Let’s see here.

I’m in a weird mood, so we’ll see how this blog entry goes. (Weird mood = somewhere between contentious, lazy, and bloated [as feel have gained 10 pounds in the last 36 hours])

First of all, I had a great weekend, which was surprising but very welcome. Friday, which was Valentine’s Day, was great. I did have a “date” thing I guess, whatever, but also my boss got married that day which helped my mood incredibly. This boss has two kids and was divorced, and married a guy who has three kids and is divorced. And she is the sweetest person in the world — and was just so, so happy on Friday (I saw pictures). Just seeing their happiness made me feel better.

Saturday was productive — I cleaned the house which was long overdue, and then hung out with Katie that night. Yesterday I pretty much stayed home except for a trip to Target for necessities (e.g. cat food and litter) and to Aldi for groceries. Made some peanut butter cookies which are probably the reason I feel like I gained 10 pounds since Saturday night. Ugh.

I’m brainstorming things to do on Friday. I’m taking the day off, and Katie and Ryan are also off, so I’m planning on spending all day with them pretty much. Going to do a day hike and then go to Wendell Smith’s for breakfast. Past that, I’m still planning.

So Anna Laura made a comment that made me want to say something. I feel like people are kind of nervous or afraid to talk to me about Matt and all the surrounding events. Maybe they’re afraid of being triggers or something – I’m not sure. But… let me put it this way. For Matt to suddenly disappear from my life last February was horrible, but for him to also disappear from conversation and everything else just makes it that much worse. Does that make sense? He’s gone, and I can’t help that. But it makes his absence even more poignant and worse when people are afraid to talk about him. So PLEASE don’t EVER hesitate to bring him up around me, or to ask me questions, or to make comments. I miss him so much, and for people to avoid talking about him makes the missing worse, not better.

I kind of want to put that on FB, but that would be too much attention. So anyway, there you have it, and tell your friends. I’m not afraid of my past and I’m not afraid of integrating it into my present and future.

stability

sometimes I feel like the thing I hate the most is my lack of (perceived) stability at times. when Matt was alive, even when he was in the hospital or not doing well, I still felt basically stable and grounded and assured of his love for me. I knew that as long as he was alive, he’d be with me.

now though, not only do I realize that I am never really assured of stability, but I also don’t have anyone in my life who is committed to loving me as much as Matt did. there are two sides of that coin; on the one hand, it means that I could pretty much pick up and go anywhere – I have no real roots in Nashville anymore except Katie. on the other hand, this makes me feel like I’m drowning sometimes. or like I’m drifting in the ocean, and am affected by everything that causes a current near my life. I have never been good at accepting and embracing instability.

sometimes I feel like withdrawing from everyone except my closest and dearest friends, and spending more time in the woods. I’m going to try to at least spend time in the woods this weekend. I know the woods – they are my friends. they have always been there for me, and always make me feel better, and I feel at home in them. in the woods, I almost feel more whole than I do when I’m at home.

Memorializing Matt’s FB Page

This post is not going to be entirely about the memorialization process. But I did finally download all of Matt’s messages from FB, and then requested that his page be memorialized.

I’ve reached a point where I don’t think about Matt as much as I used to. It’s hard to quantify this for you guys, though, because I still think about him every day and very frequently. I don’t dwell on what life used to be like while he was alive and married to me, though. It’s so, so painful to remember how happy I was. I read through a few of the messages from FB after downloading them though, which is making it really hard to ignore how much I miss Matt.

Katie made a good point over the weekend. She said that for the first year after she was separated, she would compare her life to whatever she was doing this time last year. I do this all the time too. This time last year, for example, we were both trying to get back into the habit of daily exercise and eating well – and I was happy. I’m almost looking forward to passing February 21st this year, because after that I’ll be able to say – “This time last year I was paralyzed with grief,” or “This time last year the only thing that mattered to me was that Matt was gone,” or whatever. I think it will be good for my perspective, and encouraging. But I’m not there yet…still have fucking Valentine’s Day to live through, not to mention the 21st itself.

Anyway.

I had an extremely unproductive weekend (unless you could making a couple of journals – but that’s the only thing that counts as productive). I’m remembering that I enjoy life a lot more when it has structure, and when I’m disciplined enough to live by that structure. So, I’m making myself a To Do list today. There are several things that I need to take care of (e.g. clean out the garage, get a new washing machine, do all of my laundry) – but most immediately I want to work on keeping my house nice and clean, and getting out of the house more often. Especially on weekends.

Bitching

So I have been pretty much ignoring Christmas this year. I put up a tree in hopes that it would make me feel more Christmas-y, but it hasn’t, even two days before Christmas. This weekend I got most of my wrapping knocked out, which was less fun than usual. Not only did I not have to shop for Matt this year, but all my gift tags say, depressingly, “from Erin” and no one else.

I don’t talk to Matt all that much these days, but I did over the weekend…remembering how much he hated Christmas and how he’s probably glad (if he could be) that he’s missing it this year. But that no one else is.

It’s very hard to stand aside and let people you love do things that you don’t think they should, even when they are convinced that it’s the right thing for them. It’s hard because you don’t know what’s going on inside anyone’s brain but yours. And though I am regrettably quick to judge other people based on my own personal experiences that I perceive as having similarities to their situation, I realize that I really shouldn’t do that at all. The more I experience of life, the more I realize that experiences are not universal and that it’s stupid for me to assume that they are.

That to say…I really wish Matt was here, and I don’t think I would ever say that he did the right thing, but certainly he thought he did. And though I was the person closest to Matt, I still wasn’t ever inside his brain. So I don’t know.

What I do know is that around this time last year, I was getting last-minute Christmas shopping done while Matt was home relaxing; I checked our bank account balance after leaving Target and saw the transaction for the necklace that he bought me last year. I had bitched and complained about how I didn’t want to TELL him what I wanted for Christmas – I wanted him to get me something that HE thought I’d like. So he got me this leaf pendant from one of his favorite fantasy series. And I remember seeing that transaction and thinking that this was one of the best feelings in the world – my husband getting me a Christmas present that he picked out because he thought I would like it. And that I got to go home to him and shower him with love, pretending not to have noticed the order.

So that’s my favorite Christmas memory from last year, and now I’m crying again – great.

tree presents 2013

recovery

Here’s something that’s been on my mind lately.

After Sarah was born, I experienced tons and tons of different emotions. One of them was a feeling of meaninglessness; I attributed this to the fact that while I was pregnant, I was fulfilling my biological imperative by creating a new person – which is definitely a very gratifying thing to do. Makes you feel like your life is ABOUT something, and like you’re doing something worthwhile. So after she was born and I didn’t have her anymore, I had to re-learn how to give my life meaning without a child in it. It was a little difficult – 9 months is kind of a while.

I’m feeling something similar to this now. It’s been over 9 months (oh geez, the 10 month mark is this Saturday) and I’m starting to feel a loss of urgency when it comes to piecing my life back together. What I mean is that I’m more stable now and not having to dedicate as much energy to just dealing with the fact that Matt’s still gone and will always be gone. I feel like this has been THE GOAL of my life for the last 9 months, and now that I’m able to see how much progress I’ve made, I just feel like I should have a different goal for my life.

It’s depressing to know that I am consciously moving on from Matt, but I remind myself that none of this was my decision in the first place, and that I’m just making do with what I was given. Second to last thing that Matt told me was that none of this was about me, and I also try to remember that. He wanted me to have a better life than he thought he could give me, which really upset me while he was alive – but what’s the use getting upset over it now?

Another depressing part is that I still instinctively want to talk to Matt about all of this, and get his input to see what he thinks I should do. (oh well)

9 months/39 weeks/weepy/expletives

I’m feeling kind of depressed this morning. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that I stayed up until midnight playing Skyrim, and woke up around 7:20 this morning. I grabbed the clothes that were easiest to get to, didn’t take a shower, and got McDonald’s for breakfast. The coffee helped, anyway. I didn’t get up in time for a walk this morning either (yesterday I got in 1.5 miles before work). Plus, it’s been 9 months today and also it’s been 39 weeks today. And Thanksgiving is in one week.

I always considered Thanksgiving to be our anniversary, because I remember lying in bed with Matt on Thanksgiving morning, 2007, and telling him for the first time that I loved him and that I had decided that I wanted to be his girlfriend. He never thought of Thanksgiving in the same way because he had already decided that he wanted to date me, but whatever. It was our anniversary in my mind, and next week would have marked 6 years together.

I’m liable to start crying at work if I keep thinking about this.

Some days…I just want to go home and stay there indefinitely. I want Matt back…and since I can never have him again, I want something else that will make me feel better, comfortable, at home. My house doesn’t make me feel loved or anything, but it’s better than being at the office.

I miss Matt so fucking much. Nine months…I guess I knew that it wouldn’t be a ton easier by this time, especially because of the holidays. After New Years, there’s a month to go before the one year mark. I have no clue how I’ll react to living that day again. I am such a broken record…saying the same things over and over, crying about the same things, doing the same things to make myself feel better. I feel stable some days. Other days I don’t give a flying fuck. I can’t believe that the love of my life left me. Abandoned me. Killed himself. Thought that he wasn’t worthy of my love, and thought that he couldn’t give me what I deserved.

I don’t know when I’ll be ready to start dating again. Because I still find myself comparing other men to Matt, which is natural, but I find myself not wanting to be interested in them if they lack certain qualities that Matt had. Which is SO DUMB. Other times, when I’m not feeling like this, I think I am ready to start caring about another person. But…I still am looking for the same connection that Matt and I had. When people say that they don’t believe in True Love or in marriage, I want to yell at them. I had a perfect marriage, until things started getting bad – but that was only going to make our marriage stronger, if Matt had been able to keep going. So, yeah, ultimately my marriage was not perfect. But…I guess all I’m saying is that it wasn’t my fault.

Fuck. Sometimes…I still just want to DO SOMETHING TO FIX THIS FUCKING SITUATION. But I still can’t. There is still absolutely nothing that I can do to change anything, except as I’m able to change and deal internally. I don’t know how to make it stop hurting so much though.

Triggers and stuff

Helen asked if I would be willing to help out with the production of Spamalot tonight because there were a few people who couldn’t make it. Bill was recruited as well. I had a good time (I suck at people-ing though), and enjoy being around them. But, of course, I couldn’t keep from thinking about how Matt should have been in the back seat next to me driving there and back. But he wasn’t. I was by myself (with Jared’s car seat).

I started crying on my drive home, and ended up on the floor in the kitchen, crying. It’s so utterly absurd that a person I loved so immensely and completely could just die like that, and never be an active part of my life again. On the other hand, it’s also fairly absurd that I’m able to cognitively acknowledge that this kind of thing is possible – and be afraid of it happening, and maybe even expect it to happen – but when it actually comes down to loss like this, I had absolutely no fucking idea before. It crushed me like a load of bricks. It tore my life into little tiny stupid fragments.

And I can’t fucking blame anyone or anything. When I’m crying, I want to scream out – “HOW could you DO this to me?!?!” …but I don’t, or I feel guilty when I do. I can’t be angry at Matt. Of course, it ultimately was his decision, but there were so many outside forces that were beyond his control that I am a complete scumbag if I’m mad at him. I can’t be mad at anyone – there’s no one to be mad at. People die. Everyone will eventually die. Sure, I was hoping to spend MY lifetime with Matt, but that didn’t happen. I have to face my gift – I’m still alive. I really, really, really don’t want to sometimes. Sometimes I miss Matt so achingly much that I just don’t want to fucking keep going. This still happens, almost 9 months later. I wonder if Matt imagined that it would be this excruciating for me.

And now I need to distract myself. Crying seems so fucking pointless sometimes – it doesn’t make me feel better. It doesn’t bring Matt back. Matt can’t even see that I’m crying — no one can. It just freaks out the cats.

I really can’t believe Matt left me sometimes. Fuck.

Thirty five weeks ago, I had been a widow less than 24 hours

Am I actually intelligent? Does the fact that I’m self-aware enough to admit a lot of my shortcomings make me any smarter than people who never examine themselves? What about the fact that I usually let reason and logic trump emotions – does that make me smart?

I find myself wanting to withdraw into myself even more than I already have. At the same time, I crave the comfort of being near people who love me. I hate feeling like I have to perform all the time, which is exactly how I feel when I’m with people to whom I’m not very close. Even with Ryan and Katie I feel like I should try to be good company, unless I’m drunk and just don’t give a damn.

I need to find a goal or a purpose for myself right now. Before, it was creating a life with Matt. More recently, it’s been mourning. I’m starting to get enough distance between my present self and Matt that I feel like I should be making some new movement in new (or at least neglected) directions. I could re-learn Greek, for example. But what purpose would that serve? I could start painting or drawing again. I could pick up a brand new hobby. I could make crafts out of those game boards from Mar to make a little extra cash at craft fairs. Come to think of it, I should definitely be doing that.

In the past, I have felt most successful and accomplished when I do not have to lean or count on anyone else for help. When I can do shit by myself, I feel good.

I’m going to start forcing myself to take walks in the evenings. I know that I’ve said this before, but I mean it. And I’m going to start forcing myself to be productive in the evenings, instead of going to bed at 8pm and watching Sex and the City until I fall asleep.

Matt is so far away. He is becoming a part of my past — a part that I cherish and miss and remember, but nevertheless a part of my past. I’m glad that I’m feeling this so gradually, because I don’t think I could have handled it before. Obviously I still hate the whole situation, but it’s better than it was – and it’s better than it could be.

my life, I guess

I don’t know. The more new people I meet, the more I want to retreat into a hole of safety where the only people I ever talk to are close friends or family. No new people.

Also, I don’t want to date. I thought I did, but as it turns out – I don’t. Fuck that shit. Thankfully I haven’t lost anything other than time on these guys I’ve met.

Basically – the happiest I have EVER been in my LIFE was those years with Matt. Every single year. And I would love to be that happy again! I never would have met Matt if I wasn’t actively looking for something, someone. But there’s so much drama and so many scumbags out there — I don’t even know if it’s worth it for me to look right now. I doubt it.

What should I be spending my time on instead? Obviously, I should be trying to better myself…working out, eating well, reading and studying. These things will make me feel better, even. This stuff is not a waste of time.