Thursday, December 22, 2011
Given that I've been writing about this subject for awhile now, I figured it was time for a check-up. Time for me to share with you where I'm at in this crazy journey (especially since so many of you have been so kind and encouraging).
I'm happy to report that I'm making progress. Does it always seem like it? Nope. In fact, sometimes I think I'm going backwards (particularly if I'm having a rough day). But on the whole, when I take a step back and look at the big picture, I see that I have made progress. Sure, it's small. But it's there. And I'm happy to be moving forward instead of standing still.
Progress has taken on a whole new meaning for me. To me, progress can look like many things: getting yourself out of bed and dressed, laughing over a friend's joke and for a second forgetting what's happening with your family, talking about everything with a trusted friend and not bursting into tears...you get the idea.
But it's important to remember that progress looks different for anyone. Don't compare where you're at to where anyone else is at. Let yourself progress at your own pace. For me, it means having the pain lessen just a little bit each day. It means looking into the future and feeling excited about the things to come. It means being able to focus on something other than my family for more than 5 seconds. It means being able to talk to my parents and begin rebuilding our relationship, no matter how slowly.
It's a journey. And in many ways, I'm still at the very beginning. I'm at the beginning of a new life that does not involve my parents being married and my family being whole. It's an uncomfortable journey and one that is tough to navigate at times. But at least I've embarked on the journey and am learning to accept what I cannot change.
I don't think I'll ever feel completely normal...after all, this situation is anything but. However, I do think I can begin to live my life the way I want to and stop living in the past and focusing on what my family isn't. I can't always do this, but I do find I'm having more good days than before. Don't get me wrong: I still find myself shocked at the fact that my parents will never be together again and sometimes I do have dreams about my family the way we once were. That stuff can set me back and bring on the grief....but I'm able to bounce back much more quickly from it.
I don't say this to make anyone feel like I have all the answers or am doing so much better than any of you...quite the opposite. I say it so that all you other ACOD's (and anyone else struggling with an unexpected, devastating situation) will realize you're not alone and have hope that you CAN make it out of this craziness alive and in one (albeit emotionally drained) piece. Just take one step forward and don't ever stop moving, even if it seems you're at a slow crawl.
Progress also inolves talking about your feelings and making sure you're getting everything off your chest. If you'd like to do that (anonymously or not), please leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.