What a horribly depressing, selfish, poor pity me post yesterday. It was a good thing I drove my son to club volleyball in the evening. It is held in the town next to us but a good half hour away. Since it was raining, I did not want my son to drive the van so late (practice ended at 10:00 p.m.). It is also where my dad lives in his facility. So after dropping my son off, I spent some time with my father watching him play cards. Then there was a little time left to pop into Borders where I browsed the craft books, new calendars and self-help section.
I am always drawn to the books about self-actualization and the Law of Attraction. Basically, the theory presented in them is that I have created the current life I am living by the thoughts I've had because like energy attracts like energy. In regard to my financial crisis, I should not be reflecting/referring to my debt and bills. Rather, I should be thinking such thoughts as "My prosperity will be increasing soon" and "My life will be improving," etc. A lot of positive self-visualization stuff too.
I do have to say that after flipping through some of these books I was somewhat inspired and my mood improved a little. But I just struggle with these concepts overall. They trouble me. Because I believe (and this is also based on experience) that there are times when life is or seems impossible to manage/get through/tolerate/survive. Certainly people affected by natural disasters did not wish or think them upon themselves. Surely I never wanted my husband to die and thinking such thoughts led him to the cancer. Isn't it irresponsible of me to stop focusing on the financial setbacks of my life right now? How can I not think of them if they are such a significant aspect of how we are living?
I actually think the books I was looking at last night are written for those people lucky enough to be only worried about what to make for dinner or where to go on vacation. I need a meatier book that deals with real catastrophe and problems. Like dealing with the financial aftermath of your husband's death when there wasn't sufficient life insurance to cover the bills. Or, for any middle-aged folks out there having to grapple with the current unemployment nightmare, or loss from divorce.
There are problems in life and then there are real problems. I should have hit the grief/loss section to see what new books are out on the topic. Mine are all six years old. Have they come up with any new theories about managing and living with heartache?
The reason all these new age book ideas perplex me is that they are all full of nice ideas in theory - but they never explain how to get from point A to point B. I would surely like to think more positive and optimistic thoughts but when you are in survival mode just trying to figure out how to feed the kids, it is not so easy.
I decided to create another Blog titled "Plunged into Poverty." I think for me at least, that my grief/loss journey has been complicated by other issues besides the death of my husband. It gets difficult to sometimes separate the differing aspects of my grief. So I figure maybe it would be easier to have a blog just for the grief/loss feelings related to death and relationships and then one in which I can describe the financial burdens going on. Anyway, it is just an idea for now. I'll try it out and see how it goes.
I once told my therapist that it is hard enough just trying to get by as a widow. Having to cope with the other losses has just put me over the top. I also find a certain weariness that has settled in from my having been widowed a number of years now. True, I was remarried for two of the six years following my husband's death. But we weren't living together and the eventual divorce probably had more of a negative impact on me than my husband dying. It pretty much took the wind out of my sails to have to suffer such a loss so closely following my husband's death. In a way, I feel more suspect and wary of the world than I ever have! Talk about getting kicked when you're down. I also just recently read that the older you are, the harder it is to bounce back from life's curveballs.
A woman who responded to one of my posts put it very astutely when she said that the grief doesn't really go away with time - rather it just gets different. And I am also realizing that part of my personal challenge in facing all of this, comes from not having a great deal of support to rely on. Going this road alone has been exceedingly challenging for me, as well as a source of continual sadness. In getting to know more about myself as I face these life challenges, I am aware that I need a partner on this life road. I need someone to lean on. I want someone to lean on me. I want to share a bed with a man. I want to cook for a family again and to deal with all the conflict and stress that living with another person entails. I have not done well on my own. But I don't want to get down on myself for that. It is who I am and I'm trying to acknowledge that.
So where have all these rambling thoughts taken and led me?
1. I need a vacation. I need to go somewhere by myself to reflect and have time to devote to just me.
2. I need to somehow figure out how to balance the grief of the past with hope for the future. That truly seems to be the key in all of this. Maybe if I can figure that out I'll be able to write my own self-help book.