Closings and new beginnings

Blog [blɔg]: A blog or weblog is a diary or journal, usually kept on a website and thus usually publicly viewable, in which at least one person, the blogger, (…), keeps records, logs facts or writes down thoughts. Source: Wikipedia

Well, this time it becomes especially personal: Starting this blog, back then, about 5 months ago, was a kind of therapy. To write down all the thoughts that buzz in my head every day. To take up all the topics that are also one with so many: Children, family, one’s own body. It was a relief. I had imagined a bit that this was how I could pull myself out of my slump.

And now, as the next year approaches, I realize that my own expectations of myself have not been met. That I am not yet where I wanted to be. That I still carry pain and sadness inside me. That I can be happy, only to start crying right away in the next moment.

It was not under a good star: I celebrated the start of this one with my children on the couch. And it would have been much nicer if I had chosen it that way. But I didn’t, that wasn’t the plan, not my plan. Not my plan of life, not of a family.

The months that followed were like a roller coaster ride of emotions: between hope and glimpses of light on the horizon, the unmistakable sense that it was over, that the person had moved away, had moved on, and would not turn back, despite the confessions. Empty shells. Remorse. Blame. Then the showdown. You break down inside and have to pretend that everything is fine. As if the family were still intact, as if there had been no lies and no mistrust. You function, somehow. And scream, inside. The whole body screams: You can’t get a bite down, sleep is unthinkable, your skin rebels. And yet you go on. For the children. For the family.

„It’s always easier for the one who leaves.“ Well, that may be true. Basically. But if you were a family before, with children, with security, with the feeling of „happily ever after,“ the discrepancy between the feelings of the one leaving and the one left behind is so huge that to put it in terms of „easier“ is the understatement of the year.

And as if one stroke of fate wasn’t enough, just a few months later the next one is waiting around the corner, and you don’t know which is worse. The rock of your life, the man who always loves you, who was always there, day and night, has to admit defeat by his illness. A malignant, previously undefeated disease: ALS. So rare that too few research funds are allocated to fight it. So rare that not even the causes are known. So rare that there is no cure and it is a death sentence. Average life expectancy after diagnosis: two to five years. Anyone remember the Icebucket Challenge a few years ago? Probably some. Does anyone remember what it was about back then? I didn’t remember. It was about exactly that, ALS, and whether the action really worked – see the result – is doubtful. After all, it provided so much needed donations, without which the research would not be possible at all.

Saying goodbye to two men who were the most important in your life within a few months is hard. It hurts beyond description. And true to the motto, „When it comes, it really comes,“ three more very formative goodbyes came along for good. Without the help of my family, my friends, and also a therapist, I wouldn’t have gotten out of it. Letting yourself drift, surrendering to the pain, accepting that life doesn’t mean well with you, is at first glance easier than what I did.

I questioned myself. I tried to understand myself. To accept that I have my faults, that I was not alone, but also responsible for what happened (but not for how it happened). Why was the breakup so close to me, when the relationship was already not intact before? How have I changed in the last few years? Am I still the same? What can I do to make myself feel better? Which path is the right one?

I found out quite a few things. For example, that I’m not good at being alone. But better than I thought. That I don’t want to fill the void immediately and „just like that“ with another person. That I hide my harshness behind irony and sarcasm. And that I don’t like that at all. That I used to be much softer. That I would like to become softer again. That I need recognition. And at the same time I can hardly accept compliments. That I like meeting new people because I’m open, curious. That I have a moral compass that sometimes makes life difficult for me, but makes me a loyal, reliable friend. That my self-confidence is greater than I thought. That I am creative. And social. And much more emphatic than people have tried to make me believe. That I believe in fate, in the universe, in the lessons that are imposed on you and that good is rewarded and bad is punished, in karma. And that I want to live in today, not in the future and even less in the past. I don’t know who I will meet again, who I will have to say goodbye to, or what new lessons await me. But I want to live. To live happily. In the now.

A year has almost passed. I’m more sentimental and emotional than I was a few weeks ago. Still, I’m much further along than I was a few months ago. Happier and more balanced. Maybe I expect too much, and too fast. „Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re only human,“ my friend told me the other day. Yes, I will try to do that. The coming year will be a more positive one. There’s not much else that can knock me down. It will be a closing. And a new beginning.

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