Tag Archives: forgiveness

“Sorry”, not Sorry …

fingerprints1Death would be the ultimate “identity theft” – in my life.

Grieving would take me on a journey of reclaiming my identity. An identity that would no longer include – my husband. My relational base. Scary, confusing – frustrating. I would grieve the loss of a shared identity – of over 30 years. There would be no one at home – waiting for me. No one to sit beside me – no one to hold my hand – no where to find the unconditional love and support I had known for more then half of my life.

My name was still the same. The person looking back at me, in the mirror, still looked the same, but who I was – had been irreversibly changed forever, in a single moment.

It propelled me into an emotional vertigo. I remained suspended for quite a long time. I existed somewhere between vertigo and apathy.

It was a constant struggle to find a place where I felt I belonged, fit in …

You see, the life we knew – before death occurs, continues on – people return to “their” normal. However, your normal has ceased to exist. All of the what you knew to be safe, secure and loving has simply vanished. In retrospect, I know now that returning to the same practices only further magnified my loss. There were many who could not or chose not to understand how profoundly I was missing my Dave – grieving his loss of life in mine. My absence was met with nothing but harsh opposition. The exchanges, were down right cruel – and I found that the dismissal of my feelings, my brokenness only further deepened my sense of loss and despair.

Taking responsibility for my own pain – my own loss, the death of my husband, was the first step in my journey of recovery both in my sobriety and my process of grieving.

I quit apologizing for loving my husband and grieving his death.

I quit apologizing for not having the capacity to function.

I quit apologizing for crying – randomly.

I quit apologizing for not being to be emotional available – for family and friends.

I quit apologizing for feeling such a deep sense of sadness.

I quit apologizing for my broken heart.

There was such a release in my moment of clarity. I found the freedom to move through all of the broken places. It no longer mattered how my behavior was perceived. I spent the time collecting, gathering my broken pieces – found the courage to carry them to a place of healing. It was like putting a puzzle together …

Grieving, although a universal territory is but a very unique journey.

I learned that embracing those really bad days, allowed my heart the opportunity to heal.

I discovered the importance of surrounding myself with people who “just got it.”

Eventually, I emerged from my long slumber – the fog of denial, with a heart of gratitude and peace.

Knowing how lucky I was, to have been loved so deeply by a man who gave of himself so freely.

Gratitude, that I have lived through the unimaginable, and along the way – I have stumbled onto a strength that I might not have known otherwise. Gratitude, for loss has taught me, the value and purpose of life.

It would be a year ago that I would take my last drink.

There is something so powerful that begins to take place, as I began to confront my pain, loss and despair. And the healing that seemed to be elusive, began to find its way, when I could be still long enough to let it catch me. Moving through it and not around it has not made everything perfectly fine. It has only allowed me to live a life, wholeheartedly.

an Empty Glass

I would find my greatest challenge in my sobriety to be the relationships lost to me, while I continue to maintain my empty glass.

Letting go of toxic relationships has been easy, identifying them in my process was quite another story.

Toxic is defined as “of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or poison; poisonous” – “harmful or deadly” 

But as you continue to get stronger “sober” you find the clarity to approach life in a more healthy manner. The good news is, more then likely most harmful codependent friendships die a natural death. The friend that never makes the effort to call or visit you, you find yourself reaching out, with minimal success. The end of those friendships – just happens naturally.

In truth, family relationships are far more trickier to navigate. They are the relational core, the place in which you first began to establish and adapt your interpersonal skills. But even still, you must decide if those bonds are healthy or a detriment to your recovery, and where they fit into your life of sobriety.

Whatever is authentic will definitely stand the test of time and all of life’s adversities.

Sometimes relationships must end, especially if they are codependent and otherwise unhealthy. But vital to your own emotional and mental health.

Life in general, drifting apart happens. Life circumstances change, priorities are shifted, jobs lost or found, people simply change, and the friendship, and the relationships changes too – they must for all parties to continue to find growth in their own separate lives.

A few things you might consider, should you find yourself today ~ wondering about the relationships in your life.

  • Your time and your feelings are not valued; you don’t feel respected, your concerns are not heard. In fact you find that you have no voice at all, among those gathered. Late for scheduled events, or a complete no-show.
  • You can’t speak openly and honestly, shame and/or ridicule prevent you from sharing. Or perhaps just a blatant dismissal of your opinion overall.
  • You leave your visits, gatherings feeling depressed, frustrated, exhausted – depleted or angry! Did I cover all of them. Relationships are designed to help us feel connected and should at the very heart – hopeful.
  • Immoral, unethical and illegal behaviors and choices, that are counter to your own beliefs and values.
  • You find yourself reaching out, with minimal success – I think this is where “a natural death” occurs within a relationship and/or friendship.
  • “Vampire Energy” – I use the phrase, recently heard, to describe the relationships that suck your energy. We’ve all had them at one point or another in our lives – perhaps some still do. Once their tank is full … you need to safeguard your emotional well-being but not allowing that depletion to occur at all.

All relationships require concessions, exceptions, love and forgiveness. 

Take an objective look at your relationships, do the benefits far out weigh the negatives?

The more you begin to find your own value and validate your own worth, the easier the choices become, for you to expect the same of others.

Codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause pain. The habits or behaviors are self-destructive.

Today I celebrate “Three Hundred and Eighteen” days of Sobriety. I am thankful, grateful for the lessons, the clarity that I have gained so far. I take nothing for granted – least of all my sobriety. And I am careful to celebrate the gift of each new day and all of it’s limitless choices – I have been given.