I don't mean welcome back to work.
I mean welcome back to life.
To understand where I'm at right now, is to understand where I've been. Seven years ago, I was a carefree 30 year old woman, venturing into my second marriage. I loved him, but not the way a wife should love her husband. I thought for sure I would learn to love him more, since I loved his family so much.
Early into our marriage we had fun. We would go out almost every other night or so when I didn’t have class (I was working towards my bachelor’s degree). We were the couple that everyone hung around…people came to our house often for dinner, parties, game nights, drinks, and we were ALWAYS planning long weekend get aways with friends. Tuesday nights soon became hamburger and beer night at a local pub.
By 2005 the marriage was shaky. It was turning into an emotionally and physically challenging relationship. I was unable to get pregnant so the stress was riding on both of our shoulders. So what did I do? I retreated inside of myself. Socializing was growing to a slow end….no more Tuesday nights, no more having friends over during the week, no more game nights…not much of anything.
On January 14, 2006 I woke up and rolled over and asked my husband to move out. He promptly thought I needed help, but what I really needed was space. Our life had changed. We were no longer carefree. We no longer felt like ‘that’ couple. We just didn’t work out.
Then someone showed up….a long lost ex.
Throughout my separation and then into my divorce in Sept of 2006 I was dating an ex-drug addict.
I thought I could change him.
Life was impossible with him so I stayed retreated inside of myself. I socialized, but it hurt. I was emotionally crippled. I would rather stay home on a Friday night crying, then go out with friends to a movie, or the like.
So I tried to commit suicide. The second darkest day of my life.
We broke up right after New Years Day in 2007…..the year that would rock my world and crush my faith.
But then…in April 2007 a bright spot appeared…or so I thought. He came in the form of a man I use to work with. I knew him well…or did I? Turns out he used me to get over his own problems. He NEEDED ME to help him figure out what he wanted in life, instead of the both of us going on this journey together.
I was alone again.
By September my mother was diagnosed with cancer. And I was all alone….no one to go home to at night after my long visits in the hospital….no one to tell me it would be alright. And then the unthinkable happened.
My Mom died.
And I was alone. She had died December 29, 2007. After the hospital, I went home to a dark, cold house, where I stayed retreated inside of myself. I wouldn’t share much of what I was feeling with anyone. I didn’t go out. I didn’t do anything.
After January 2008 I took a turn for the worst emotionally. I was fragile, I was crushed and I did things, that today I will never speak of. I was not who I was suppose to be.
Since 2003 I hadn’t felt good. Or happy. Or healthy. Or alive.
In May 2008 I met LW and the moment I was with him on our first date, I really felt like I could love him…and be happy. I started to find myself again.
But then, my dad had a stroke on Mother’s Day.
The first Mother’s Day without my Mother. The first of many Mother’s Days that I spent laying flowers on her grave.
My Dad survived but ended up partially blind. He too has never been the same.
While I tried to be who I was, I couldn’t. I feel like even LW knew I wasn’t who I was suppose to be…or who I used to be. But he gave me a shot. And I have to say there were several times where I wouldn’t be surprised if he was ready to walk away from me. But he worked hard on me…to help me find who I was.
He gave me a life I could have never dreamed possible. He believed in me. He loved me. He listened to me. And he gave me two beautiful (step) daughters to love. He helped me find the family I had always been looking for.
Struggles and happiness filled the air in 2009, however I still wasn’t able to latch on to who I was. Perhaps I was never meant to find her?
It wouldn’t be until Saturday when I would find myself again.
Saturday morning I went with some friends to find a wedding dress for my friend. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt….we shopped, we shared, they listened, I listened. I felt good. I felt happy. So on the way home I called LW and said “we’re going to the pub tonight…I need a beer and a hamburger.”
After a couple of hours of talking and laughing with LW, a hamburger and several beers later, LW turned to me and said “Welcome Back.”
Even he knew I was missing.
It was in that moment that I realized. I AM in control of this life that I have. I can feel sorry for myself. I can dwell on the past. OR I can fix it.
So I fixed it.
And I’m back. I am who I was before I let grief take me over.
I am letting go and looking forward.
Even my co-workers have sensed the change.
Welcome Back….two of the best words in the English dictionary.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I don't mean welcome back to work.