Just breathe


Willie Nelson’s “Just Breathe,” another song that followed me during the last months of life with Mark. I hadn’t heard the song in months, and lately it’s been on the radio again – heard it twice last week. “Stay with me/let’s just breathe” ….  Those words, those words. I have to believe they were written by someone who’s gone through what we went through, the slow letting go of a life.

I have dealt with my grief by staying busy. When I slow down, the regrets catch up with me. Sneaky bastards. They have attached themselves to even the best moments that Mark and I had. Apparently, if I want to remember the good, I have to relive the pain too. Bastards.

Today was a good day, a productive day. But Depression (the capital-D kind) was dogging my tail, and I didn’t realize it until around dinner time when my mood did a big belly-flop and I spent a few hours in misery. It’s lifted now. I’m not exactly tap dancing tonight, but I’m up out of the dungeon. Busy week ahead, with work and then something happening almost every night and a full weekend. That helps.

I remind myself that Depression, at best, is a bad filter. At its worst, it’s a big fat liar. Depression reports hateful, terrible things as gospel truth. With help – and medication – I understand that the dark feelings will eventually lift and more tolerable ones seep in.

For some people, Depression does not lift. Which is why I have two doctors, one counselor, a minister, and loved ones who have agreed to keep watch and tell me if I appear to be circling the drain.

Some of my friends have retreated. I am not great company. I am stumbling all over the damn place, frustrated, feeling clumsy and foolish, and not so lovable. (Just ask my children.) I want to rip off the Band-Aid. I want it off, all of it, the layers of pain and fear, regret and sorrow, and I want to get back to my life.

But what life is that? Too much to deal with, too much to sort through, too much to process.

Baby steps when I want to run. Grief sucks.


About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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5 Responses to Just breathe

  1. Jan says:

    Grief does suck and it can’t be rushed…selfish bitch that it is. Keep on keepin on, in whatever way you can.

  2. Wendy Welch says:

    Yes, Vicki, grief does suck. BIG SUCK. I’m so sorry you’re in the throes of it. I wish I could wave my wand, but I just plain don’t have one. And no one else does either. So just having those around you to hold your hand, and pull you up when you need help up off the floor will have to do.
    I, for one, am more than glad to be ears, arms, shoulders, whatever you need, and I know there are a number of others as well. We are the cranes standing at the ready to hoist you out of the quicksand. Eventually you won’t visit that pit as much or as deeply. Seems like it might be a good time to arrange another time to sit and talk and hug. ❤

  3. dehelen says:

    Even the baby steps are leading your through to the other side. Your words, your sharing are so important, Vicki. Thank you for continuing to write.

  4. Dana Mullen says:

    Vicki Caroline, you are 9 kinds of ferocious and awesome in your fearlessness. I have all kinds of respect for your relentlessly fierce examination of yourself and am ever amazed at your clarity. I love that about you and have from the very first time we ever laid eyes upon one another. Depression is a bastard – in the worst way. I was going to say don’t let him win but I can see you throttle the s.o.b. at every turn. You just keep on lady. There are people you don’t even know praying for your heart and mind, your family spirit and a peace that passes understanding. (insert icon for cyber hug).

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