I went for a walk today

The cool crisp morning air instantly shocked me into remembrance, mostly the absence of Woden.  
This was my first walk without him and I miss him. I miss him every day. I soon teared up and began to cry. I gave into the sadness, the heartbreak of loss, and the memory of that traumatic experience. I walked our usual route that we took so many times before, letting my mind wander.

My current neck injury prevented me from going for the run my body so desperately yearned for. Fear of re-injury was forcing me to walk at the pace Woden and I so often have shared. Physical pain along with the emotional pain of loss forced me to contemplate what was going on inside my head. I reflected on the rapidly ending derby season and the goals I set for myself. These thoughts brought on worries and fears of new endeavors such as climbing, which caused the current injury.

I continued walking and just letting myself feel.

I thought about myself. About one year ago or even six or seven months ago, I would not have let myself feel. Not like this anyways. Not without fearing how I felt, not accepting it, acknowledging it and recognizing the power it had over me. I could see the work I put in and the growth that had occurred. Each new step was full of confidence and pride, supported by all of my accomplishments and hard work.

I thought about how happy I am for Zack to be home after so long. I thought about how excited I am to see him and continue building our life together. I thought about change.  I thought about my fears about him leaving and how things might be different between us when he came back. But, as I was walking and recalling that fear I realized; Things will be a little different, and that is perfectly okay. I am not afraid of the change any more. Why? Because change is a part of growth and I want to continually grow and evolve. As an individual, as a partner, as a friend, and even as a sister and daughter.

We are different people then we were seven months ago.

We have experienced life and even death. We have faced our own individual challenges and overcome them individually and as partners. We have grown. We are two individuals in a partnership, choosing to share and spend our life together.  Coming from an abusive relationship, I was very codependent at one point in my life. To not only know, but really understand what being an individual in a true partnership means gives me confidence in myself like never before.

As I was looping back around to the house, a sense of calm and happiness come over me. It suddenly hit me, this is what my recovery looks like. I had taken the time to go on a walk alone, just because I wanted to. I did not suppress any of my emotions and I let myself feel. More importantly, I did not feel bad for how I felt or try to explain away any of the feelings. I looked at the past with perspective, acknowledged current fears, and looked to the future with anticipation and excitement. I am becoming more comfortable with myself each and every day.

With each day that passes, I take a confident step forward and start a new chapter in my healing.

By Catherine Perkins 


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