For whatever reason, I’m experiencing a bit of a backslide lately. Horse showing was a glowing respite of the general malaise I’ve been feeling. I had so much fun playing pony, that I tried to sign up for another horse show the next weekend to chase my blues away. Unfortunately on Friday afternoon my body decided that ignoring my feelings with hunter courses wasn’t the best plan, and I cancelled the show when I came down with a random fever/flu.
So instead of chasing happiness on Saturday at the show, I sat in my previously cursed laundry room with a pile of IKEA furniture parts and my thoughts.
The darkness has come to me in different forms to me since Tim died. I think people associate a grieving young widow as someone teetering on the edge of a breakdown. Sometimes I wonder if friends and family picture me standing at the edge of a cliff clutching my wedding photos and screaming to the clouds, “I can’t live without you hunny bunny! How can I go ooooooooooooooon?????!?!?”
That’s so not me though. That’s not my darkness.
For me it’s silently crying while I unpack my jewelry into my new solo bedroom. I don’t wipe the tears sliding down my cheeks as I place his cologne bottles next to my perfume and think to myself that I will never love again.
Other times I’ll be on my couch covered in piles of blankets and dogs to watch pirated episodes of “My 600lb Life” on Youtube. I carefully try to drink a glass of Diet Coke while laying down, and think “I can walk around the grocery store all by myself. Man, I am doing awesome!”
Mostly I just pause at variable times during my day and simply think, “What the fuck.” This happened. I’m here, but I don’t understand it.
I hear lots of things from people. That I’m strong. I need to choose happiness. Take all the time I need. It’s the time for me to follow my dreams. Don’t take on more than I can handle. Throw some money around if it makes me happy. Save up and hunker down for the future. Go on a date. Spend time alone and love myself.
They are all accurate to some degree.
I guess I thought that something would have come of all this tragedy by now. My brain needed to cope by believing that there was some reason for Tim’s death. Possibile outcomes ranged from Alexander Skarsgard confessing his undying love for me to this blog being discovered and me being named the next big thing in literary nonfiction. You know, just a simple press tour around the world with Alex and my adoring fans. You know, reasonable expectations.
We get closer to one year after and there is no great redemption. There is just the terrible thing that happened, and the darkness that followed.
This will pass, and things will get better. In the meantime I keep on pushing, because I’m stubborn and giving up has never been much in my vocabulary. My hope is that soon I’ll know more of what I’m pushing towards.
29 thoughts on “The Darkness”
Yay for puppies and puppy pictures!
What I went thru last year was nothing like you, I lost a long-term relationship and my dad died. But still, I hear ya. It comes in waves for me. I’ll think everything is fine and I’m on the mend, and then the muzak at Dollar General is playing the wrong song at the wrong time and I’m crying in the car on a random Monday.
You’re going to be fine. Thanks for sharing all you do. xox
Sorry. I can tell you from witnessing a lot of trauma and death at work, sometimes bad stuff happens to people and there really doesn’t seem to be a reason, it’s just happens. Do what feels right and won’t land you in jail or the emergency dept. And good grief don’t take on Ikea furniture when you are sick, that’s just torture!
You’re right about the ‘shit happens’. Sad, but true. IkEA is kind of torture but now I have a storage cabinet and I feel as if I forged it from the forests of Sweden myself, hahaha.
I lost my mother suddenly when I was 13. To suicide. It was a sea change in my life. I recall walking to school a few days later, and that “darkness” you speak of fell over me. I knew my life would never be the same. It is difficult to put into words. A “fog” , “feeling underwater”, a “separation between you and the world”. I know you know it. Years and years and years later, I do feel like I can give you some small bits of advice. For me, it has helped to relate my feelings to my physical well-being as much as possible. Am I stressed, tired, hungry, headache coming on? Those things will absolutely compound what you are already feeling. Also, I think my best advice is learn how to be your own mother. This means taking very very good care of yourself, avoiding stress as much as possible, being your own cheerleader. Seek out persons who are very kind, to learn from them, and be that to yourself. I hope this makes sense. And let those doggies help you. I rely on mine so very much. When I need to compose, I lie on the sofa and let them do their job, snuggling and giving doggie kisses. They are very good at mothering you too! xoxo to you. I saw you at the SA show, and you had some absolutely lovely parts of your hunter trips.
That is great advice, thank you.
1. Your thoughts look remarkably like an adorable black puppy. Did said puppy come in the IKEA box, or did she just “help” you assemble things? Which leads me to…
2. Maybe IKEA boxes are like crackerjack boxes with a prize inside. If you buy the right one, Alex will be in there. If so, can I borrow him for a little while? After you’re done with your book-signing world tour and all.
3. Tarzan comes out July 1. Happy to go drool with you 😉
all of this. especially #2
Um yes, we’re totally going to Tarzan. I’d be pretty happy if IKEA would just randomly slip bottles of wine into their boxes. That’d improve the overall experience.
All you can do is keep pushing…on step at a time, one day at a time. Ikea, pups & wine, good friends and horses will help you along the way. Hugs to you.
Hugs Lauren- thinking of you. Get yourself to another show stat!
Oh, you know I will! That nerd horse isn’t going to show himself.
Yes horse show therapy!!
You are such a beautiful writer.
I’m glad to hear you’re stubborn. Stubbornness comes in handy at times like these. No right answers, no catch-all coping mechanism that will suddenly make it easier to take. Just getting through one day at a time in whatever way you can. I would throw wine at the problem, because that’s what I do with every problem.
p.s. – I’m also glad you have a blog, whether it ever gets discovered or not. But please promise that you’ll remember your early readers once your world tour really kicks off.
All those dogs and blankets are there to help soak up the darkness. Maybe sometimes it is like a really cheap toilet paper with the darkness leaking all over still. But maybe sometimes it is like one of them fancy sham-wow towels, and they and your stubbornness and your handsome horse are there to swim through that darkness.
I don’t know what I just tried to write, but it includes hugs. And dogs.
Haha, I follow you! The dogs and blankets are a really good comfort on “thou shall not leave the couch” days.
I’m so very sorry. I can’t even begin to imagine your kind of pain, and it hurts to hear YOU hurt in so much . I have, though, experienced some Real Fucked Up Shit in my lifetime that still affects me to to this day, from the death of my dad, parental alcoholism, to abuse and more. Based on that and what I still struggle with, here are my words to you:
You’re allowed to feel whatever you’re feeling. There is no wrong way to feel.
You’re allowed to teeter back and forth between elated and painfully sad without feeling guilty for having experienced those happy times in between.
Time lessens the hurt, but it may not heal entirely. And that’s ok. Don’t feel like you have to always be looking for the day when things are “fine” and don’t feel like you’ve failed if you don’t get there.
You don’t have to know where you’re going, and that “destination” may forever be changing. But when you’ve reached a feeling of contentment, you’ll know you’re there.
The last and most important part is don’t shoulder your pain alone. Burdens are lighter when they are shared. Writing here is great, and we all care how you feel. But do call upon those closest to you in the moment for venting and sharing on your darkest days. I know for me, being alone in those moments is easier but hot helpful, if that makes sense.
Most of all, know you’re loved.
This is great advice, and I appreciate your long comment. Y’all readers should also know that I do talk to friends and local people, so I’m not 100% writing crazy posts alone locked in my bathroom.
I mean like 90% of the time that’s what I do, but the other 10% is pretty healthy. 😉 Seriously though, thank you.
I hate to be a Debbie downer, but you are probably doing all the right things right now. It just feels like crap. Dogs are great therapists though, I hate to think what I’ve put mine through, but they always seemed content just to hang out with me. I’m really good at telling the future, and I know you’ll feel better again, I just don’t know when.
Dogs are the best. Happy to hear you can predict the future. 🙂
Puppy cuddles are always the answer, no matter the question.
Do what you gotta do, girl. I do have to say, though, you’re pretty blessed to have an outlet such as this to talk openly and receive such great support. Not everyone has that, and it seems as though your readers are genuine friends and loyal supporters. Take comfort in that!
I absolutely have an AMAZING support group both in person and online. Super lucky in that regard, and also super grateful.
Just wondering if you got my email the the other day about doing a little blog hop. Stephanie at Hand Gallop is joining in too! Think about it and let me know:)
Sending virtual hugs your way!
I hope that the fever/flu is gone now and am sorry that you had to miss the show. Be proud of yourself for pushing as far as you have already. You’ve gotten through some really tough times and there’ll be more, but you have made it this far. Sometimes just being stubborn enough to push through gets you to the most beautiful places, even if the direction wasn’t planned. As always, wishing you the best.
They have a saying in AA – Just hold on to your chair. Some days are about recovery and spiritual and personal growth, and some are about just holding on to your chair.
Just hold on to your couch. With puppies and blankets of course. Each time you emerge from the Darkness it’s a success.
Don’t discount stubbornness. Sometimes its the only thing that keeps me sober 🙂
I have nothing fabulous to say and no great words of wisdom, but I know you like comments, so here’s a comment. 😉
I will cuddle bonus dog for you.
I know it may not seem like it at the moment but it does get easier. Time really does help. I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through, sending big hugs your way!! Meanwhile those dogs and horses are the best therapy….