A thousand clichéd phrases come to mind.
I search for the words to describe what I have been through and where I am at. I often retreat into my own little world to try to sift through all of the changes that I have been through in the last year. I sort and organize everything into categories. I stick a label on each and shove it back on to the shelves of my mind. I am constantly sorting and filing and yet there is a substantial and growing pile of bits and pieces that I am having trouble categorizing.
I need to wrap my head around this.
On August 20, 2012, my life was turned upside down. I lost the most important man in my life, my father. He had battled with health issues for most of my adult life. But he always managed to recover and continue on. I am still learning to deal with the loss. There have been numerous times since his passing that I wished that I could seek out his advice. I go through brief moments of sadness knowing that he is no longer around. However, if there is one thing that my father taught me it was to be strong. Even in his absence, he has provided me with an immeasurable amount of strength and inspiration.
There will always be a place in my heart for him.
Two days before my father’s passing, I met a man who I instantly connected with. Our conversation flowed naturally, our sense of humour gelled, we bonded over football and our chemistry was off the charts. Despite the difficult time that I was experiencing we started to get to know each other. I knew instantly that this was a man who I could trust and let in behind my wall constructed of past hurts.
When one door closes another one opens.
September and October passed in the blink of an eye. My brothers, mom and I returned to our respective homes and daily routines. I continued to establish a bond with the new man in my life. We fell into an easy and comfortable relationship. There were a few instances where my past reared its ugly head and tried to make me jump to conclusions. But then logic prevailed and I remembered that this one was not necessarily like the others. Jason* quickly showed me that he was someone I could count on.
Love might mean taking chances but it’s worth taking.
In November, another curveball was thrown my way. I landed myself in the hospital due to what started as a twitch in my right had and progressed to seizures. I underwent a battery of tests. I questioned about my mortality. I was anxious. And in the end I was left with very few answers. I was taken off work for over a month. My driver’s license was revoked. I was falling apart.
When it rains it pours.
I ended 2012 on a low. I was slowly spiraling into an anxious depression. I held it all in. All of my energy went into maintaining a composed exterior. I played down my condition to my family and friends. My oldest brother had suspicions but never confronted me. I believed that I was fooling everyone. I only let my guard down was when I was with Jason and even then not completely. I was scared that he would run. But he was a constant support.
It is going to get harder before it gets easier.
In January I returned to work. Within one week I reached my breaking point. My family was confronted with what to do with my father’s ashes. My ability to cope and maintain my calm exterior shattered. I finally admitted that I was struggling. My family and Jason were not surprised that I finally broke. Jason was upset that I had not told him sooner. I explained that I had to acknowledge and admit my struggle to myself before I could actually tell him. He understood but insisted that from that point forward that I be completely honest with him.
We weathered the storm.
Slowly, I started to return to my normal self. Or more accurately, I established my new normal. I stopped waiting and started living. There are still many unanswered questions but now I am more prepared to face what life throws at me.
*Jason = The Boy