Transition is Hard

This week I have gone through an insane amount of transition. And even though it was desired transition, it really took a toll on me. It knocked me on my ass way harder than I ever could have anticipated and I am still trying to shake it off.

I moved into my new studio on Tuesday! Exciting next chapter, right? Instead, I found myself paralyzed by fear and feeling extremely triggered. The last time I was signing a lease at an apartment was with Matthew when we moved to Phoenix. That was also the last time that I was excited for my future and ready for the next chapter. So now, here I am, having a fucked up deja vu where I am starting a new, exciting chapter but this time I am completely alone. And I ended up feeling extremely isolated and abandoned? Matt’s death was so sudden and unexpected, and after this week it has become clear to me that his death has left me with some pretty severe separation anxiety and abandonment issues. I am planning on bringing this up to my therapist this week so we can focus on that. Healing is important to me.

My move also didn’t go as smoothly as I would’ve liked. It took the movers 2x longer to complete the move than was estimated. Not shocking, but it was exhausting. I had to pull myself together for 7 solid hours for these guys. And it depleted all of my emotional energy, keeping myself put together for these guys. This is my 5th move in 15 months, basically. I am so tired. My grief and PTSD also makes it so I have a really hard time handling stress or unexpected changes. And I’m so devastated that Matthew is not here to share my victories with. I have come so far, and I hate that I can’t share it with him directly.

The day after I moved, I adopted a cat. She’s a year old, but tiny so I like to call her a kitty. But getting a kitty wasn’t pure bliss like I was anticipating. I thought that I was going to be nothing but happy and excited that I finally get to have my own kitty. I have discussed before what this means to me, but seriously it is monumental. I was really excited for the kitty, don’t get me wrong. But it really triggered my grief. It hit me that the only reason I can get a cat because Matt is gone. Fuck, Matt is gone. Oh my god, he’s gone. That’s how I felt on the way to get the kitty, and it resulted in an extreme panic attack where I had to pull over and had an epic freak out. I was screaming, and hitting my steering wheel repeatedly with a tissue box until it ripped and the tissues flew into the back of my car. I can only hope that someone was able to witness this ridiculous display. I was just so angry that I couldn’t contain it. I hated that I was stuck in this new life. This is not what I had envisioned. But I pulled myself together, met the kitty, fell in love with her adorable face, and brought her home. And proceeded to cry both tears of happiness and grief.

The following days did not go well for me, either. My panic, anxiety, and depression were out of control. This move and the extreme change pulled me too far out of my window of tolerance (as we call it in therapy). So I spent all of Thursday and Friday very triggered. And I had panic attacks on each day. I completely broke apart in a sense on Friday. I hit such an extreme low, I couldn’t even believe it. I couldn’t recognize myself. I genuinely feared that I was going to need to drive myself to the hospital and check myself in because I feared that the panic attack was so extreme that it was going to kill me. But with the help of some people from my support group, I was able to get back into my normal frame of mind and mostly recover.

Today, Saturday, I am lighter. I woke up feeling completely different than I have for the rest of the week. I was able to go spend quality time with my sister and her family and it filled my heart with so much warmth. I got to spend time outside on a beautiful day, and reconnect with my sister and her children since I have been so absent for months, now. Even though I would see them, I was distant and I wasn’t able to actually connect with them because I had been absorbed in all of the depression and anxiety.

The road to recovery is tumultuous. But I am going to do my best to hold on, and ride the waves, and continue pushing and striving to rebuild my life. I want to find happiness, peace, and acceptance. I want to find stability. I know I am heading in the right direction, but I definitely still have a lot of work to do. I am confident in my abilities. I have done so much that I never thought I was capable of lately, I have learned how strong and resilient I am. And I feel emotionally recharged today. I hope that I can keep the momentum going in the right direction, and if I lose momentum that it is brief. I am trying to take the grief waves in stride as best as I can during this major transition into independence.

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