Once the move was over, that changed a little bit. Last week, it seemed every time I turned on the TV, looked at social media, or heard from someone about some news story that was triggering. One was the Bergdahl story. Like always, I read a little about it but didn't want to go to an angry place and jump to conclusions. Actually, my first thought was if he made a decision that was wrong and the things people are saying are correct, his time being held would cause awful PTS and other visible and invisible injuries, and that would be consequence enough. I just thought about how it would be everything I felt over the last year multiplied by 100 and I can't imagine that. I still don't know how I feel about the whole thing, and I'm completely avoiding reading anything about it at this point, when nothing is really clear. The talk of terrorists alone was enough to get into my mind and body. This wasn't the only story. There was the shooting at Seattle Pacific University, the other in Las Vegas. It was the articles about the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (I actually have to look up his name because that is how much I've refused to give him any attention). It all started to get to me. Add to that, the slowing down and starting to adjust to my new home as well as coming off the high I had from my trip and it hit hard. I had about three days of feeling anxiety again, though only minimal. What was more intense was the emotion I was feeling. I cried a lot and over everything.
I made a decision to not look at any more news articles. I thought about the number of violent crimes we have here and how that is yet another reason I want to spend time in Italy. I also thought about how I already felt this way, but it's been multiplied that I don't like the way we live, the way our society has gone and how drawn I am to the way of life in Italy and other areas of Europe, even if just for a while. So, my decision to go to Italy for a few months has become my main goal for the year.
The last morning that I was feeling down was last Friday. I was going to meet someone for coffee to discuss Italy since her family is heading there this month and then to meet one of my nearest and dearest for lunch. I wanted to shake the sad and anxious feeling. I hadn't seen this friend since before Italy and on the phone before that day, I had been in good spirits, so I just wanted to be in a good place for lunch. She had been there for me all year through a lot of down moments and I needed this lunch to be a happy time. I was still feeling crappy when I went to coffee. Once we started chatting about Italy and just life, I started to feel SO much better. We talked about things she should do and see and about the lifestyle. She recommended a book to me called; "The Wisdom of Tuscany: Simplicity, Security, and the Good Life". I downloaded it that night and was hooked. She had some good suggestions on how to make this extended Italy trip work and all in all, I had a great time and felt "lighter" and happier as I drove to lunch. We had a great lunch on the beach and ever since, I've felt better than I did for those few days. My therapist remarked the other day how I was obviously more relaxed and my energy shifted when I've been talking about my Italy trip and the plan to go there. I can feel it every time.
I've been thinking about and focusing on the positive things of the last year and of my move. I spent so long just wanting to be "me" again, but now I realize I really just need accept, to adjust and be the person I want to be now. A good friend helped me realize this even more yesterday. I can't strive to be the person I was because it's unattainable. This is a trait I hate in our society, that need to be or have something that is not realistic. Here I was trying to do just that. I saw a quote last week, "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive." Part of me died last year and it was okay to grieve that loss. But, just like when anything else dies, you cannot get it back. I am now focused on the parts still there, the parts that have been strengthened, and the parts still to be formed. In the last 14 months, I've learned to appreciate life and people more, I've learned who the most important people in my life are, and i've learned the most important parts of myself and how I live my life, even if that doesn't fit into everyone else's beliefs. So, my focus has shifted. Do I miss the city? Yes and no. I can now choose to be there, to visit those who are important. I took a walk last week in my neighborhood and enjoyed the freshly cut grass and rural route. I also loved my walk in the city yesterday. It's a perfect balance.
Another quote I saw this week and didn't like is the following:
I will continue work to find my new self and continue to feel up and down days (though many more ups than downs!). Thanks for following this journey. It's been a bumpy ride, but it will all work out exactly as it was meant to in the end.