When I posted about entering another phase of the grieving process and how hard it was for me to cancel my World of Warcraft account, I knew there was more to it that I had not yet processed or even figured out. I knew that I was feeling a lot of sadness over realizing my life is moving forward and feeling like the last living piece of James is now gone. I knew I was feeling anger at him for not only leaving me but leaving me in a position in which I feel no one else is ever going to want me. But I still felt very unsettled and I couldn't grasp as to why that was. I just knew I felt very alone and abandoned.
It dawned on me Wednesday at work (Of course. Because I don't burst into tears there enough as it is) what was still gnawing at me: I am afraid. In the (almost) 34 months since James has been gone, I have carved out a new life for myself. It's not yet what I want it to be-it's very much a work in progress as I am still trying to figure out who I am now and what I want from life other than the broad spectrum of being happy again. But the life I have built is very full. It's full of volunteering for an organization I love. It's full of new social endeavors and experiences that I may not have ever done if James hadn't died. Somehow, the shy little girl I have always been has turned into a social butterfly-though I still have many moments when I don't want to walk into that room full of strangers. More and more lately I seem to be feeling this way, actually. It is full of love from my family. It is full of friends-old and new, who are there for good times and to pick up the pieces when I need it (ironically, I am listening to "That's What Friends Are For" right now). I've got two beautiful dogs who love me to pieces. It's lonely, I'm not going to lie about that, but it is full. It's a place I never thought I would have gotten to almost three years ago. While I can't say I'm overly happy, I can honestly say life is good.
And it scares the crap out of me. Three years ago, life was good. Better than good-life was great. I was planning my dream wedding to the man I loved more than life itself. The man who spent 7 years telling me he was never going to get married. We were in a good place financially, socially and together. I had it all.
And then I blinked. And in the amount of time it took for me to blink, it was gone. My entire world was gone. But I put one exhausted foot in front of the other and I persevered (if nothing else, I am certainly stubborn!) and I rebuilt my life. I got back to a good place. And I'm afraid I'm going to blink again and find this has all been an illusion. That it isn't real-or that it will be shattered again. I don't yet know how to have faith in this new life. I no longer know how to trust what lies ahead.
Thursday was Thanksgiving. I was supposed to go to our best friends' for dinner. Dinner was at 5:00; I called at 2:45 to say I wasn't coming. The week before had been so emotionally stressful for me that I made myself sick. From Wednesday night to Friday morning, I slept for 26 out of 36 hours. My friend felt bad that I was going to be alone on Thanksgiving. I told her it was entirely different to be alone because I had nowhere to go than it was to be alone because I was sick. I told her I had been invited to go on a hike that morning and another good friend called to make sure I had plans for dinner. I told her I wasn't crying because I was going to be alone-I was crying because I was overwhelmed by being blessed with having too many places to go.
Friday afternoon, I felt better so I kept my plans of going to the annual Christmas tree lighting in Pioneer Square-yet another thing I had never done before (and apparently, an event someone was plotting to blow up). It was an event with my fun Meetup group. As we were singing carols, I looked around at people who were not in my life a year ago-one of whom I now consider a close friend and another who has also become a friend. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Same with last night when I was out with my two guy friends-one who is becoming a good friend and one who is a more casual friend, but a new friend nonetheless.
Maybe this is real after all. Maybe I don't need to be afraid to blink. But I am.