I had a much needed appointment with the therapist today. As she was out of the office for two weeks last month, I have not been in to see her since mid-January-seven weeks ago. I told her I think I can handle 6 weeks between appointments but seven is too many. She agreed.
I had two concerns I wanted to discuss with her today. The first was how not to let the feeling I have nothing to look forward to in life not spiral into full-blown depression. I knew this was not something she could give me a step-by-step answer to, but I figured any answer was better than nothing. She told me that after her husband passed away, she spent a lot of time telling everyone her life was like a straight line, that before it had peaks and valleys along the way and now there was nothing but a straight line. That makes sense; I can relate to that. She also said I need to find something to look forward to-not necessarily a long-term plan but something simple, like taking a trip. Something that I have to plan which will allow me to build up excitement in my mind. A trip would be nice, but it is not really in the cards financially now. So what do I want to plan-what is something that I would look forward to doing (that I can afford)? hmm...I'll have to think about that.
The other concern I had was about something I have been processing lately that relates to the internal struggle I have been dealing with, which is the realization that I am getting to a point where my life in no way resembles the life I had with James. And I kind of like it. But at the same time I feel guilty. I told the therapist that his death has enabled me to do things I wouldn't have done if he was still alive that I have enjoyed doing but I feel that by starting to enjoy this new life, I am betraying the one I had with him. I feel like by feeling this way, I didn't love him enough. I told her that I feel like I have been in a tunnel for the last 25 months and 3 days and now I am starting to see bits of light at one end of it, but James is still standing in the dark at the other end. That I want to go towards the light and emerge on the other side, but at the same time, there is a pull to stay in the tunnel with James.
She told me this meant I was healing. And with that healing it is normal to feel a tremendous amount of betrayal and guilt. That at times, almost 15 years after her husband's death, she still has moments where she feels that guilt for moving forward with and rebuilding her life. It is always such a relief to be told I am normal by someone who not only is a trained professional but who has also unfortunately walked this road. And she reminded me this is what James would want for me. I know it is. I know he would want me to be happy again and I want that too. And I will get there. Slowly but surely I will find my way to the light at the end of this tunnel and emerge on the other side.