Saturday, August 9, 2014

Breaking the Cycle

I tried to break the cycle of bad Saturdays today by breaking my routine and doing something different. I woke up and my first thought was, "I don't have it in me to go visit Rick's mom today."

And I felt so bad.

So guilty.

Because I can't go see her tomorrow...and that means she won't get a visit this weekend. She has told me many times, "If you ever have something else to do, please do it." I still feel guilty.

Despite my guilt, I broke the cycle of visiting her today and I went for a run instead. After that, I got some coffee and went to my uncle's house in Mount Bethel for an 86th birthday party for my Grammy. I try to enjoy being with my family and relatives, but it's hard. My mind just always keeps thinking, "Where is Rick?" even though I know the answer.

I feel out of place.

I hate the feeling that everyone pities me. I hate the knowledge that when I leave, I have to go home alone.

I did not run any errands today - except to pick up cat litter at Target. I did not do any chores. I tried to break the cycle. But today is just as bad a Saturday as last weekend. I don't understand why I feel this way. I employ my resilience and line up things to do. I entice myself with things I enjoy and do them for myself, as a form of self care. And still... I end up pained and lonely.

I enjoyed the sun today at my uncle's pool. I enjoyed talking to people. But as soon as it's done, I feel like I'm punched in the stomach and need to curl up in a corner and sort it all out.

I can sit here and tell Rick about what's on my mind. No one is stopping me. No one can hear me. But he feels so far away.

It's like he's been on a long trip for the last 83 days. I honest-to-god want to scream, "Come back already!!!!" 2 months and 22 days. I'm losing my patience, but I am waiting for nothing. It is a horrible feeling.

I was just texting with my mom. "I don't want to be alone," I said. "I didn't sign up for this."

And I didn't. But so many people are dealt bad cards. So many people are hit with life circumstances that are less than fair. Tragic. Ruthless. I'm not special in that regard. So I just keep telling myself what I used to tell myself when I was working full time and simultaneously going to grad school and holding down an internship too: People have done this before me, therefore I can do it too.


  1. "People have done this before me, therefore I can do it too." - Funny, I was just thinking that myself. This is a natural part of life, much as it sucks. I'm lucky to have a small community of widows whose wisdom I can draw on, and knowing that they survived gives me strength and hope when I'm at my lowest.

  2. One of my coworkers--possibly the most jovial man I have ever met-- lost his wife unexpectedly a few months ago. He returned to work when all had settled, and was as happy and upbeat as he ever had been. I asked him how he was able to manage it, and he said it was a choice. He had a little girl that needed him, and he couldn't allow the loss of his wife to take away her father too.

    Ms. Bair, I can't encourage you enough. Know that you are not alone, and your work here is amazing and inspirational.

  3. I think it's the thing that all the vicious circles have in common: the difficulty in breaking them. The first time you do, it’s very difficult, you feel you can’t breath, you think you can’t stand it. But you survive. And then, if you survived, you can do it again. And every time you do it, it becomes a bit less difficult, because the brain becomes accustomed progressively to a new order of things.
    Sure, change behaviors is far easier than changing thoughts, I know that very well. Years have gone, but still sometimes I wake up in the morning, I reach over to the nightstand to pick up the phone, and half asleep I think I have to send a good morning text message to my BFF. Then I wake up completely.
    There are things that don’t really ever go away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead somehow.


Help me feel less alone.