My life has changed in many ways since losing Doug. Five months later, I realize that I have also changed.
The changes are cognitive and behavioral. Hard to say yet how much of the change is a phase, and how much is permanent. (Nothing can completely rub out years of genes, personality and evolution.) I do believe there will probably be scars that will never "heal," but which I will eventually learn to accommodate.
My hair is lackluster. My back aches constantly (transferred heartache?) Hormones have gone haywire and menopause is in full blast. I feel either very cold most of the time. I no longer sleep well. I am usually exhausted. I have less energy. My stomach hurts a lot. I walk 5 miles several times a week for endorphins. I have lost weight. I think I look haggard and older. However, for some reason, more than one person has said I look "lovely." Others have said I seem "fragile." I don't recall anyone ever referring to me either way in the past.
I seldom answer the phone, because I find it hard to talk on it now. I rarely get back to people. I do spend much more face time with friends, acquaintances and family. If I'm free, I try to say yes to most invitations that come my way. Before, choices were based on desire. Now I try to see someone or force myself do something outside of the house every day, even if desire is absent. I go out to lunch and dinner. I attend more lectures and meetings and debates. I am more willing to meet and engage with strangers. I am relatively more patient (which isn't saying much.) I am TRYING to become a better listener. However, I often find I am inside a sort of grief bubble (remember the Bubble Boy?) where I can't really seem to hear or see people. I projectile puke my emotional guts all over anyone and everyone and the Internet.
I have always worked on developing into a better person, with limited success. I didn't like my imperfections then, and was very aware of them. I like them even less now, but no longer have the cushion of Doug's understanding and acceptance and unconditional love. I beat myself up a lot with what ifs.
I spend more time in my head now, A lot of crazy, obsessive thoughts swirl around in there - although this is decreasing with time.
I am confused and disoriented. I am much more careless, forgetful and distracted. I am not productive or focused. It can take me hours to complete a project I used to be able to do in minutes.
I was always frugal, but am much less cavalier about finances now.
Even more than before, I feel that every moment and interaction is precious. I want to get as much as I can out of it and "be present." I am much more appreciative. I am less hopeful. I have concluded that life is random and senseless.
Since my life with Doug began, I was happy. My world and heart were filled with love and joy. I had so much fun with Doug. Sometimes I would feel sad or mopey or stressed, but not often.
Now I am sad most of the time. I cry with little provocation and don't even bother to wipe the tears away. (Lately I have gotten better at faking that things are okay when they are not.) My feelings and reactions are confused and intense - especially the yearning for Doug's presence. At times I am raw and painfully sensitive - like when you go from darkness to bright light and it hurts your eyes. Other times I am numb and don't care much about anything.
I rarely have fun. I am more irritable.
I think I am more compassionate about losses others have suffered. It is like learning a new language. Before, it was just sounds or babble. Now when I hear it I can understand it, relate to it, feel it in my heart.
I don't know what I want. There is no outlet for the intimacy and the love I had for Doug. I am lost and lonely. I am more needy. I am somehow both more independent and less independent. I know I need help and ask for it.
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