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Finding the Strength Within

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Life is filled with the unexpected.  Rising to the challenge brings out the inner strength that we often had no idea we even had.  When my husband took his life a few months ago, I had absolutely no idea of the difficulties that would be before me.  I thought I would just have the emotional pain of the great loss I had suffered to deal with.  I had no idea of the financial downward spiral I would be in.  I had no idea of the survivor’s guilt that would plaque me.  I had no idea of the nightmares that would keep me awake every night…or the beautiful signs from above that life goes on…even after death.  I had no idea that I would feel like a completely different person due to my loss.  For the first time in my 33 year marriage I completely understood “the two shall become one”.  Since my husband has gone, I feel like a half a person walking around.  I feel like a part of me is missing.  I have an irreplaceable void inside of me.  I look at the sky a lot and wonder if he is looking down at me.  I want to see him, be with him.  For the first time, the thought of dying doesn’t seem scary to me, because I know I will see him again.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not suicidal.  I love life too much.  But when the day comes that God calls me home, I won’t be scared or sad.  I’ll get to see my husband again.

Until that day, I move forward.  I’m trying to sell our home of 28 years.  It makes me sad to let it go.  There are so many memories there.  Most of my life was spent in that house.  I go there now and although it is empty, I still hear the laughter of the kids when they were little.  I can hear my husband laughing.  I can see our last day together so clearly.  We danced in the kitchen to Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock”…acting silly and laughing.  He made me lunch…a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with mayo and tomato.  He gave me a belated Christmas gift…a beautiful red sweater and a nightshirt.  We sat on the sofa and he lay down and put his head in my lap.  I gently rubbed the top of his balding head with my hands…something he always found very soothing.  Before I left, we hugged each other for a long time, and gave each other a kiss.  

You see, we were separated, and this spontaneous visit to see my husband was the last time we would ever spend together.  At the time I didn’t know that.  All I knew was that while I was out driving that day, I felt compelled to go by the house and see him.  I tried to fight the feeling, but it was so strong I thought I should pay attention.  I am so glad that I did.  It was our last time together and it was a happy time together.

Four months later, he took his life.  A part of me went with him, and I will never be the same.  I am finding an inner strength, however, that is new to me.  I am a survivor.  I always have been.  I will survive this, and life will be beautiful to me again someday.  Until then, I am taking life one day at a time….one moment at a time…

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Written by cherylawilliams

November 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

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I Hate Bipolar Disorder

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I hate bipolar disorder.  It is a toxic, cruel disease that steals life and happiness from those who suffer with it as well as their families.  The disease is a trickster.  One moment you’re dancing on cloud nine, and the next you are in a dark tunnel from which there seems to be no escape.  The disease tricks you into thinking you’re okay.  It tricks  you into thinking that  you are invincible, and that you don’t need medication.  It tricks you and then laughs behind the back of its victims as they suffer needlessly.

I hate bipolar disorder.  It killed my husband.  He was the sweetest, most loving person I know.  He had a heart that was huge, and he would help anyone out who needed it.  He truly would give you the shirt off of his back.  I’ve seen him do just that.  Still, the disease caused him so many problems in his life.  Because of it, he lost jobs, lost friendships, ostracized family members.  He was rejected by churches because of his unconventional behaviors.  People often thought he was weird.  He wasn’t weird.  He was sick.  He was bipolar.  Still, who wants to walk around with a label as a means of explaining away behavior?

My husband is gone, and I am will never touch him again.  I will never feel his warm loving arms around me again.  I will never hear his laugh again.  I will never walk alongside him again.  He is gone.  He took a part of me with him that I will never get back.  I wish that I could run to him right now, wrap my arms around him and just hold him close.  I would tell him how much I love him.  I would tell him I’m sorry if I ever hurt him.  I would tell him I forgive him for any wrong he ever committed against me.  I would just hold him.  I will never love anyone else the way I loved my husband.  I can’t imagine ever loving anyone again…and that’s fine.  One day I will see him again in Heaven.  His mood swings will be gone.  He will be happy and carefree…and that is all that I have ever wanted for him.

If anyone out there suffers from bipolar disorder, let me tell you this.  It is a disease.  It doesn’t mean you’re crazy.  It simply means you have a chemical imbalance and need medication.  Take it from someone who lived for 33 years with a bipolar husband….your disease is not your own.  It affects everyone around you.  It affects the ones you love the most.  It is your enemy and seeks to destroy your life.  DON’T LET IT.  You deserve to live a happy fulfilled life.  Show this toxic enemy that you are the stronger one.  Don’t let the bipolar disorder win.  You are worth more than that.

 

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Written by cherylawilliams

July 9, 2012 at 4:56 am