Alone. After twenty-five years of living with my husband twenty-four-seven, alone partnered with depressed, when he died. Twenty-two months later, I’m not depressed all the time. I’m beginning to engage in life again. It feels good. The issue is that I need to understand and accept alone.
Alone needs to be stronger than us. In we I have a backup, someone, who is as committed to outcome as I am. A collaborator, a consensus builder, such as, myself, thrives in we. I need to learn to thrive in me.
In 1988, when Kirt had the accident that caused his disability, I became the more active, more dominant; I remember the pangs of growing into that role. I love that man with my whole heart and soul; it became my honor to lead our family.
I thought it made me strong; no, I always thought I was strong from the day I stepped out of childhood and refused to be a victim. I didn’t realize I was just a scared little girl putting on a brave mask.
We made it easy for me. Kirt was the best guy for me. His love wrapped around me like a hug. I panicked when he died. No one there to love, to love me like that, made me feel like I’d wither and die with the withering being the worse part.
Alone requires core strength. Alone requires knowing who the me, once part of we, is. I struggled for twenty months with that one, until I recognized the same old girl I always knew and loved her, too. Yes, alone requires self-love.
True self-love has nothing to do with the self-gratification of a me—me, I-I, narcissist. Refusing to be taken advantage of or to be the butt of someone’s joke, to stand your place in line without overreacting to slights would be my best example of self-love; that and an occasional spa treatment. Smile.
Alone, I’m getting the hang of it.