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I was wondering who else will be spending thanksgiving alone.  I’m taking harder this year.  Maybe it is because it is my 5th (the 1st year I have no memory of what I did as it was so close to his passing on October 29th), the fact my body has so drastically changed I can hardly do anything without pain, nicotine withdrawal, surrounded by tales of other people’s plans or the most obvious....my reason for living gone, emphasized again.  

I truly wonder if I will ever adapt to this emptiness in my heart.  The day to day hassles are something I expect now.  But inside, when I am alone in the night, the echoes of love are always out of reach.  I can see, hear and smell him, but I cannot touch him.  I can talk to him all I want and there will never be a reply.   I looked at my reflection in the mirror and said....you are all I have to talk to now.  I’m not a writer, I can’t write fulfilling scripts nor deliver his part adequately.  

For those of you with family or friends, I know it isn’t the same either.  But there is a lot to be said for human contact on days that are more significant. People wouldn’t gather if there wasn’t.  I never fully appreciated how there was no thought of the special days because it was always there.  Being together was all it took.  To try and treat a holiday as just another day is impossible for me.  I’m already thinking of the years it’s been he always warned me while washing the knives, the candles and linen napkins instead of extra MacDonalds ones. Mostly curling up at nights end saying how we made a great team and pulled off an even better one than last time.

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I choose to be alone this Thanksgiving.  It will be my fourth year without my beloved.  The family dynamics have changed dramatically this year and I feel less stress just being with myself.  I just don't want to pretend.  I plan to work out at the gym.  Do an office cleaning and then go to Golden Corral for a Thanksgiving meal.  I choose what I want to eat that fits my palate and way of eating I have been following for a year and a half.  This after life without my beloved here is only half as bright as it was. 

I have much to be thankful for.  My improving health, losing 145lbs of excess fat and maintaining. My quality of sleep has improved.  I am still able to work and have a good home.  I have joined a gym and started to increase my body tone and strength. I press forward to keep learning, growing in this life.  

"Feelings are not FACTS" is the mantra that I keep learning and sharing.  Feelings are not to be ignored, stuffed down or forgotten.  But for me,  they are a catalyst to drive me to discover what these feelings reveal and point me to TRUTH.  

The toughest part is to not have my beloved here now, sharing and loving me back in physical form.  Yet, I know she loves me deeply.  The loneliness and intimacy of that love is the toughest to deal with.  I am blessed to experience that special love that few people know.  

My prayer for all of us is that we search and pursue this journey through this valley of grief and find our healing path.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving. - Shalom

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Gwen,

I never know whether I'll get to be with my kids for a holiday or spend it alone, not up until the time comes and I can see if the roads/weather is permitting.  This year it looks like I'll get a few hours with my kids.  Since I can't drive at night it means five hours driving during daylight hours so that leaves maybe four hours with them.  Better than nothing but it's shared with my son's inlaws and not like it used to be.  I've spent many holidays alone in the last few years, I know it's not desired.  Like George, I try to make the best of it...no gyms here, but try to spend it with my furry family and enjoy it, although it seems too much like any ordinary day...and alone.

George,

My son lost 45 lbs and is on maintenance now too, he intends to stay on this plan as it helps his symptoms of Diverticulosis.  The tests came out negative but he has all the symptoms so they just call it IBS, which is a catch all for what they don't know.  I want to say congratulations on your weight loss, that is a tremendous feat, I am so proud of you!  You must feel so much better, and have so much more energy!

 

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This will be my sixth Thanksgiving without my "chief cook" and his special dinner and the fifth without a call from my daughter. Those things are gone forever. He could outcook me any day of the year, but we always looked forward to this one. I am still the "bottle washer", but don't put in a lot of cooking effort for me, my son , and grandson. Opted for ham and the trimmings this year. Easier prep and cleanup and you still get leftovers. Will most likely watch TV alone while eating with the dogs at my feet waiting for a dropped morsel. Just another day, only with more food.

Will most likely go shopping afterward just to be out of the house.

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Greetings and Salutations Everyone.

Gwen you won't be alone in your aloneness this Thursday. I also will be. But then I am every day now, so there isn't anything new or different about it.  My last Thanksgiving with Cookie was in 2015. By then she was very sickly and frail and bed-ridden except for trips to dialysis, but we were still together for that last one so it did matter. So this will be my 3rd one without her. I will spend the day being thankful for what she and I had and shared together and watch some football. Then Friday evening I'll watch OU whoop up on west virginia (when I say Boomer you say Sooner!). 

(A bit of trivia...) Cookie spent most of her life never understanding and thus not caring for the game of football. Then we got our first cell phones in 2003, while I was a truckdriver. Thank goodness for those unlimited minutes plans. If I wasn't home for a game she would call me and narrate entire OU games by phone. It didn't take very many Saturdays of that with me answering all of her questions about the intricacies about the game for her to gradually start enjoying the games as much as me. There was one particular time when I was going across I40 to California. A game started about when I crossed into Arizona from New Mexico, and we stayed on the phone  until I had to stop to re-fuel the truck at Kingman. Those little memories like that mean so much to me now.

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I know that Cookie doesn't like it when she looks down on me and sees me wallowing in my self-pity, so I try to avoid going there. I'm finally able to enjoy reading books again, so I occupy myself some by doing that. And a number of years ago while we lived in Arizona Cookie wrote a historical romance book. It never made it past the rough manuscript stage. I spend some of my time now editing it, and maybe one day I'll get far enough along with it to "pdf" it. And I am in the research stage for a book that is only in my head at this point. So as long as we still have this internet thingamajig and I am still able to get to it I do manage to keep myself occupied.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my family here. 

One foot in front of the other...

Darrel

P.S. The following gives me solace when I read it. So I'm just sharing it.

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9 hours ago, KarenK said:

Will most likely go shopping afterward just to be out of the house.

I forgot that these days one can actually GO shopping well before normal Friday hours.  I never did the Black Friday thing, but I sure wouldn’t be out in the middle of the night shopping on Thanksgiving.  And now we have cyber Monday?  I think I’ll stay old fashioned in my mind.  I’m always shocked if a human being answers the phone.  I got used to swiping credit cards, now we have chips.  Some things are cool, I like banking, paying bills online and repeat payments automatically done so I don’t have to remember.  Some places have menus, tho, that take me longer to get someone than the time I spend talking to them.  Thank gawd for cordless headsets so I can wander around.  

This alone thing is weird.   I miss and hate I don’t have any presents to buy.  Way back when this was a holiday house, there were boxes, food, wine, dog treats and flowers showing up.  It was so cheerful.  Christmas cards were something I felt were to be done by hand.  Not sure I’m going to that this year for the first time ever.  For 4 years i've signed my and the kids names.  Not sure I want to leave off the big guys again.  And the few cards that come now are only addressed to me.  

This 5th time is really throwing me out of whack.  Perhaps because it is too real?  That age has caught up with me now and I really miss his spirit more than his brawn?  I think that’s it.  We had settled into less glitz and glitter to the most important meaning.  Being with those you love.  We finally discovered the meaning and he’s.......gone.

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Darrel, it's memories like that which are so special.  And I love your picture of you at the computer!  That's us, every day.

Gwen & Karen, I hate shopping, crowds, traffic, and I'd rather take a good beating that go out for cyber-Friday.  However, Sears emailed me some points I could spend so I went on line to look...they had an early cyber Friday online specials, so I found a trampoline for my grandkids...they wouldn't let me use my points on it, but hey, it was $300 FOR $44 so I'm not complaining, and free shipping directly to them!  Now to figure out how to use up those points.  I tried to use them on my refrigerator last summer but they didn't apply them like they were supposed to.  Beginning to think "points" are a scam!

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I will be working on Thanksgiving from 630am-3pm. I haven't worked on Thanksgiving in about 12 years. I was planning on just cooking my dinner on Wed because I'm off. Figured I can just heat up whatever I want when I get home from work. Plus, Nicole loves having leftover turkey for sandwiches. Just the other day Nicole tells me she is going to her best friends on Wed and spending the night there. So I guess I'm going to be eating alone on Wed. 

Nicole and I like to go Black Friday shopping. We have been going for years. It's always a fun time. I think we are going this year.

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Gwen and all:  I decided to accept an invitation from a sweet neighbor who lives down the street.  The family has two children who adores my fur baby Maddie.  They have spent many days this past year throwing her ball for her to chase.  My son's girl friend's mother also invited me to spend the day with them but I felt I couldn't impose on my son to have to drive almost an hour to pick me up, then drive me home afterwards.  My being unable to drive at night can be a real problem in these short winter days, and besides I didn't want to be away from Maddie for a good part of the day.  Actually, I would prefer to be home but since the neighbor was kind enough to offer an invitation I accepted.  I can walk home.

This will be my fourth Thanksgiving without my beloved husband.  In the past, he would be planning to brine the turkey, prepare it to be put into the oven Thanksgiving morning and making sure to baste in a timely fashion.  I would be busily preparing the cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and/or apple pie, etc.,  preparing for the family to be with us in our home. 

Seems like I lived in another world from where and how I have to live now.   I am Thankful I have some Happy Memories of past Thanksgivings to fall back on.  Next, how to endure the upcoming Christmas Season.  I heard a  Christmas Carol on the radio today and felt that emptiness in my stomach and heart.

I do hope each of you have a Thanksgiving that is not too painful and I am Thankful I have a place when I feel so alone I can sign on and see that I am not totally alone.  Blessings.  Dee

 

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8 hours ago, widow'15 said:

I felt I couldn't impose on my son to have to drive almost an hour to pick me up, then drive me home afterwards.

George used to drive 1 1/2 hours to my mom's and then bring her up here on Christmas while I was tending the cooking, then we'd together drive her home afterwards when the kids went to their dad's, so I know that drive well and doubt your son would feel imposed on, just glad to be with you.  But I'm glad you have a place to go, I've never had a neighbor invite me to dinner, how wonderful to have that close relationship!  I hope you have a wonderful time.

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Monday was another day of hell.  They sure find ways to happen when I think it’s just going to be a bad day.  I had to stay home to wait on repairman and decided to tackle phone calls to kill time.  One was to my health insurance company about bills they didn’t pay when they messed up and cancelled me by mistake.  It was resolved but I needed them to reprocess some claims.  During this conversation I came to find out my coverage was cancelled at the end of the year.  Had called them 2 weeks ago about this and thought it was settled.  It was a non communication issue between them and brokerage company that decides on tax credits.  I was told this would be straightened out.  It wasn’t.  I’m glad I found out, but I was crying each time I was put on hold.  I’m so tired of problems with things that never would be if I wasn’t on my own.   

I then called the Quit Smoke line for some help and it was tediously long to find out I was using the plan not according to how its supposed to work.  I had to hold my tongue on suggestions I’ve heard a million times for cravings I can’t do like take a walk or do yoga.  I can hardly limp my way around my house and yard.  Take up knitting, acupuncture, blah blah.  Eventually I got the science based info I was looking for.  I felt put thru the wringer as it didn’t seem to matter my emotional state during this time of year.  I’m so worn out I didn’t have the energy to feel angry.  Just a pain in the ass as my muddled mind tried to answer questions like why did smoking make me feel good.  Really?   Because I’m a friggin smoker and it’s an addiction that feels good.  Do cigs help me solve problems?  No, I just smoked, good or bad times.  I never analyzed it.  Now I’m supposed to delve into these motivations.  Maybe they do help, but I couldn’t (as we all know) get them to understand being alone dojng something so hard.  I swear if I could I’d just go back to it.  

I got fed up around 5 and went to the store for the Monday fried chicken special.  Anything to get out of here for a bit.  Repairman inslly showed at almost 7 and, of course, the daily problem I was having barely did.  It was also raining and windy.  The back pain kicked in big tim from sitting all afternoon.  All I am hoping is waking to the smell of fried chicken saves the night a bit.  

This babble brought to you by isolation and frustration, my roommates I never wanted.  I’ve tried evicting them, but after 4 years, they have pretty much made themselves at home.  Taken over.  I never did get in the call to my landscaper about  ridding my yard of leaves and debris that is so depressing to look and walk ,on every day and missed a call back from the tax credit people.  Guess I get to have that fun tomorrow and of course I sm so trusting it will go smooth.  Last I left it was between Premera and them and getting a call back so soon doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.  I also found out messages I had been leaving one doc I sent to another.  

Yup, I’m convinced I’m loosing my mind.  Yet everyday I do it again.  There is a saying that insanity is doing the same things expecting different outcomes.  My therapist says if I can ask if I am going crazy, I’m not.  Have to talk to him about that tomorrow if I can drag myself there.  If you read this far.......sorry for the eye strain.  

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Gwen, it sounds like you had what seems to me to be one of my least favorite days...that of phone calls to companies that spend ten minutes authenticating you, then transferring you so you can do it again, each time trying to explain your situation, only to get hung up on or no resolution.  Grrr!  Health care is one of my least favorites.  I spent months trying to resolve a situation where they were denying coverage for something that should be covered.  MONTHS!  I had to file an appeal and talk to more people.  Finally I think it's resolved.  I don't envy you.

And I get the part where they ask you stupid questions (smoking cessation line) or give "answers" that aren't applicable in your situation.  I wonder sometimes if these places even LISTEN!  They ask something you've just told them.  You repeat it in between gritted teeth, trying to hold on to the last bit of patience you can muster.

I'm so sorry.  My thought when I was reading this is, I'd go back to the smoking if I could.  And I don't even smoke!  These people could drive you to drink.

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

I'm so sorry.  My thought when I was reading this is, I'd go back to the smoking if I could.  And I don't even smoke!  These people could drive you to drink.

Trust me, Kay, if I could go back to smoking I would...in a heartbeat.  I don’t need this on top of everything else.  Trying to contact the insurance broker got me to her voice mail.  So here comes telephone tag time.  I’m sure it will be good news.  *groans*.  

I did put on a nicotine patch today in hopes it will cut down on the hell of withdrawl.  Got lozenges too.  Doing the math, I’m getting more nicotine but they 'assure' me the science of it works.  Luckily a couple contacts I made on the support group are cheering me on.

and drink?  I have my last bottle of Jack Daniels unopened for 28 years still with me.  If I open that, it means I have given up.  Wine is my thing now with all the meds I have to take.  🍷

my eldest dog is weighing on me.  She seems fine most of the time, but she’s different too.  Too much, too much, too much.

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I'm not sure the addiction is 100% the nicotine, part of it is the comfort derived from the action of doing it, it's calming effect.  George had great anxiety and smoking calmed him, I got that.  If I didn't know better I would have smoked!  But alas I have allergies and Asthma, and a family history of strokes, Diabetes, heart trouble.  Now I have the Diabetes too.

I've learned here that drinking is a depressant, definitely not something I need, so I don't go there.  My daughter and I just had this discussion the other day!  She said she'd drink if it'd help but she knows it wouldn't, so she doesn't go there.  I reached that conclusion with my own logic years ago.  But knowing something with your head is a whole different ballgame than feeling it.

Yesterday I braved the task of dealing with US Bank on the phone, ugh!  Another hour on top of the already frustrating calls I'd made to them where their employees all tell you opposite things.  Finally got through it.  I can't believe out how much misinformation one company can give out.  Do they not train all their employees the same?  Apparently not.  They transfer you to the wrong department so you're rehashing your story to the wrong one, takes you a while to figure that out, AFTER re-authenticating yourself, etc.  I think I'd rather take poison and die than go through that again!

I'm sorry about your dog.  I know the concern...

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Another lonely Saturday night.  It’s been over 4 years and still I miss our date night.  I still read the advanced Sunday paper and see all the bargains I pass on now.  Know I will have whatever take out I bought opposed to our restaurant and getting a little dressed up.  Have a shade of lipstick for Saturday’s still.  I found a slinky to the floor skirt Steve had me buy because he wanted to see me in it. Never got to wear it.  Probably never will as my body has changed too much including a belly I didn’t have before.  Just enough to ruin the effect.  Spending my night in sweats and not being able to forget those wonderful evenings.  Steve shaving and picking out a nice shirt.  Seeing our waitress/friend and him trying to learn Spanish to impress her.  So I limp around with oxygen tubing.  Searching the TV for something tolerable to run.   I hadn’t been to the nursing home in a week and it’s decked out for Christmas as is everywhere.  Our house is empty of such things.  More and more houses being decorated by people.ready to celebrate.  Christmas cards starting.  Don’t think I can do them this year, a first ever in over 4 decades.  Signed by couples that still have each other.  Had a dream last night he was touching me.   Didn’t need a reminder I so miss that.  I so want to be touched again.  That special touch only he had.  Grief sucks especially in it’s predictability.

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Yesterday Jim's daughter called and talked to me for an hour...he's in the hospital with CHF, pre-cardiac arrest, and A-fib...his blood pressure 190 over something, never heard of anyone's that high and still alive!  I skipped the funeral I'd planned to go to and made the 120 mile round trip to go see him.  I hate Riverbend Hospital, it's where they tried to kill me (over-anesthetized, my heart stopped on the operating table), you have to walk for miles to get through the parking and hospital no matter where you have to go, no one to give you directions, it's laid out crazy insane!  Anyway, I finally got to him, it scares me that he's going to die in the not too distant future, I really care about this person.  He has such a good heart, well not a good physical one, but you know what I mean.  What a mess, he doesn't seem to have a handle on life issues, how to take care of himself not just physically, but financially, in every way.  I could cry but then how would I stop.

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I'm so sorry, Kay. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to see Jim like this. You truly are a dear friend to be there for him ~ literally and figuratively ~ in such a caring way. Such a good person you are :wub:

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I realize I won't have him much longer, and that is hard.  We're able to talk to each other about anything and I know when the time comes, I'm going to miss him, a lot.  :(  My son said I'm exactly the kind of person he needs and he should have kept me.  I would have taken good care of him so he wouldn't be in the situation he's in.  But I have also learned it's his responsibility to look after himself, not mine.  I can give pointers, but you can't make someone live right.

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On 11/19/2018 at 2:40 AM, Gwenivere said:

For those of you with family or friends, I know it isn’t the same either.

Gwen, I think of you a lot of times.  Billy and I worked 80 years together total.  I think about the ants scurrying along planning for the winter and the grasshopper wondering why they were working so hard.  Now when it has come to the end of times, Billy and I had/have a good retirement but when it is divided up 4-5 ways, at the end of the month I am scurrying to make ends meet.  Then I think about the man who cried because he had no shoes until he met the man with no feet.  And Gwen, I wish I could share my good fortune with you though it is not monetary.  I do have family and friends that are around constantly.  I felt so bad the other day, I was fussing in my mind "when do I get ME time" and I feel so selfish thinking that.  My daughter just came in with a T.J. Maxx bag full of clothes she washed and dried for me.  My granddaughter is the light of my life, and my son is close again.  He lives across the hall from his sister, has a key and helps himself to food she has fixed.  Sometimes she fixes it for him, sometimes she fusses (to me.)  He comes in and takes out the trash.  So much I still have to do and hope I live long enough to finish.  Sometimes I think God left me here for a reason, I am not a complete person yet.  I used to be loving, but I find myself having a cold heart and that cannot be me, I never had a cold heart.  I was mischievous sometimes but not this cold feeling to my existence.  I even forget to tell people "thank you" and "I love you" and I feel so guilty.  And, I feel guilty because I should count my blessings that I have all those people needing me, it makes me seem like I might have a reason to live.  I wish that for all of you too.  I do know Gwen, all those years of volunteering, you most likely have dozens of people who have no one but you and to someone like that, that makes you indispensable as well.   My 💗 is still with you and all the rest and I hope your health improves so much this next year.  All of you.

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4 hours ago, Marg M said:

Sometimes I think God left me here for a reason, I am not a complete person yet.  I used to be loving, but I find myself having a cold heart and that cannot be me, I never had a cold heart.  I was mischievous sometimes but not this cold feeling to my existence.  I even forget to tell people "thank you" and "I love you" and I feel so guilty.  And, I feel guilty because I should count my blessings that I have all those people needing me, it makes me seem like I might have a reason to live.  I wish that for all of you too.  I do know Gwen, all those years of volunteering, you most likely have dozens of people who have no one but you and to someone like that, that makes you indispensable as well.   My 💗 is still with you and all the rest and I hope your health improves so much this next year.  All of you.

Marg: You are blessed to have your family so close every day and I think I know what you are saying about "God left me here for a reason".  I constantly wonder why am I here and just what am I supposed to do with myself.  Everyday I ask myself why did God take my Bob from me when I need him so much.  I know now I am not a complete person and was the closest to being complete when I was married to my husband.   My two children are not always right here every day, but so far when I can't function they find a way to help me as best they can.  I am thankful for that and try to remind myself there are so many of those who don't have anyone to help.

I will disagree with you though, your words that seem to flow so easily, are not words of a person with a cold heart.   You give me joy reading your "word salads".

Gwen's willingness to volunteer has been a Blessing to many by showing them they are cared about.  Dee  

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36 minutes ago, widow'15 said:

I know now I am not a complete person and was the closest to being complete when I was married to my husband.

Dee, I think that is how we all feel.  I have repeated this so many times, Billy would say "I am you and you are me" and I have lost half a person.  I forget so easy, which we can say is age, but paying attention to something for any length of time, I cannot do that again.  That was sweet about my "word salads" (thank-you),  but sometimes I get carried away with words.  

And Gwen, I wish she could see how important she really is.  To people who have no one to visit them, and family avoids them, Gwen is the Angel who walks in a few times a week and as long as they live there, it is a familiar face.  Familiar is part of family.  I miss some of those who have dropped off the forum, but I hope they have found a bit of happiness.  That is what we all need, just a tiny bit of happiness.  

I'm going to keep telling myself that the forgetting, the lack of concentration, and all the little things are parts of grief...........and not age.  If Billy was with me I would not be old.  

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10 hours ago, Marg M said:

  I wish I could share my good fortune with you though it is not monetary.  I do have family and friends that are around constantly.  I I do know Gwen, all those years of volunteering, you most likely have dozens of people who have no one but you and to someone like that, that makes you indispensable as well.   My 💗 is still with you and all the rest and I hope your health improves so much this next year.  All of you.

Thank you, Marg, you too, Widow.  I have met some wonderful people where I work.  Sadly, it is a place you know you will lose them.  I’ve been alone so long since Steve left, I don’t know if I could deal with people around.  I desperately want to be connected, but afraid too.  That’s never been  me, ever.  I was the hostess with the mostest.  It’s like l've developed social phobia at home.  Not that anyone is knocking on my door.  I do OK out in the world talking with strangers, it’s home I have a problem with.  Maybe it was a subconscious choice, tho I did lose all my friends in various ways over the years.  I’m also used to socializing with him.  Or him around.  I guess I was content and haven’t figured out how to feel that.   Everything feels all wrong without him.  Like that is news to anyone here in this predicament.  Have a sore throat and worried about more illness so close to that hospital stay over the summer.  He was all I needed with his buddies around and our time alone because ......we weren’t alone.  I hate that word and  feeling.  I’m so tired of hearing only my voice.  

 

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I was in charge of making sure the bills got paid and the chores done, George helped in any way he could.  But HE was in charge of our socialization, HE was the fun one, the one that was the "idea person" and I miss that.  I haven't been to the coast in a few years...not because it's too far to drive, I just tend to get bogged down in working, daily existence, and it's not the same when you don't have that special someone to go with you.

Most of us feel alone, even when we're in crowds, you know?

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Yup, Kay, I’m alone no matter where I am.  Steve was more a socializer than me, but I held my own.  The thing is most of those outlets for me are gone or so changed that I just wander thru life now.  It sounds weird in print, but I miss being dependent on him and vice versa.  The yin/yang thing.  Before I committed to him I was a whole person.  I loved and trusted him so much I gave him half of me.  He gave me half.  The kicker is he took all of him with him when he left, plus me.  I’m always going to be broken in some way.  Trying to figure out living with that. 10 days smoke free and the depression from that intensifies all of this.

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