emotions and even why I am feeling them, but to tell a person how I feel about them out loud is very difficult. I’m sure there are numerous reasons for this, but most significant is my fear of how they will react. Unrequited affection, appreciation, etc is painful. It’s disheartening. It’s confusing. I actually don’t understand how someone could not like me. But that’s a topic for a different time.
As our lives became more stressful, Josh frequently lashed out in anger at anything that crossed his path. Well, when you live with someone, you become the closest target. While I understood that he was speaking out of pain and anger over a situation that I had no control over, the tension between us almost always caused me to shut down. When the going gets tough, the tough get going right? Well, then I guess I’m not very tough because I freeze. I turn in upon myself and retreat to the world inside my head. Instead of confronting the situation head on, dealing with the issue and moving on, I would turn it over and over trying to analyze every word and every action. Well when you are consumed with a task of that magnitude, it’s no wonder there was no room left for showing love.
That is my biggest regret.
We are fast approaching what would have been Josh’s one year clean date. I was so looking forward to celebrating that with him. For his first couple of months, I would acknowledge another month clean and tell him how proud I was of him. I don’t remember when I stopped doing that, but I know that I did. That’s another regret that I have. My amazing husband was so consumed by the pain of everything else that he was going through and his own wife was doing nothing to help him emotionally.
So that is the new focus in my growing. Well, one of them. I am trying to do so many things at once and I know I should slow down but I just cannot. Anyway, I am trying to be more forthcoming with my feelings towards others. Saying them out loud is still a challenge, so I am incredibly thankful for text messages, emails and good old fashioned snail mail. I am starting small, but I am hoping to be able to tell everyone that makes an impact on my life how grateful I am to have them and how much of an influence they have had on me.
Believe it or not (and some of you who have been subjected to me won’t) but it is really hard for me to say thank you. It’s not because I’m not gracious for their help, it’s simply because I just don’t even think about it. Being thanked is not nearly as important to me as people using the word please. But I have to remind myself that what is important to me is not what is important to everybody else. So please know, that if I say thank you I truly mean it. And if I don’t, I am sorry… I’m a work in progress!
I am so grateful, again, to Josh for providing another life lesson. Our five years together were much too short, but I learned so much from him and am continuing to learn and grow because of him. I can only hope that he can forgive me for my shortcomings and help guide me in learning to not fall victim to them again.
I am a better person because of you, not in spite of you. Your kindness helped me grow as a person. Your goofiness helped me learn to relax and be silly. Your confidence in me pushed me to be confident in myself. Your courage to admit when you were wrong showed me that it was okay to be imperfect as long as you owned up to it and worked to be better. You always gave the best hugs, the most brilliant smiles and you were a phenomenal apologizer (is that a thing?). I was struggling these past couple days with feeling like I was losing you. I was feeling like there was no way that you ever could have loved me, and that there was really no way you did at the end of your life… my mind was even making me question how real my love was. I’m ashamed to admit that. But I know you already know it all. And now that it’s all out there, my heart is so full. I feel the love again. Thank you for always pushing me to express myself, this posting has lifted a huge burden from me.
I love you forever. 50/50. Always.
❤️ your wife ❤️