I’ve had several people tell me how strong I am. How brave. How amazing or incredible. I’ve tried to take the compliment and just move on, but to tell you the truth, it bugs me.
Because really? What I’m doing? Getting through, talking to people, continuing to work and such… What other choice do I have? Really.
The first one people worry about or think of is following his plan. Offing myself… Going where he led. But there are things that make that not an option. First? My mom. It would destroy her. I couldn’t do that to her. And his family. After how amazing they’ve been and how close I’ve become to them, I can’t imagine what me doing that would do to his sister… His mom… His nieces… Brother in law… Dad.. Aunt… It would tear them apart when they’re already torn up.
And what about our mutual friends? The ones who are already reeling from his death? How could I do that to them? And my friends who didn’t know him? There are many of them, and it would rip them up in a way that most of them can’t even comprehend. I, unfortunately, can.
And then there’s my cat. She hates every living thing in the world aside from me. How could I leave her to either go back to my old roommates, who are wonderful, but own the two cats she finally escaped, or go somewhere else with unknown animals? Because everyone I know who likes cats HAS cats. So she’d be stuck living in hell. Nope. Can’t do that.
So, there’s that option negated. Next option? Mental break? Sure, why not? I’ll just hide out in my house, because being alone makes me feel so good… Oh, wait. No. Strike that. Reverse it. If I didn’t have my job, I WOULD go crazy. What would I do all day? Lie around crying? Sounds like tons of fun. Even better if I wore out the patience of my amazing boss & company and lost my job. Whoops! There goes my house! Sounds like a great option, doesn’t it?
So yeah. Not going there. Next option? Drinking my pain away. Let’s put aside the fact that it’s very rare that I CAN get drunk before I start feeling kind of crappy and assume that, sure, I could get drunk to drown my feelings… Numb the pain… Something. That works for the night… Until the alcohol starts leaving my system. Then? Then hangovers make everything better! Amiright? Not to mention that I’d probably be broke in a month considering my alcohol tolerance. And there’s that pesky job thing. And health.
So nope. That option’s off the table. As are other drugs for many of the same reasons, AND? Doing illegal things would just make me all kinds of paranoid, which would certainly help me deal…
What else? Ooh. Sleeping around like crazy. Because STDs are a great way to get over death.
Binge eating? Can’t keep food down, so that won’t work. Starving myself? That’s probably the closest thing to a viable option… Except that hanging out with people oftentimes involves food, and making people worry about me doesn’t help my mental state. Also, I don’t like the shaky, weak feeling. I’m shaky enough as it is with the stress, I don’t need more on top of it.
So, no. I can’t think of other options for me to deal with this. Writing helps me process. Getting feedback helps me recalibrate. Talking about it and him helps me mourn.
I’m not amazing. He just left me with no other choices. He took that away as much as he took himself away. And yes, I AM angry at him for that. I’m furious that he left me to deal with this shitstorm. That he left his family to handle all his stuff. That he left the people at work to figure out how to do all the things only he knew how to do. That he left our trivia team to fumble and lose phenomenally because he was the best person at trivia that any of us knew. I’m pissed. And hurt. And sad. And lonely. And I have no other way to deal with it than to do what I’m doing. Because there is no other viable option.
So don’t tell me I’m so strong, or brave, or anything else. While I appreciate the compliment, I’m just doing this the only way I can. And maybe it’s not how other people would do it… And that’s their prerogative. But it truly is the only option I can see. The only one I can choose. It’s not even a choice. It’s how I HAVE TO do this. He left me no other path. So I walk it, and miss him, and love him, because I really never had a choice in that either. And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to where the path leaves this hellish mire, and things will get easier. But I can’t think about that yet, because right now, it’s all I can do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I can’t see through the fog to a better place. I just keep marching, because it’s all I can do.
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