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This New Life...


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As i consider this new life, this life without my partner I am beginning to realize the

true depth of what is ahead. Every aspect of how I will think and live is being affected;

affected not only by her loss, but by the way the pattern of our life had developed to

this point. There's no need to bring a lot of the old ways of thinking with me, it's

simply not needed, almost all of that stuff was 'our' stuff, going forward it has to be

'my' stuff. I'm having a difficult time grasping that concept for I have thought in the

'we' for so long. For the first time since being in the war (1970) i am truly feeling real fear.

It had been a struggle for me keep perspective, or to intergrate it into what is to be

done next. How to deal with all the emotions I am feeling at this time, how to calm the

fears and face the future of just me. Two days ago as i sat alone, crying, saying 'why

me', I was reminded of my miracle. That's right, 'my' miracle; 21 years ago as i sat in a

basement contemplating removing myself from this world because I had become a hopeless alcoholic, I begged whatever God there was for help and that prayer was answered.

It wasn't the prayer of help me stop drinking for Donna, or for the children, or so that I could keep a job. Those things never entered my mind, I was begging for 'my' relief, for

'my' sanity for 'my' life, it was the height of selfishness. That miracle happened in my life and made the next 20 years with Donna possible. This reminded me that my first order of business is to keep me sober. For me, from that point on, all else flows.

I am truly grateful that Donna knew I was sober as she drew her last breaths.

It hurts, I'm scared, seemingly lost, awash in feelings totally new to me. Perhaps the

transition to this 'new life' can be made easier if I remember my faith and where to place

my trust. Hope this all makes sense, wanted to put this in print, trying to figure this

all out one step at a time. It's early for me I know (11/08/11), but I feel so

overwhelmed at times, so lost.

praying for all who are suffering

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You are so sweet, you are going through the hardest thing in your life and yet you are thinking of us.

It does seem overwhelming, that part will get better with time. I lost my job and will lose my home...that feels overwhelming to me right now. Hopefully a year from now it will have all worked itself out. Change is stressful, and so is uncertainty. You are going through both. I want you to know you will make it, just as we have, one day at a time, and we'll be here to go through this journey with you if you like.

The emotions can feel like a lot to deal with, esp. if you're not used to so much emotion. It's okay. It's normal to feel all kinds of things and even wonder if you're going crazy (you're not). Yes, the road from "we" to "I" is quite a transition. If it helps any, I've learned to carry George inside my heart. All of the memories are there, and I can reach inside and draw strength and encouragement and comfort from him whenever I need to. It took me a while to learn to do that. It's comforting to know that I had someone that adored me, someone I had real love with, and even though I'm alone now, at least I know I've had that...some people never do.

Keep coming here, it helps, it's the best forum in the world, IMHO.

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Thank you kayc for sharing your kind words & wisdom, the are truly appreciated.

I can only imagine the storm of worry and uncertainty that job loss and the prospect of moving might have. Along with carrying this shroud of extreme sadness over the loss of our loved ones, we must still stress through the practical considerations of just living and all that entails.

Because of the time frame involved I did have some time to ponder what this time might be like.

Making the coffee I would think '...one day you'll only have to make half as much...', or lying in the bed, I would look over and try to imagine her not being there. I don't remember crying at those times, just shaking my head and pushing the thoughts to the back of my mind. I knew that I could not truly imagine what this time would be like and I was right. As I stated in another post, after it happened I felt as though I had been ambushed. Not just by Donna's death, but by my mind and by the feelings and emotions that have me in such turmoil now. I might be going crazy, I don't know, but I'm not going to worry about it. This aura of bewilderment, uncertainty, and confusion has me scrambling for answers to questions I never even considered in my wildest imagination.

After lurking on several forums I decided to post to this one because as I read through the posts, I sensed a tone of sincerity that touched me deeply. Truly glad I found it.

praying for all those still suffering...

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You are right about feeling overwhelmed just trying to come to terms with the reality of it being 'I' not 'we'.

I haven't been able to grasp that fully yet, even though I am making decisions and plans for the future out of necessity.

From what you have shared with us here, so honestly, your first priority must be to look after yourself now.

The loss of my husband of 32 years, just 2.5 years ago was sudden (4 days), and so totally unexpected that it left me adrift for many months. The greatest help has been for me over this last 12 months to concentrate on my wellbeing, specifically getting some exercise and ensuring my diet is good. I feel better, am starting to be able to sleep more and am able to face the days, both good and bad, much more confidently.

Still working on acceptance, emotional stability and doing what Kayc calls 'learning to carry him in my heart'. I am an imperfect work in progress.

My best wishes to you and I hope you do continue to post here...Susie Q

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Thank you Susie Q, your words strike a chord with me; I'm trying to recognize that I am overwhelmed above all else by the We/Me transition.

I don't want to think in terms of me after 39 years of we, that is foreign, almost unknown to my mind. I want the 'we'll be there...', 'yes, we can make it...', that's what I should be saying. It crushes me that those phrases no longer seem to apply for me. Assembling these pieces into a new life is a tough chore. The instructions are unclear to me, and, in my present state of mind how well can it be put together? It is said that you should keep some part of yourself for yourself when your're in a relationship. But my parts became her parts, and her parts became my parts, and at some point it became 'our' parts.

'We', turned around and upside down becomes 'Me', and it really does become ME at this time, turned all around and upside down. It all becomes too much to take in, too much to think about right now.

Thank you for your reply,

praying for all those suffering

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I assure you, you are not going crazy, all that you are feeling is very normal for the circumstances, ask any of us here. And you're right, this forum has a special group of people, very authentic and I think we've all touched each other and helped each other tremendously.

After 6 1/2 years, I am very aware that I am an "I" not a "we" any more, yet my heart will always be joined to his in an inexplicable way...we connected, we were truly soul mates, and that is how I feel no matter how much time passes or what I go through. I miss the "we" part, I miss him. he was the joy in my soul.

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Hope you are doing well kayc, your reassurances give me hope.

The reference to carrying our loved ones in our hearts in a previous post in this thread is one of the first things i remember seeing at the bottom of one of mfh's post; I intend to ask her if i may borrow it from time to time. I have seen you mention it more than once also. As the days pass and i face more I than WE things, it appears to be getting better, or mabey I'm just beginning to understand it better. Either way, life is moving forward and for the time being, carrying me with it. It is truly a comfort to be able to come here.

It's been a strange day, no major waves or anything, just something like a dull roar in the background reminding me that something is changed, different, something is very different. Mabey this is just what a new life sounds like.

again, thanx for your words

praying for all those who are suffering

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Dear Hendrixx2

I admire your vulnerability and openness. You are truly walking this path by being in the moment which is the only way one can do this. I am approaching month 22 since my Bill (married 24 years) died. It is a painful path but somehow we make it and keep moving through the challenges, the waves of grief and eventually we will be able to function again. I do better now than I did early on. We are here for you and we know you are here for us.

Peace

Mary

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You know, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced there is a "we" and there is an "I"...always was, always will be. "I" am me, I have my personality, my aspirations, my convictions, my thoughts. "We" is us..."we" loved each other completely. "We" made and shared so many memories. "We" loved so many of the same things...nature, animals, family, simple things. "We" will never die even though George passed away. Sometimes our "we" is so encompassing that we forget there is an "I". That is what we must become more acquainted with after they're gone. Each of us must discover our own strength and our own way through this journey. And they would be so proud of us.

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Thank you kayc, you have expressed perfectly what I needed to get at.

Intellectually I know there is an 'I', it never went anywhere. Mabey the concept of 'I' has been submerged for so long, that now we do need to get 'reacquainted' with it. The pain of peeling away the layers of 'we' to get the 'I' is almost unbearable, with each layer delivering another stunning blow of realization, another barrage of emotions I had not experienced in some time, if ever.

Prayng for all those still suffering,

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Hendrixx,

I'm so sorry you lost Donna and yes, it's still early days for you. That confusion, fear and loneliness is what grief is all about - along with the thinking, re-thinking, guilt, what-ifs, etc. It's even hard for me to remember the first months after I lost my husband, because there was so much pain. I still ask "why me?", but a lot of people are asking that same question - all over the world. It may be a while until we get the answer. When you're part of a strong relationship, you feel diminished when one part disappears.

I hope you find some comfort in this group - and in the fact that you managed to stop drinking while Donna was still alive. That took a lot of strength, I'm sure.

Melina

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Hello Melina, thank you for your thoughts,

Yes, i know it's early and that the thoughts and emotions I have today will probably be a lot different in six months or a year, some of them anyway. You nailed it, i do feel 'diminished' because of her loss in spite of all of the gifts she left me, tangible and intangible. And yes, this group has brought much comfort. The suggestions offered here have been a gift I had not expected. As for my strength, that's something still up for debate, as up to the point I was relieved, my strength had not done me much good in the area of drinking; now, as then I'm trying to call on some power greater than myself to help me through. Having been restored to some degree of sanity once by this power helps me to remember that these current turbulent times are only temporary, it's just so hard getting through them...so hard and lonely right now.

Praying for all those still suffering,

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Dear Hendrixx2

Again, I am so sorry for your loss. We are all in this boat together here and it feels so good to have people who understand available to me. It sounds like you are struggling with drinking and of course, a time like this leaves us so vulnerable. You were so proud of yourself and I wonder if this is a good time to get to AA....it can really give you support both with the drinking and with the camaraderie it offers....introducing you to a new group of like minded folks. The loneliness of this journey is so difficult...most people do not understand and that leaves the door open for more pain. I do believe there is a power greater than us and I believe that power speaks to us through those who love and support us and you and i have lost that main person. You know you can do this but a bit of support along the way could make it easier for you. I wish you peace, Mary

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Thank you Mary for your kind words of encouragement, you are in my prayers.

I have maintained constant contact with my recovery support system because as I stated in a previous post, i have to remember that above all else my first responsibility is to my sobriety. I almost lost sight of that during the early days of this loss with all the pain and confusion. Not to the point of taking a drink, but rather by not remembering that it has to number one in my life. To be totally honest, we talked about this a lot, and along with our family, I'm sure it was a concern of hers and them. I hope she was reassured, I don't know...but I knew that no matter what happened I couldn't drink. Although this is the toughest thing I have ever been through, I can't drink for a variety of reasons, in spite of recent events, I prefer not to drink for my own selfish reasons, I don't want to feel that pain again! When I first returned home from treatment I explained to the familly that I might have to leave them if i found that I was unable to live with them and maintain sobriety. I understood all that it meant, and I was willing to do it if necessary; In my case it had been suggested that I had to be willing to give up anything for sobriety including them.

My support system offers all the things you mentioned and they are a comfort. As I have said, I know I truly have been blessed, even through the disease of alcoholism, because through it, I have found some tools to use during this time.

Praying for those still suffering

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I am sorry I missed the post/s where you spoke about your support group and treatment. I am so so impressed that you were willing to leave the family if it was a choice about staying sober or not. That IS commitment...good for you. I have had to make some of those decisions regarding my griefwork....I WILL do this journey MY way and no one will stop me. :)

Congratulations to you.

Mary

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Thanx Mary,

I see now this journey has to be on our own terms. We had a deep, singularly personal relationship with our partners so this grief too, has to be both deep and singularly personal.

(my reference is to a post in another thread i believe...)

Praying for all those still suffering

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Fred,

I think you are right, I think the "I" was merged for so long we ceased to recognize it, and yes, we need to reacquaint ourselves.

I would definitely hook up with your AA group if you feel the need, esp. as most of them are such supportive groups! My MIL belonged for the last several years of her life and she thought of them as her other family. :)

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Fred,

I'm sorry for your loss, it will take time to get out of the "we" and into the "me". But you speak words of wisdom even if you don't think you do. Keep faith in your self and your strengths, as well as your faith. They will help to guide you as you travel down this new road in your life.

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