A famous psychologist (his first name is Phil) talks about the fact that we all have pivotal points in our lives; crossroads, if you will, where we can turn down a path of self-pity, victimism, feeling anger at the world and an urge to ‘give up’. Or turning the other way and seeking empowerment, happiness, and a full life.
In August of 2006, I experienced a harsh, heartbreaking pivotal point in my life when my husband of thirty years died suddenly. He took his own life. Sure, I knew he was going through some kind of mid-life crisis or other. Don’t most men? He bought a new car, set up a home gym and started flirting with women half his age. But nothing prepared me for what he did. To be so unhappy and not share it with SOMEONE? I can’t imagine.
I have been ‘under construction’ since that fateful day.
Early on I decided to get into therapy to help with the overwhelming guilt and rage that I felt as a result of his actions. Then as I carefully went through the seven steps of grief (I wanted to be certain that I took the time to heal), I realized that in my forty-five years of adult life, I had never been single.
Who was I? What kind of individual was I? What were my own thoughts, my own beliefs? What did I think about life without the input of a spouse, a partner, a best friend?
So I considered myself to be ‘under construction’ now for several years. Rather than choose to have my life end with the death of my husband (as many women my age are wont to do), I decided to re-invent myself. Discover who I am… and work on that individual.
Am I a kind person? Do I help others? Do I pursue my dreams? Do I go after my goals? Am I happy?
After seven years I can answer: for the most part, I think I am kind. Yes, I help others. I absolutely pursue my dreams and achieve my goals. And after passing through the grief, anger, denial, pain, tears and confusion, I am very happy. A person can’t sit back and expect happiness to come to them. I believe you have to work for it!
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Trisha!!! Love your writing!! Love your spirit!! This will help so many!!
Thanks, Becki. If my experiences help one person to heal and come back, I am content.
Trisha, You are an inspiration! My husband killed himself when he was 32. We were high school sweethearts and had been together 15 years and married for ten. We had two daughters, 3 and 6. About 3 years later I fell in love with my husband and we have been together all these years. We have one daughter together who is now 27. I am now 63 and have found my passion in writing, after teaching school and then becoming an ICU and hospice nurse. Life takes many twists and turns but you have worked hard and healed and that shows in your magnificence.
Christina, your sharing has made me feel less alone. Thank you for that. Survivors of suicide have much to deal with and I applaud your courage. No matter what our age when it happens…..it’s still the same pain and confusion. You might enjoy my web site and my blog as it is dedicated to the art of writing…..I try to support other writers and also have monthly interviews with other authors…it’s been wonderful !!
Sending love and best wishes, Trish