If God brought you to it,
He will get you through it.

23 January 2009

The Road to Recovery

"In the end, we stop asking why something has happened... but start asking how we will respond. What we intend to do now that it has happened."
- When Bad Things Happen To Good People by Harold Kushner -

For 11 years, I expected that I would be growing old with James. I was contented with the thought of a shared life together and a shared future. All of that suddenly changed one morning. Everything had been spoiled.

Whether I liked it or not, a core of my old identity was lost. Fortunately, I was left with something else: a chance to grow. My favorite line then every time someone asked how I was coping was: "Don't worry, I'm sure I will survive." Along the way, I learned that growing and thriving are more than just surviving.

In a sense, each loss is a pregnant pause in the process of personal growth. Just as time provides a resource, loss also presents a window of opportunity. Believe me, it was not easy for me to clear off that window and peer through the haze. What proved to be the ultimate challenge was to pass courageously through the familiar framework and into the unknown. But I knew I had to do it because it was the only way I could discover a path to recovery... a passage forward into life.

After overcoming denial, anger and active grieving, I jumped right into action and accepted all invitations and nominations for positions in various civic groups and foundations that I was a member of. I was president of this, vice president of that and a director of whatever. I led a committee for a convention which proved to be the most arduous and controversial task. The busier I got, the better. People talked, I didn't care.

Change was the challenge ahead. I restored my vitality with the thrill of doing things alone for the first time. A new intact identity gradually emerged- someone who was stronger, wiser and perhaps even nicer than the one I reluctantly left behind.

Moreover, I began to sleep better, think clearer, cry less and smile more. I gained greater control of my emotions and was not easily overwhelmed by them anymore. I
became less obsessed with my loss and could talk about it more easily (as I am doing now). I felt freer to choose when and how to grieve and to bounce back. I became less preoccupied with myself and more patient with everyone, including myself.

The waves of pain no longer come as often as before and they don't knock me over easily anymore. I think less of the past and find myself reaching forward to the future less fearfully.

And as I drink in the cup of healing, let me take this opportunity to give a toast of thanks to those who helped me along the way.

Blessings to all,

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Harry Seenthings January 23, 2009 at 9:18 PM  

was here blogwalking...can we make a friends in here?, care about link xchange with me

Dolly's Diary January 23, 2009 at 9:31 PM  

This is a beautiful post. I love how you give yourself permission to renew your life and spirit. I know how those moments of pain can just creep up and send you for a loop. I am still going through that. I will see something that reminds me of my mother or hear a song and instantly a pain comes over my chest that is so deep and the tears flow as if they will never stop. I know they will in time become fewer and far between, but I also realize I need to allow myself the grieving process and I take baby steps each day to start my life over without her. Your posts have helped me so much, thanks for sharing and thanks for the awards. I am sending you a big (___)hug.
Take Care Friend,
Janet :)

tripti January 23, 2009 at 10:49 PM  

Hi bing,

Reading your posts seems like my own story, only a woman who lost a hubby can understand the pain of another woman who lost her hubby, rest of the people can not even come closer to the feelings we go through.

Bravo for your courage !!

PinkLady January 23, 2009 at 11:05 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
PinkLady January 23, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

JANET and TRIPTI, the good thing about reaching ACCEPTANCE is that you get to recognize your pain and acknowledge it as it hits you. That way, it's easier to pull yourself together and bounce back. When I wrote about regressing (that relapse), it helped me express and acknowledge what I was going through. See, I didn't have to wait for January 25 (Sunday) to bounce back.

I didn't get here easily, you know. Believe me, I had all kinds of criticisms for staying so long in my grief. But taking my time to heal was all worth it.

Grief is a normal and natural response to any loss. Have no fear and let it run free. It is OK not to feel OK.Express it and then release it.

I created this blog to share the light I have seen at the end of the tunnel with everyone who is in the same journey. The comments I have received from you validated that I have somehow achieved my purpose.

JANET, Your blog has inspired me as well to develop a loving kindness attitude. It speaks of spirituality and emotions that are beyond my grasp. So simple yet so deep... and oh-so-useful.

TRIPTI, keep the faith and live one day at a time. You made the right decision when you created that blog for him. A perfect expression of your grief and tribute for the man who made a big difference in your life.

Thank you for your kind words (as always!).

HARRY, I tried to click on your link but I can't open your site or your profile. I wonder why.

Much Love to all of you!

KAT January 25, 2009 at 6:12 AM  

I loved this post, and wanted to let you know. What you have gone through I can only imagine, and I think you are truly an inspiration to others!!

I also wanted to let you know that I finally posted the awards you gave me, thank you again.

I will be thinking of you tomorrow...and sending you lots of love and {{{hugs}}}

Take care,

Mariuca January 25, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

Hi Pink Lady! This is my first visit to your blog and I stayed here for ages reading through your older posts! I am so touched by your love and will to move on after what happened and I salute your determination and success.

Keep up the wonderful work! :):):)

PinkLady January 25, 2009 at 10:41 PM  

Hi Mariuca... thank you for taking the time to read and appreciate my blog.

Much love,

Bing (",)

PinkLady January 27, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

Kat I will be forever grateful for finding a friend like you here. Your moral support means a lot to me.

Much Love,

Bing (",)

Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you decide to see beyond the imperfections.

"Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward to the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage and confidence." ~ Og Mandino

If I could wish for my life to be perfect, it would be tempting, but I would have to decline, for life would no longer teach me anything.
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"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11-14
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