My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Living Alone

Often people ask me if I am OK living alone.  This surprises me, as I really don't think about it much until I am asked the question.  I have always been one that enjoyed my alone time.  In the past I would look forward to TJ going away on a hunting trip without me.  Sure, I missed him as I was used to him being around, but the time away from each other was good for the both of us. So, my answer is always, "Yes, I love it".

I enjoy doing things on my schedule.  I get to do what I want to do, with whom I want to do it with and when I want to do it.  I no longer have to "compromise".  Compromise is what good relationships are made of and while I didn't mind it with TJ, I sure don't miss it.  I tell people, "it is all about me now".  I say yes to the things I want to do and no to those things I do not want to do.  Other than those first few months after TJ's passing I don't feel lonely.  I miss TJ, yes, but I would not say I am lonely.  I have a very strong network of friends and there is always something to do should I choose.

I enjoy planning weekends to just stay home and do chores and/or projects around the house. To complete a project on my own is very rewarding and affirming that yes, I can make it without TJ. It is also on those weekends that I am able to really plan my future and set goals for myself. TJ & I pretty much had our life planned out, but now, I have to go in a different direction. I admit that I really do not have my new direction figured out completely yet, but when I am alone is when I can brainstorm different ideas.

About a year ago I started frequenting a small neighborhood coffee shop.  Often stopping there on my way to work or on a Saturday morning early.  In the winter it is filled with retired men waiting for their women who are next door at Curves.  I tend to be very chatty with strangers (not sure if that is good or bad) and have developed a few friendships with some of the regulars in there.  They know about TJ, my Mom, my dogs and just miscellaneous stuff in my life.  I share my dating adventures with them and they share dating adventures with me from their younger years.  This is my little place.  I have yet to take any of my friends there and don't plan to in the near future.  It is a separate part of my life that I enjoy immensly and I know not everyone would understand the friendships that I have developed there. So, even if I wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning missing TJ and not wanting to be alone, I have a place to go.

Society tends to look at someone alone as pitiful.  I couldn't disagree more!  Alone is a choice.  It is one of the many options we have about how we live our daily lives.  I am sure there are many Mothers out there who would love to have the opportunity to get up on a Saturday morning and go to a coffee shop alone like I do.  Alone does not equal lonely.  If you are comfortable being alone then you are able to be comfortable with other people.

So yes, I really do love living alone....especially when I want to run the vacuum at 3:00 in the morning!

If you are struggling with being alone or even if you are like me and enjoy it, watch this video. It is very well said.


I have to admit that I have been struggling since the accident.  For the first month I had a constant, pounding headache, I could barely turn my head and the pain in my neck and back was excruciating.  It was all I could do to get to work, physical therapy and take care of my animals.  I didn't feel like blogging or reading blogs.  I could not even think about turning on my computer when I got home.  I just wanted to lie flat and close my eyes.  My attitude was bad and I tended to get angry very easily.

I was spiraling into an abyss of negative coping behaviors.  I knew this, yet I could not seem to stop the descent.  I was reacting with anger and lashing out at those I was closest too.  I even lashed out at my physician.  I blamed myself for the accident; I should have seen the car coming and been able to avoid the whole incident.  I felt myself slowly slipping back into the deep depression I experienced after TJ passed.  I even had feelings of dejection and wondering if I should really just give up on moving forward.  Maybe it would be easier to just stop trying to get my life back on track altogether.

The thing that happened that finally got me turned around and headed back in the right direction, albeit slower than I would like, was when I lashed out at my Physician.  I spewed utter drivel upon him, I knew I was being unreasonable, yet I continued.  When I finally stopped he suggested I see a psychiatrist for my anger management issues.  What?! I hurt, I have a headache, I have a perfectly good reason to be angry.  My husband died, I had to move, my Mother died, I wrecked my truck....give me a freakin' break!  My anger is justified and "NO" I will not be seeing a psychiatrist for anger management issues.

While I did not see a psychiatrist I did do some serious introspection the next few days.  I realized that this high frustration level was not going to solve a darn thing and if anything it was making things worse.  I really needed to focus on what I could do to speed up the healing process. I do have a choice in this. I can lie down and focus on self-victimization or I can get up and view this as another obstacle to overcome.  Life is a journey and it is the obstacles that stop me from reaching my goals, but if I keep overcoming these obstacles I will eventually reach each and every one of my goals.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Viktor Frankl

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just Stuff....

First of all I want to apologize to those who have blogs that I normally read on a regular basis.  I have been very sore from the accident and have just not felt like blogging or reading blogs.  I will be back as a regular reader soon.

As an accident update, I am now in physical therapy 3 times a week.  I believe it is helping a bit and the intensity of my headache is declining. Between work and physical therapy I seem to have a busy schedule.

Below are a few pictures I was going to post before the accident. (Click on the pictures to enlarge)

 Tater Tot wants to be just like Shiner when he grows up.

 A few of "the girls" at our fondue party.

 A couple of "the men" at the fondue party.

 Tater Tot and one of his many toys.

 This is an Ironwood tree in my yard that is just beautiful when it is in bloom in the spring!

 The best purchase I have made in a long time, a poolside bed, but the dogs think I bought it for them!

 Memorial Day party I had at the house with friends.

Friends hanging out and visiting by the pool on Memorial Day.

I really have not done much of anything since the accident.  I am taking it easy and trying to heal.  I did have friends over for the 4th but didn't even take pictures.  I was lucky to make it through the evening.

I have been jotting down blog ideas so watch out when I feel better!

Thanks to everyone who has called, text, tweeted and emailed to check on me. I appreciate the thoughts.