Changes can be slippery

After the “Unfortunate Incident of 2006” (otherwise known as the death of my mother and the follow-up falling apart of my life), I have used this space to write when I hurt, laugh when I need to laugh over the funny, and share when I need to know I am not alone.

A very good friend brought up the fact that I seem jaded after events that took place in the last year or so. You think?

I would have to say the first several months I was too much in shock to see the way things in my life were changing or falling apart. Looking back at that time I still try to come to grips with how I feel about a lot of it. I lost friends, a job and a mentor in that time. Sometimes I become so hurt by all of it, I feel my heart will never be the same. Other times I become so angry it colors how I see other situations in my life.

At some point I think I may have become that cynical person I never liked. That is not me. At least, that is not who I have always been. Friends who have never given me a reason to doubt them are kept at arms length. Have I been burned so badly by those who cut bait and ran when things were so tough in my life that I now fear those who actually stuck with me? I don’t want to be that person that keeps her cards held so closely to her chest that she never lets anyone in. I question some peoples’ motivations. (“Why do you want to know that? Do you really care? What is in it for you if I tell you? Who are you going to tell if I am honest with you?”) I guess I get caught up sometimes in a world of in between. Between trusting what I know and hurting from what I thought I knew.

I admit that in certain areas of my life, I have become jaded. At times so angry I don’t know what to do with myself. Other times I want to just cry and beg for an explanation from those who kicked me while I was down and took off. I am not saying I am innocent in changes that took place. I checked out. I get that. I know that there are “friends” who cannot handle that and there are friends who will still be there after everything is said and done. I have learned and am learning the difference.

I have had to learn that some people do not allow you to change. Do not allow you to break down and come back. Hell, I learned that lesson when I got clean. Some will never see that you are doing better. That you have changed and are not the person before, but still good. I will never try to tell anyone I am the person I was before I became an addict. Just as I can never try to convince anyone that I am the same person that I was before my Mom died. I am not. Life kicking your feet out from under you will change you to the core. Sometimes you are blessed enough to find that when you recover– when you are able to stand up again– you are not standing alone. It is a given that some people won’t be there anymore. That is just how it goes. It sucks, but it is life. So, if I know this, why is it so hard to let go and realize that the weakness lies in them, not me?

But the thing is, all that happened, all the hurt, all the lies are in the past. I cannot fix them, change them or make them go away. Yet, here I sit with my stomach in knots if someone brings it up. I doubt people that perhaps I shouldn’t doubt. Honestly, that part is the part that gets to me the most. I miss the way certain things were in my life. Certain friends I could count on for anything at anytime. Now? I don’t know. I truly don’t know. Is it real? Have we changed from friends to aquaintances now? Is it my fear of being burned again or is the underlying hesitation in the friendship real? I don’t know.

What do I know? I know that for me, as an addict, being in this place is not good for me. It is deadly and dangerous. Right now, I am in a bad place mentally but a good place professionally. In other words, changes are taking place that are both exciting and scary. Thrilling and terrifying. Big enough to be life changing. And yet, I am freaking out…and celebrating (albeit a bit hesitantly until all is said and done) that I am finally moving forward with a dream come true.

I stand on the edge of something big. I look behind to see where I have been and what good it has done for me and what harm it has caused. I look at the big leap and wonder what happens after it. Jumping into new situations with new people is terrifying to me. And I suppose my biggest question is this: How do I hold on to the good things that led me here and at the same time embrace the new things where I am going? Is there room for both? The old ties into the pain, but was not all bad. The new is scary and exhilirating.

Change. It terrifies me. And? It exhilirates me! It is the only thing that anyone can count on. But me? I have that whole love/hate relationship with change. I fear it. It shakes things up and makes me feel as if my life is one huge snow globe. I am powerless to stop things and terrified of where things will land after all of the shake-up is finished. Exciting. Scary. Anticipation. Hesitation. Change.

I am not a fan of song quoting blogs, but when it was emailed to me, I thought–I get that. In a whole new way, I get that. I am not going to quote all of the song, but the part that hit me hard was this:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I’m not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I’m still waiting

I know you said
why can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around…

Why can’t I just get over it? I ask myself that everyday.

Why did I write all of this? I have no idea other than the fact that I am in a bad place right now and that bad place takes me there. For just 10 minutes I want to trust that what I see is real. To not be angry or hurt or hesitant. For just 10 minutes I want to feel like I used to before everything– me included– changed. I just want to feel good right now. All I could think about last night was how much I wanted to hit the bottle. For a nice relaxing glass of wine? No. To drink everything away and pretend that I am not in a bad place. If that is not the sound of warning sirens blasting, I don’t know what is.

Sometimes I have to wonder is it my addict mind that takes a bad few days and tangles them all up into all of the bad that has happened in the past year or is that something that other people go through? Do others get burned and move on or does it haunt them later when it comes to new situations? I have no idea. All I do know is that I am in a place where I am struggling just to make it through the day without a slip. And right now, I have no idea who I can talk to about it. No idea where to turn. And that sucks.

17 Comments

  1. I have been reading your blog here and there since May I guess. I don’t comment much because I’m usually running back to check on the kids before I get a chance. I have no idea what I would do if I lost my mother, but I know that she would want me to keep trying-however long it takes-to get better. To stay plugged in to life, be the mom to your kids that you want to be, to excell in your personal and professional life, but most of all to stay true to who you are. That all the changes around you wouldn’t cause you to lose sight of who you are (and whose you are).

    There’s some rambling thoughts from a complete stranger…

    I’ll be thinking of you this week, hoping your outlook gets brighter.

  2. Not meaning to be too forward, but, get thee to a meeting and to a sponsor. Now.

  3. Yes, it sucks. I wish I could be there for you; no, even more than that, I wish your closest friends were there for you right now. Thinking of you, sending good thoughts your way…

  4. I wish I remember how I originally found your blog but none of that is important now. I am sitting here reading this and tears have welled up in my eyes. I won’t pretend to know you but I hurt for you none the less. I sympathize with you if for no other reason than because I could have written that blog myself.

    “Between trusting what I know and hurting from what I thought I knew.” That line beautifully expresses the in between that I exist in too. 2005 was “that year” for me and I am still not over it. I can’t get past it and it changed me to the core. My wish for you is peace. A quiet and solitude deep in your heart even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. Be well and as always thank you for sharing…

  5. I’ve been reading your blog since the post about the Russian phone guy. My husband pointed it out to me and we giggled ourselves silly over it.

    In October of 2005 my mother died from gallbladder cancer. It had come on fast and sudden and from the first we knew of it and did the research I knew it was terminal. I lived on one end of the US and had a family and children and she lived on the other side of the US – with a child still in high school.

    I made it back in time to see her grimace at me because she was pissed that I would leave my family and job to come to her at that time (she had told me not to come). She passed the next morning, but at least I was holding her hand. I was 36 and my youngest sister was 17.

    I came back and threw myself into finishing the costumes that I make for my kids every year. I grieved.

    Not long after your mom got ill and you had to drop everything to be with her. I followed your progress in your blog. I prayed that your mom would be OK – I grieved with you when she wasn’t.

    You wrote about it. You wrote about your pain and your anger and it was mine too! Everything that I had been feeling – the injustice of it all – the knowing that there were times when you would need her and she wouldn’t be there. I knew.

    I’m sorry you are still having fallout from your mom’s death. It never really goes away – and if it could – would you want it to? I still grieve although it isn’t as severe.

    I’ve wanted to comment for years and just couldn’t get up the nerve to do it – maybe because I’m doing the single parent thing for the next 6 months till my husband gets back from basic and advanced training – which makes things so very hard and emotions are amplified which makes things harder. I don’t know.

    I appreciate you writing as you do about it. It is real and honest and mirrors everything I’ve experienced. I live too far away for a quick coffee outing unfortunately – but you can call me or email me if you’d like.

    Thank you for being you.
    -JC

  6. Change is scary. Growth hurts. I’m sorry, Jenn.

  7. Do others get burned and move on or does it haunt them later when it comes to new situations?

    I know it haunts me…

    I also can relate with a lot of what you’ve written…when my mom died two years ago it was a pivotal point in my life. People I thought on which I could rely, who I thought were friends I could lean on, bailed, and bailed fast. It was a huge blow to me.

    Hang tough…you are a strong woman with wonderful and incredible times ahead of you. You can do it. You can.

  8. Change is inevitable. Situations change all the time. It sounds to me like you’re gaining control and that is essential. You shouldn’t feel any shame or confusion for your emotions or for the way you handled your mother’s death, because you are only human. As a student majoring in Psychology I am drawn to the core of human emotion and behavior. Your post here is a step forward and full of honest emotion. I really look forward to reading more about you. Wishing you the best.

  9. Do others get burned and move on or does it haunt them later when it comes to new situations?

    I’m haunted. Not daily like I used to be, but there are still those ghosts lurking in the recesses of my mind. The come forward now and then when I least expect them to, and for that moment, I’m rendered defenseless and experience total meltdown. I honestly believe people do move on, but those things that change us, those events that mold us into different beings, are always there in the depths waiting for the right moment to surface. I understand the difficulty in trusting people, especially trusting them with your emotions. I don’t trust either; but, you are talking to someone- an entire world full of people who feel the same things you do and empathize. For me, it is sometimes easier to open up my mind and heart to complete strangers, because sometimes it’s easier to trust those I can’t see.

    I would suggest, as Busy Mom said, finding a sponsor- someone you are comfortable with and can open up to. In fighting my own addiction, I have found that talking to that one person helps me through those hard times.

    You CAN do it. And you will.

  10. It’s also very difficult for me to put things behind me – and I can vouch for it being worse for us addictive personalities.

    You’re not alone.

  11. I totally hear you on this one. It takes a long, long time to completely re-adjust and incorporate the past hurts into who we are today, and I can’t say I’m completely healed either.
    You’re definitely not the only person who struggles with this!

  12. Hang on! Be strong! I recently found your site and it’s great. I hope you are feeling better soon!

  13. Hang in there Jenn. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeve!

  14. My mother is very sick now after open heart surgery and kidney failure. She has almost died three times in the past year and pulled through. I know how you feel and what that grief feels like — I am feeling it even though my mom is alive now. It is the kind of gut-wrenching, choking pain that just takes you over unexpectedly sometimes. My mom is not the mom she was and never will be again and that hurts, so very badly some days. I can tell you what is helping me get through the days: a)counseling b)church — works for me, but I respect that religion is a personal choice c)family and true friends — the kind who are always there for you and love you through happy and sad times d) a strong family network.

    Your readers care, too. Tell us your stories, and keep writing it out. This helps more than just you.

    Sincerely,
    Kris Hey

  15. I had a long-ass comment typed out and just deleted it. I feel you on so many levels and am thinking about you.

    You’re worse than Barbara Walters in getting people to cry. 😉

  16. All I can say is Thank you. My Mother just died this past August 25th. I was her primary caretaker. I am a Mom also with an 11 year-old. I keep thinking I am mentally ill, why do I keep falling apart? Then I find we can’t afford to live here, and now I have to try to get a full time job AND find a place quick. I have dogs, cats etc. I know the pain my son will feel when we move, all his life he has lived in this house with my Mom. He was so close to her. His Dad died when he was young and I feel just horrible!

    I can’t get it together, I haven’t anyone to help and my family is well….my family. So, yep…I am alone. I am pissed, guilty and now I feel like a crummy Mom who might be pushing a grocery shopping cart. Oh brother. Pity party all are invited! Sheesh.

    I am glad you said all you did, because I am…no WE are not alone. Thank you Lord!

    I am going to hang out with you all for awhile. Her in Southern CA.

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