Every Step Afterward

There are no words to describe my weekend, mostly because I alternated between sleeping and watching Nurse Jackie. I was so tired from my work week that I needed to recharge my batteries. I made it into DC to hang with Prianka and Elena, and it was just what I needed. When I came home, though, I was out of spoons by a mile and being able to just Netflix and chill in the literal sense of the phrase helped immensely. Besides, it was snowing outside and I was under my electric blanket because my room was so damn cold. I need to get a space heater, and I have the money for it, but not the will to go shopping. Maybe after work. We’ll see. It depends on whether I have energy after work. Maybe if I can squeeze in a cup of coffee at lunch. Dealing with being bipolar and all the meds that come with it tend to make me sleepier than most.

Plus, I’m grieving.

Everything feels heavier when you’re sad. It’s harder to move in the world when your heart is so full it physically feels like carrying a rock. I didn’t even have enough spoons to go to church, and I feel horrible about it, but this job is taking everything I have. Just everything. I don’t mind, but commuting an hour and a half each way every day is harder than I thought it would be. It makes me so tired, especially in the evening. I roll into the Silver Spring Metro and I drag ass every step afterward.

I’ve got my cup of coffee in hand, Maxwell House because we have a TON of it. Seriously, I think we have enough to last through the Zombie Apocalypse. I just hope it works. There’s a Best Buy on my way home if I get off at the L’Enfant station and take the green line to Columbia Heights. I’ll start there because it’s the closest, and maybe stop by Sticky Fingers for dinner. It’s a vegan bakery/restaurant and their veggie burgers are off the chain. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I love the way vegan food tastes, and I eat vegan often. When I do, I feel better. So perhaps I’ll go vegan, because there’s nothing wrong with cheating once in a while, but I think vegan is the way to go in order to help the bipolar and up my energy. The right nutrients go hand-in-hand with the right brain chemicals.

But I’m probably going to end up as one of those bacon-eating vegans. πŸ˜›

I may have mentioned this before, but veggie burgers with real bacon are INCREDIBLE. Dana and I used to make them at Biddy’s, and we called it “the Hypocrite.” We put them on these huge ciabatta rolls and I can still taste it in my memory. But perhaps it wasn’t just the sandwich, but the memories that come *with* the sandwich.

But I’m making my own new memories, and they are just as precious. It’s in my dreams that I go back to the joys of being married to Dana, because it wasn’t just being married that was fun. It was being married *to her.* I understand those people who dress in black for a year after they’ve lost someone to show they’re in mourning. I don’t dress in black, but my heart is on my sleeve and it doesn’t take much to make me cry, even when I’m sleeping and wake in the night with tears on my face.

Dana wanting no contact makes my life easier, in that I don’t have to care what she thinks, I don’t have to compromise with her on anything… and at the same time, it makes my life harder… but you can’t cross a river and keep checking back to make sure the other person is still behind you. You can’t break up with someone and go to them for comfort in it. It’s just not done. As one of my friends said, “I am glad you are just moving the F on.” Christmas was excruciating, and even then, I survived. Next year will be easier. #fingerscrossed

Dana and my mom have the same birthday, so there will never be a time in my life when I forget. I alternate between good feelings about that, and sadness that I will never celebrate it with her. The other day when I, in a moment of weakness, Googled her, I found a video of her 40th birthday, and ironically it made me feel good. I wasn’t there, but she was wearing one of my t-shirts and my belt, so even though I wasn’t there bodily, I was there in spirit. It was a reminder that there are things she’ll never forget about me, either… especially if she’s still got some of my clothes. πŸ˜›

I remember when Meag left for University of New Brunswick, she gave me a t-shirt that she’d worn a lot so that it still smelled like her, and I used it as a pillowcase for almost a year. When it wore out, I cut the Roots logo off of it and intended to sew it on my backpack, but it’s just another thing that was lost in one of my moves.

All of the women that I have dated seriously are women that, for me, define time. And even though Argo and I are just friends, she’s yet another woman that for me, defines time. There was a time when I didn’t know them, and there was a time when I did… and I’ve never been the same afterward.

And let’s go back to the statement of “just friends.” I’ve learned not to minimize friendship, because it is just as sustaining as having a partner. I’ve just got more of them, and they each have a piece of me that no one else does. So to say “just friends” is something I can’t believe came out of my mouth, because right now, my friends are the lifeblood keeping me afloat as I navigate joy, hope, grief, sadness, and all of the other things that tear you apart and bring you back together in the process. There is nothing better than a true friend, because a true friend will love you know matter what state you’re in when you show up. They’re just glad you showed up at all.

I am especially grateful for Prianka, because she is all about self-improvement and gets me excited about it as well. When I am with her, grief fades into excitement about who I will become, leaving my past behind to create great things.

Self-improvement is not a destination, but a journey. And it is amazing to put my feet down on holy ground and walk forward.

Join me, won’t you?

Amen.

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