Thursday, May 19, 2011

I shall never grow so old again

A few weeks have made a big difference in the way I've been feeling. My blood pressure is down, and it's been over two weeks since I've had a migraine. Best of all, I no longer feel hopelessly depressed. It doesn't mean that the problems aren't there, that I don't worry about them or experience some sadness, but I'm not overwhelmed by them. I'm not constantly plagued by self-critical thoughts, painful memories and questions of what might have been, and I'm not crying every day. A thought about my husband will come into my head, and I won't be flooded with loss. There are times I even feel lucky to have had our good years together. Anti-depressants are such a wonderful gift.

My actions haven't caught up with my feelings, but it hit me today that I didn't feel old for the first time in ages. One of the hardest things that happened after my husband died was that most of my friends just disappeared. My closest friends moved away, and phone and email are not the same as hanging out together and being gently hectored to not go hermit. What hurt was that my local friends disappeared as well. The only people in this town who have maintained more than saying hi in the grocery store contact have been my mother-in-law, her sister, and a neighbor who's over 80. No one else, and I mean no one, in the town where I've lived for 13 years now, has even called me on the phone since the funeral. I work primarily with women in their 20s and when I see someone away from work, they're most often from my parent's generation. Seeing people around my own age is a rare treat, and sometimes I forget that there can be more than just monitoring how I'm hanging on to existence.

It's time for me to quit being such an old lady, and I think I know the first two steps. Remember who I am and imagine who I really want to be. This storm of loss and sadness is beginning to clear, and what I can see now is that I am funny, sweet, sensitive, smart and enduring. Who do I want to be? I want to be more social. I want to be more creative. I want to be in greater command of my body. I want to smile and laugh more and enjoy those lines around my mouth and eyes. I want to take a yoga class without feeling self-conscious and paint my walls strong, vibrant, happy colors. I want to spend time gazing into a fire, and I want to get back to a beach. I want to get a decent haircut that makes me feel cute, sassy and maybe even a little sophisticated. I want to live in a decent sized city.

It's a rough sketch, but isn't that where masterpieces begin?


Anonymous Patricia said...

You and me both! Your post really inspires me!

May 20, 2011 4:50 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I can provide you with the fire and the beach, if you're willing to travel a bit...!

May 20, 2011 1:05 PM  
Blogger david a holgate said...

I've just noticed that you're blogging again. Great.

May 21, 2011 2:11 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

When I got divorced, and later had a series of illness, I lost my former friends, both locally and afar. A childhood friend I stood by through thick and thin just opted out. She kept chastising me for not calling her with updates the week my Dad died. People on the whole, are self centered. I have met several women online and we have collectively and individually met as well. They are people who share my values and while they cannot stop by with chicken soup, they send emails and electronic cards that feed my soul. I am so happy you are blogging and feeling better both physically and mentally. I decided ten years ago to live a younger life and it's been a joy. I have found that what I used to want from other people is often something I can give myself. I think your future holds great promise. I look forward to reading updates on that. :)

May 21, 2011 6:48 AM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

What a great post! Yes, this is exactly where/how masterpieces begin! You're such a terrific writer, Cynthia!

May 24, 2011 11:49 PM  

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