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.
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.
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.
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.