Today I am experiencing my first snow storm since moving to Minnesota. And unfortunately the timing just plain sucks. I am alone at my sister’s place watching her fur babies while she and her family get to vacation for once (I sound bitter here but I am not at all, they deserve this). This has me spending way more alone time with myself than I have in a very, very long time. I actually had a very hard night the first night I was here. I realized I had not been completely home alone since BEFORE Matthew died. And I did not cope with that well. I feel embarrassed admitting that I am 26 years old and cannot really handle a night completely alone, but such is life. Although I did technically survive, ha.
Being alone can sometimes be doubly challenging for me as a widow. You become aware of how truly alone you are in this world without your husband (in my case, boyfriend of 9+ years… but for simplicity we are using the term husband). It is a very specific kind of isolation. I’m not saying there is no one in my life or anything of that nature. I have a wonderful support group, thankfully. Granted the majority of these people happen to live along the west coast, not Minnesota. So some of my isolation is self inflicted. Also, when you’re alone… you’re left with your thoughts. And when you’re a widow who is actively battling PTSD and close to the year mark, those thoughts can be rough. It is not pretty; it’s ugly. It’s painful. Sometimes my emotional pain manages to feel worse than I ever remember it feeling. I’m sure this is untrue and my brain simply forgets the intensity of that initial pain, but try convincing yourself of this when you’re actively having a panic attack and see how well it goes!
People have said to me that I should learn how to be alone. Or be comfortable with being alone. And I am not certain I entirely agree. Let me elaborate here. Yes, I should be able to handle a couple nights alone. That I agree with and it’s something I plan to address with my therapist. However, I don’t understand why it is so frowned upon to be attached to certain people in your life. Humans are pack animals, we are not meant to be alone. We are not built for isolation, and we are not built for navigating life solo. We are a very complex species. We have a lot of physical, social, and emotional needs. And I simply refuse to see following my human nature as a weakness. And anyone in my life is welcome to lean on me any time they need, barring I am physically able. I love nothing more than helping my loved ones when I can, especially after requiring so much help myself during this whole process.