Three days after I lost my husband I went to a local retail store because I had to. I didn’t want to be there, the lights, people, noise were too much but I needed a phone card for my cell phone. The cell phone I have uses pay as you go cards that only this store sells and of course, they are all the way in the back. I didn’t care that my hair was a mess, that I hadn’t showered, that my face was swollen from days of sobbing. So I put my head down and walked toward the back of the store and picked up my phone card. I didn’t want to look at anyone let alone see anyone I knew. Talking was too much for me, I couldn’t do it without falling completely apart. I saw someone I thought I recognized and turned quickly down an aisle to avoid her.
I came upon these little notebooks…journals. I looked at them and immediately knew I needed to get what I had in my head onto paper. I grabbed one without a second thought and walked briskly to the self-checkout. Soon, I was back in my car and sobbing. The confusion, devastation, agony, fear, overwhelming sense of loss, not knowing where “home” was anymore, complete and utter chaotic emotions went down on the pages of that little journal I bought the moment I got back in my car. I wrote and wrote until I finally ran out of things to say. I had written about 5 pages.
I am new on this journey so I haven’t filled the whole journal yet but I keep it with me always. I have written everything I think, prayers, what I am afraid of, how I feel inside and triggers that cause me the most pain. That little book has become a lifeline. I have not looked back to previously written pages very far because in my mind, I want and need to move forward, one baby step at a time. I may not always be able to take a step ahead but that little journal reminds me of where I’ve been already and it shows me how many little steps I’ve already taken. I didn’t notice it before but the word on the front of that journal is DREAMS. I’m figuring out how to have those again and journaling has become a part of my “new normal”.