Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A New Direction

New Directions
Originally uploaded by
Mixed Media Mosaics

Today was a very busy, and emotionally exhaustive, day. Toward the end of the afternoon I went to my therapy, and just put everything out there. I decided that there was no reason to pretend that I am not at my lowest of lows. It's an odd place to find myself actually. My day to day, or hour to hour pain, is no where near that which I experienced in the early months. It is more of my outlook on life that has become so compromised.

I feel like I don't have much of a future to look forward to. All that I wanted out of life seems to have been taken away from me. It was taken away so soon after acquiring it. I find myself battling between anger and despair. This is not something that I came up with by myself. It was what my therapist pointed out to me today. I had a very powerful session, where I could speak from that place of anger, and also go to those feelings of despair.

I no longer have the energy to look at the bright side, or to even make an attempt at optimism. Last night I was feeling so bad, that I came down to my room and shut off any sign of life around me. Something happened to my garden lights, as they were completely out when I came down to my room last night. This meant I could not sit on my bed and look out at the garden or my little Buddha. That kind of sealed the deal for me. I closed the blinds to my windows so no moonlight could get in. I blew out the candles I had just lit. I turned off the electronic frame which displays to many photos of Michael and I in happy times. My room was completely dark. There was no sign of life. I sat there on my bed, feeling the complete absence of anything life giving. I cried, and cried. It was definitely a time for purging.

Try as I might, I just don't see happiness in my future. I don't see what could possibly be in store for me. I feel stuck. I question why I should keep on going. I wonder what the effort could possibly reward me with. I decided this afternoon that I needed to make an appointment to see my doctor. Perhaps it is time to change the medication I am on. I don't want to continue flirting with suicidal ideations. I realize that I need something different in my life. Perhaps something new.

I have decided to begin exploring a change of scenery. I never thought I would ever want to move back down to southern California, but I am now considering it. I have hundreds of relatives down there, and many friends. By moving out of San Francisco, and selling my house, I may be able to get into a fun fixer upper with a very small house payment. In two years my car will be paid off, which will mean less money needing to go out. This combined with a much smaller house payment could give me the opportunity to change my career. If I stay here I will never be able to afford to leave my job. It pays well, and supports the expensive cost of living in the Bay Area. But I am realizing that I no longer have what it takes to do my job. I want to do something different. I also would like to live in a home that needs my care and attention. I want a garden to work in that doesn't consist of a bunch of garden boxes. I want to work with the soil in the ground.

Although there are places where I would prefer to live, they are all out of state, and much further from all of my family. This would be too difficult on the children. The reality is that the kids would really enjoy living closer to all of our extended family. It would put me in the position of having access to more support. I have decided to begin my search in San Diego. There is a neighborhood in San Diego that I really love. It would give me access to places I truly enjoy, such has coffee houses and foreign film cinemas. We would be only a couple of hours away from all of our relatives. Close enough for regular visits, yet far enough to maintain my need for solitude.

It feels good to have a new plan.


  1. Dan, this sounds like a very good plan -- you've obviously put some thought into the pros and cons of making such a move. I did much the same after Don died. Everyone kept telling me thay "Don't do anything for at least a year." I listened for a bit, went away to Bisbee for he winter to try see things objectively, then returned in the spring to sell my farm. The closing date of the sale of my farm was a day before the one year anniversary of Don's death. For me, staying at our place did not make sense. The cost of living was higher and my burn rate of cash would have been fast. By cashing out, I was able to bank most of the farm sale proceeds and take just a small part of that to buy the place here in the east. Socially, I felt that there wasn't much keeping me at the farm. The network of friends we had in the early years (190s and 70s back-to-the-land folks) were all gone and I was sitting on my place surrounded by a bedroom community of commuters of soccer moms and hockey dads. I've just been here in Nova Scotia for a week and already had dinner with a neighbour, had a local history of the town and a history sheet on my house given to me by another neighbour, been told to just "walk in and holler" if I need anything by another neighbour. The hardware store people have been super helpful. There's an artist's coop gallery and coffee shop nearby, and a farmers and traders market in town. All in all, I just feel good and keep thinking about how unreal it is to be in this place after Don and I dreamed of retiring here for so many years -- it is what we worked so hard toward achieving. There's sadness that he's not here with me, but the plan that we made is still as good as ever -- so why not do this. I would say that your plan is probably good -- and to follow your instincts once you're sure you've thought the whole thing through -- but it sounds like you alredy have. For me, putting my new plan into motion has really helped me to feel like there is some reason to go on -- to create a new beginning here. Maybe that's how it will feel for you too. Just be sure to line up your ducks and have the logistics pretty solid in your mind before you make a move, but from what you've already written in this post, it sounds like you've given this plan plenty of thought already and it seems solid. I like that you will have a lot more family support down south. You really need more "real" support than you're getting at the moment. I usually don't like to encourage people to make radical changes, but in this case, this seems very well thought through and maybe you should run with it. Good luck with making it all happen,

  2. Dan - Well, I can totally relate to your feelings of despondency and am so glad you have the courage to confront them head on. I have found that so many people out there want us to ignore that deep, dark pit and try to get us to refocus on what is positive. But I continue to believe that there are times where we must be at one with the anger and despair.

    What an interesting shift to find you considering relocating. I look forward to following your course in this new direction.

    Thank you for having the courage to so honestly relate where you are emotionally. I continue to appreciate the value of your insights and I truly hope this new road offers you hope and healing!

  3. Hello Dan,

    Come on down.... I'm thinking of you all the time.
    Love susan