I started my teaching career just a few months after I started dating Jeff 10 years ago. There has been a lot of emotions I wasn't expecting starting this new school year in the same school, in the same classroom, with the same people, and teaching the same curriculum I developed while I was with Jeff. All of these memories and the excitement of beginning the new year and remembering the excitement of beginning my relationship with him came flooding back and it has been so stressful, exhausting, and painful without him. It's just another huge reminder that he's gone and never coming back. I felt like my skin was crawling I was so highly charged and emotional. I felt sad, irritated, anxious, and very jumpy.
I expressed these feelings to a friend of mine and she offered to let me stay at her friend's condo in Palm Springs. I literally jumped at the chance I needed to get away so bad so three of my girlfriends and I decided to make a weekend of it. It was a short stay, only two nights, but it was just long enough to recharge. I was able to lay by a pool all day and just relax and read and nap and think.
I didn't realize how great it was for my soul until I took the time to get away to "trauma island." Well we can't all take that much time and spend that much money so this time I just took a couple of days to a warm destination that was only a quick 2-3 hour drive away. Just getting away from the daily grind of work, emails, chores, responsibilities, and especially the feelings I was experiencing starting the new school year, as well as all the other day to day things that can drag us down really can lift the soul and help the healing process. I know that I cannot escape my problems or feelings forever, but escaping for just a little while to recharge helps tremendously in dealing with those same problems and feelings when I return. I am able to have a clearer mind and more patience with myself and others.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for widow's to take time for themselves. I have heard this advice over and over again in my bereavement group, in my grief literature, and in my individual therapy as well as from all kinds of family and friends. I am so very fortunate to have friends who can get away with me on a moments notice and understand how much I need them and their support. Girlfriends really are the new husbands.
I'm glad I recognized what I needed and took the opportunity to get away and I'm even more glad that I have friends who support me and help me when I need them the most. I just need to remember to do it as often as my soul needs, which we all know is the hardest part. Sometimes, we take care of everyone else besides ourselves, but we have to remember to take care of ourselves first.