Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.

– Neil Gaimon

If I wanted to, I could write this post super quickly. I’d say, “Remember what I said at three months? I take everything back.”

I think it was a combination putting BT down and getting the toxicology results, but I was pretty wrecked for a few weeks. I had no motivation to do anything, and instead pushed myself through the motions. Get up. Shower. Makeup. Work. Home. Dogs. Barn. Sleep. Repeat. Over and over.

When I didn’t have somewhere to be, I laid on the couch or slept late. One night I briefly thought there was no point to living, but that went away quickly (which is good- don’t worry). Still, I didn’t want to get up or do anything. Pascale taught herself to vomit in the morning in order to get me out of bed to attend to her needs. True story. Depression or not, nothing makes me move faster than cleaning up dog vomit.

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At one point, I realized that I couldn’t think of anything in the world that I knew would make me happy. Not a million dollar pony. Not an around the world trip. Not a fancy house or a new wardrobe or even a visit from a dear friend. I felt broken. It was mildly terrifying.

Then one day at the barn a lesson, I picked up my bridle to clean it. You wouldn’t think of cleaning tack as a sign of turning a corner, but for the first time in a long time – I cared a little.

Even in a better state of mind, I still struggle. My mind continues to process all of this. During inane tasks like putting gas in the car or getting groceries, I will stop in my tracks and think to myself. “This really happened. My husband is really dead. Da fuq?!?” Every time I think this, it surprises me. The mind pushes away what it doesn’t want to realize sometimes. Though I have (in my opinion) done very little to avoid accepting the situation, the finality of death is still shocking to me. I remember every detail about the night he died, but haven’t had the strength to put it down on paper yet. Maybe when I can do so, the shock will subside some.

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Now it seems that my baseline of happiness is several notches lower than it used to be. This is not something I particularly enjoy, because I try to be a positive person. Occasionally I will catch me giving myself a hard time for feeling so negative.

Self – why are you so moody lately? You’re turning into a real downer. Why do you constantly feel shitty? Oh, right. Something super shitty happened. Carry on then, friend.

With mental conversations like these, I’m sure you’re shocked to hear that I’m struggling to keep the crazy at bay. Usually it’s my dependable but quiet sidekick, like a tamed house cat quietly purring next to me at all times. Other times the crazy gets a little wild, and turns into a raging tiger. One day I convinced myself my husband had an affair on top of the drug use, and made myself miserable for about two days while I slowly came back to reason.

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An affair is an entirely unlikely scenario that I never would have previously thought. Throughout my entire relationship with Tim, he was the most trustworthy partner I could have asked for but Addiction devours truth. Once he started lying about using, he couldn’t control the spiral.

Getting the toxicology results from the medical examiner was like receiving a document that plainly stated, “Your husband was lying to you. Here’s proof from a team of experts that your tax dollars pay for. God Bless Texas.” I may have taken a little creative license with the colloquial translation, but you get the idea.

Right now, dealing with the aftermath of this dishonesty is my biggest struggle. I can accept that he died, but I cannot accept the lying. I thrive for closure in a situation that will never bring me any. You can tell me all day long that addiction is a disease and he didn’t mean to lie, but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel like everything I knew to be true is now not. I search for answers where there aren’t any, mostly in my dreams.

Through all of this, I miss him every day. I know I’ve said that before, and I’ll keep saying it again because it’s true. Life does get slowly easier, but the longing does not go away. 

It surprises me in the strangest places. When I got to my Dad’s house visiting in North Carolina last weekend, I thought “better text Tim to let him know I’m here” before I remembered.

Two weeks ago, I went hiking with friends and took the dogs out with me on the beautifully sunny day. We were all in a good mood, and as I started on the trail I realized that Tim’s broad shoulders weren’t steadily marching in front of me like they had been for all the other times I’ve hiked. Just me and the dogs, forging through the forest into paths unknown.

The longing probably won’t ever go away. I hope I learn to live with it.

11 COMMENTS

  1. It’s super hard not to, but you can’t take an addict’s lying personally. It wasn’t intended to hurt you – it’s just a crappy coping mechanism than addicted people cave in to. Unfortunately I speak from experience.

    Hoping that not-as-bad days are outnumbering really awful ones. Your ability to express yourself here on the blog is mind-blowing to me, but sometimes it helps to get feedback from a professional too. Please take care of yourself. (((hugs)))

  2. I had to give this one some thought, and come back to comment. Lies from people we love are incredibly painful, because we feel like they didn’t respect us or trust us enough to give us the truth (ask me how I know). The only way to forgive a lie is to figure out why the person lied in the first place, which you obviously have done – you know it was addiction/shame/trying to protect you from the truth. It’s cold comfort but that’s the best you can do.

    As for the day to day, I think it’s really impressive that you’re having “conversations” with your inner voice, it’s a good sign of self-awareness even if it makes you feel kind of nuts. Please keep reminding that voice to cut you some slack though, jeez. She can be really judgmental if you don’t put her in her place. But she can also be a friend, cause she knows you and what you’re going through. Know what I mean? Do I sound like the one who is kind of nuts now? Probably.

    Missing him is inevitable, but like you’ve often written here, it’s a sign of great love.

  3. It won’t go away. But you do eventually get to a point where it sort of goes away into a separate part of you. It’s “tamed” if you like and no longer ambushes you. You can choose to go and get it out of it’s box and look at it, but it won’t leap out and strangle you (believe me on this – I speak after the loss of a child 13 years ago).

  4. You are often in my thoughts, though we have never met. Amazing how the horse blogging community makes us all feel like friends. Your words and way of expressing yourself bring us a bit into your world – thank you for that.

  5. thinking of you 🙁 i really don’t do well without closure either… my mind will also wander through all the crazy outlandish possibilities… no fun!

  6. I can’t even begin to touch the tough stuff – I still fall into depths of despair after losing my first dog two years ago, I can’t even begin to imagine if something happened to my husband….

    On the lighter side though, it is a universal truth that nothing gets us out of bed faster than the sound of a dog horking up the crap they ate outside! It might take me forever to wake up when I get a work call at night, but I can be out of bed, grab the towel from under the bed, and sliding that towel underneath a heaving dog in 2 seconds flat! 😉

  7. I’ve been dealing with a similar sense of overwhelming loss and misdirection. If I’m that deeply affected from my three years with a guy I was planning to marry and only lived with for about half a year, I can’t imagine how deeply earth-shattering it must be to go through the same thing with all of that magnified x 10. But I think you’re doing a great job of sorting through it and I hope you find some answers, or at least some acceptance. Wish there was more I could do to help.

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