I am constantly surprised when I go to therapy and I find out that I’m doing pretty well considering everything. Rather than letting my issues compound, like I used to do when every new upset arose, now I get through one or two or ten things and move onto the next. I try my best not to dwell on the entirety of the situation and to take the lessons presented into consideration.
So when I told her about the past 6-8 months, I realized just how many things had occurred that would normally have upset my path. My father’s health issues, somewhat surprising visits from family, pet additions, job changes. There’s been a lot. Having a stronger career has helped with these transitions immensely. It has given me some solid footing and reduced a great amount of stress for me. It has also given me a greater everyday purpose, something I needed more than I realized.
It’s encouraging to hear that I am handling life pretty well overall but it makes me question why I can trust myself and my judgements? I’ve been struggling with accepting that one or two things in my life may not be as good of a fit as I thought they were. It’s difficult accepting that these changes need made because in some ways, they don’t feel like positive changes. They feel like letting go, letting loose, disappointing people’s unspoken expectations of my life. So. Much. Pressure.
Trusting my judgment means believing that these decisions are the overall best course for my life as a whole. And why should I trust this judgment? Because I know myself and my desires best. People can see one phase and slice of me and think they understand, but they may be missing a larger portion of my life that makes the final determination. When it comes to decisions about my life, I do know best. Instinct goes a long way, and it’s something I used to base my entire life on: college, career, moves, love, all of it. I went with gut and gumption.
How do you trust your gut and gumption after you stopped relying on it for so many years?
I still struggle with that myself. I used to have such confidence and now I over think every decision I make.
I have a hard time trusting myself because I am afraid I overanalyze things in an effort to make sense of what has happened in my life, in effect trying to live out the “why” of my husband’s death. I don’t know whether my desires are really mine, or whether they stem from deep-seated survivor’s guilt and overwhelming desire/pressure to contribute to some greater good, to give back, to make the world a better place….to try to make the “why” all work out.
It’s so difficult to understand why we do or don’t do things when we’re widowed.