We have now embarked into the New Year of 2014 and it is at this time when I, personally, like to take inventory. Never having ever been one to make resolutions; instead, I find that looking at the positives and learning from the problems of the past is much more helpful. As time passes, did you know that every seven years our body goes through its own renewal (like a new you)? Well, sort of – according to notes by the New York Public Library’s Science Desk Reference (Stonesong Press, 1995), “There are between 50 and 75 trillion cells in the body…. Each type of cell has its own life span, and when a human body dies it may take hours or days before all the cells in the body die”, pretty cool, huh? And according to LiveScience.com, being that each of those trillion cells have a life span, when they die they are replaced (see? a new you!).
So, thinking about this has caused me to look back over the past seven years and really look at the girl (Woman) of 2007 to that same (or different) Woman, now, in 2014. Oh my! What a difference! Let’s see… the milestones. For starters, I had just lost my mother in November of 2006. A huge loss to us all, but not unexpected. My husband at the time was still healing from two strokes he suffered in July and August 2006 – this changed our marriage immensely as I had no idea who I was coming home to. His mood and personality changed completely. With many stroke victims, the signs are on the outside (e.g. paralysis, slurred speech), but with him it was deep in his personality; so when I came home in the evening I had no idea if I was coming home to Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde or their twin cousins. The more I tried to help, the more he turned away. And his drinking that he believed he could still do just aggravated the whole situation (as you can well imagine).
By summer I suffered a melt-down, left work and tried to go back in the early fall. By this time, I realized my husband’s drinking and his medical condition was all wrong for each other, so by October, I left him. This was not my initial plan; I wanted to merely move into the next room. But he said, “if you can’t share my bed, you can’t share my home.” So, I moved in with my sister, Kimball until I could figure everything out. He eventually made the commitment to go back to rehab (round #4) and I returned to give it one more go-round.
During this time I was struggling between what I should do with myself. I was still in Insurance and was feeling the pull of wanting to get out. I’ve never been a person who worked best under the condition of being ‘micro-managed’ and I was definitely being micro-managed at this new agency. My life in 2007/2008 was met with constant turmoil – I was a square peg in a world of round holes – there was no place for me to fit in. Life was as unpredictable at home (I knew something was up… but he was not letting on; was he drinking again? I wasn’t sure, I mean where was the evidence?) as it was at work, I was a fish out of water. For the first time in a very long time I felt judged at ever turn. And I was exhausted.
The difference between that woman then and the woman typing this now is I’m not as fearful as I was. I was clutching hold of my life as if I were trying to hold onto water. I remember talking with an attorney back then, and was so uncontrollably crying – because the idea of leaving Doug was too much for me. I just couldn’t see myself as a “quitter” and quitting on him that way.
By Fall of 2008 I would find that I would be let go from the agency and our business (Doug’s and mine) would come to a halt. Life couldn’t be any worse (financially). I did what I could in my “in-home” business and we sold every single piece of jewelry I had – the recession had this our house and it hit hard. Still we had the holidays and moved forward as best we could. I still found myself with suspicions of his drinking again, at which point he would deny. So, unless I actually caught him there was nothing I could do.
At this point in my life I still felt like I was holding on by my nails – there was really nowhere to turn and nothing I could do to make myself truly happy. I was truly at bottom. (ah! But remember, just when you think it can’t get any worse… it can!) I would be challenged in ways I never imagined and be asked for great endurance in the near future (more than I knew). By June 2009 Kimball’s cancer had returned and I discovered Doug’s little secret – I found his bottles. I’m done and will move in with Kimball to care for her – her cancer is Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer and she will need me for at least six weeks. And this would be the start of a roller coaster ride that I never thought I’d be able to handle – but, I did and I survived.
I look at my life now, the way I see things, what I want to do with my life and I’ve discovered talents I never thought I had. I’ve met people I never, ever would have met. There have been self discoveries I’ve made that – perhaps I would still have made them – but, I’m willing to wager, I’d still be banging my head against many of the same doors. Yes, I’ve met great loss; but, I’ve also grown through that loss and discovered many miracles along the way that enlightened and helped to guide me through those hard times. Friends who, by way of their talent with the piano, showed me my singer’s voice and solo interpretation again. Friends, who in their own right are wonderfully talented singers and musicians, took me in and harmonized with me and showed me another genre called ‘folk’. Then there is the blog that allowed me the voice to share; and all of whom I met through it, who gave me support.
I’ve finally found my “square hole” and now know where I want to be (or at least the direction). It is a completely different direction than I ever thought possible before; but at least I now know where I’ll end up. They say to get where you are going, you must first know where you’ve been. I’ve taken a long hard look at myself over these past three years, and I’ve made some incredible self discoveries. I’ll continue with my journaling as I find it helpful; however I’m so very grateful for all that has been given to me thus far, I like this ‘New Me’; I’ve come a long way Baby… Happy 2014!