Day 279: an awkward lunch

Today was a rough day. I started my day normally enough but some time between feeding the dogs, the turtle, and cleaning up the puppy destruction of the day I just got sad. I cry a lot less these days, but still do at least briefly more days than I don’t. On the drive to work, my mind started to drift back to nine months ago and I started thinking about all the support I had back then that now, except for a few people, has evaporated. For some reason, this got to me today. I think it has to do with the impending move and how I wish I felt like I could call in those favors based on offers of “Let me know if there is anything I can do.” Usually, I am okay with the fact that most people are gone. Today, it made me cry. I thought about my husband and what he would think of the state of things. He was always the first person to offer help or to be kind to the point of self sacrifice. He was no saint, but he was a very giving, generous man.

I have noticed that most conversations I have these days with the people that surrounded me in the beginning start with “I really meant to reach out to you sooner.” I know they mean well when they say this, but really all I honestly hear with that statement is “I really meant to reach out to you sooner, but the thought of having to actually think about your situation makes me a scared little pussy so I just chose not to until our paths pretty much were forced to cross or the guilt got to me. My next sentence shall reveal which one it is.” Spoiler alert: typically the next sentence reveals the reason to be the former.

Every day however I do have lunch with some guys that try to make sure I’m not that sad widow in the corner no one will talk to. In exchange for their company, I try not to burden them with my struggles and emotional turmoil but today it just got to be too much and I started crying in front of them like a big, dumb girl. I felt kind of like I broke the unspoken rules- that they treat me like a normal person and in exchange I act like one. I could literally see the wheels of panic spinning like mad behind each of their eyes as they desperately tried to come up with something else to talk about, anything to distract from me loudly blowing snot into a crumpled napkin. To their credit, they didn’t get up from the table until I seemed to have my self under control. Truth be told, that control is an illusion.

The fact is I need some damn help. I am overwhelmed. I am stressed out. I am exhausted. I am being hit by a wave of grief either brought on by the passing of time or the pressure of having no time or some sadistic combination of the two. I do not want to drown in these feelings. I want to keep doing what I have been doing which is just keeping on paddling towards the shore, intently focused on the horizon and believing with every ounce of faith left in my weary soul that the shore is just out of sight, soon to emerge. I still believe it is there. Some days I believe I can see it, but sometimes you just have to stop paddling, lay back, ignore the shore and look at the stars.

Good thing for today: My manager was out so I was left alone way more than usual, which was the perfect thing for a tough day.