We all have vices. Things we turn to when angered, anxious, grief stricken, strung out. The word 'vice' however carries a negative connotation. It indicates something almost villainous or immoral may be occurring.
I however look at my vices as coping mechanisms. As long as it doesn't bankrupt me or put me in harms-way I believe buying extra shoes and occasionally indulging in something unhealthy is ok. Some people turn to exercise, cigarettes, food, drugs and alcohol, gambling, meditation, self-deprecation, humor, risk taking behaviors. The lists go on and on.
Someone asked me recently how did you cope with the death of your husband? (Almost as if the coping was over) She knew me well and said, "Did you just buy a lot of shoes?" Some days yes I did buy an extra pair of shoes, some days I felt the need to hit South Park. I engaged in drinking in excess on occasion, I walked on my treadmill until my feet were screaming in agony, I did in fact scream in the confines of my car. I ate cake. I did in fact cry a lot. The point is I wish I could give you a roadmap to manage your grief and inner turmoil that you might be facing but I can't.
Grief, along with so many other life challenges, are individual processes and processes that will never necessarily end. Last week after a particularly long day of stress and demands at work, followed by nightly sports activities and a late dinner followed by an even later bedtime I was feeling overwhelmed and down. I knew what I needed. I quickly changed into my work out clothes and hit the treadmill at 8:30 pm. I walked several miles at a neck breaking pace and I sobbed hysterically through about two and a half of them. I had to get those miles in and all but being dragged off that thing was going to stop me from hitting that mark. The tears rolled, I stumbled, my vision blurred but I kept going.
Sometimes you just need a release, emotional and physical. The combination of sobbing and exercising brought the stress, the grief, the anger, to the surface but then it was gone, it was out and I knew I would get up the next day feeling lighter and ready to take on the next challenge.
I can tell you two years later I'm in a better place mentally, physically and emotionally but there are still days the breath is stolen from me. Still days I want to crawl in a hole and be swallowed up. The injustice never leaves me. The battles I am fighting for my kids once again on the ball fields. The looks of disdain as I drop my five year old off alone at a birthday party. The looks of ignorance and judgement as if I ran their dad off. If it weren’t embarrassing to the boys I swear I would tattoo WIDOW across my forehead. In the end we all have vices. We all have those things that help us get through the day, get through the anger, the anxiety, the depression. Some could say I have an addiction to shoes but I don’t believe that addiction should be bothering anyone else.
I’ve come to realize through a lot of pain that my opinion at this time really is the only one that matters. The stares, the judgement, the ineptness of others, the ignorance- It is all simply noise. Find your vices. Find confidence. Recognize that you can cope. Use them and rise above the noise.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.