Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cheer Up Charlie

My last several posts have been really depressing, which is definitely honest, but also not very encouraging for those who read this blog for a sense of hope that it really does get better.  (By the way, it does.)  I sometimes struggle with that -- I try so hard to be an optimist, to find the silver lining, to stay focused on the present instead of my longing for the past or my anxiety about the future, to enjoy what life offers me now instead of thinking about what could have been.  Obviously, sometimes I'm winning, and sometimes grief is winning.  The last time I wrote, grief was strong-arming me into a sad, hopeless state.  Today, I'm writing to say that I've waged war on those feelings and I'm on top again.

How did I do that?

First, some great things happened -- my mom came to Texas to visit me and meet Antonio, I made some great new personal and professional contacts in Austin, I got to celebrate some big birthdays with friends, and one night I even got to lay on top of a car at the beach at night and watch shooting stars with Antonio.  Second, I made myself focus on those good things that I was experiencing and really tried to push aside all negative thoughts -- the missing Brian, some miscellaneous and really unimportant drama, frustrations with situations and people in my life, etc.  When you're going through a tough grieving patch, it's easy for anything bad to seem magnified, for any weight on your shoulders to feel ten times heavier than it should.  I had to actually make myself count my blessings, to list out some of the great things that I had the opportunity to enjoy.

Third, I have taken a break from writing the "Brian book," the one about my grief journey and the lessons I have learned.  By no means am I shelving it for good, or even for probably too long, but I did have to take a break.  It's just too hard for me to focus on reliving the most painful days of my life, day in and day out, to remember and articulate every detail possible.  Doing that for hours on end every day was too draining; there was no way I could keep my chin up through that many tears.  Luckily, I've started another book, and this one will be fun to write!  I'm working on a book about Austin, TX, and what causes people from all over the country to uproot themselves from what they know to plant themselves in this great city.  I've been meeting people, taking notes, conducting interviews, etc.  It's been a really exciting change of pace, something I'm genuinely excited about.

I have some other very exciting things going on that I will share with my blogworld soon....but in the meantime, I wanted to reiterate a simple truth:  Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. You've really developed some smart strategies for pulling yourself back out of the pit, and I think it's very wise and good for you to take breaks sometimes. I think you are very well-balanced in realizing that sometimes things are up, sometimes things are very down, and that's all part of it. It may not be possible to be up 100% of the time, but that's good news because it means you won't stay down 100% of the time either. And it does become possible to stay up more than down. When I get back down and feel like maybe this time it will last forever, I force myself to remember all the times I climbed back out and KNOW that I can do it again.