“Forever For Now” – Falling in love in your 40’s

We met online.

He had me with his first email. I had exchanged emails with lots of men over the two years I had been separated, went on a few OK dates. Don’t get me wrong most were very nice men just looking for a partner for the second half of their life. At least I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, doesn’t everyone really just want to be loved? But it has to at least click. There has to be a spark. All fires start with at least a spark, right? Why would I want less than that?

So, what made this guy different was what he picked up on in my profile that inspired him to write me. That I am a little girl who grew up to be a woman. Because really that little girl is at the core of my true self. Everything I am, think, do and don’t do comes from her growing up, her experiences, her life lessons, her desires, that became the me of today. And I still feel like that little girl often. So I need someone who sees her and loves her and laughs at her.

Anyway, the match that lit the spark was when he wrote “Thank heaven for little girls for they grow up in the most delightful ways”. Kaching! Smart, romantic, intuitive, creative… and wow was he cute – bonus:) Plus he could spell… his profile was well written, well thought out, revealing enough yet intriguing . And while I am not a biker chick, the fact he rides a Harley says bad boy. Yup. Very interesting…

We exchanged witty and fun emails and soon let each other into our private lives through Facebook, where we each proceeded to stalk each other. And our first date was actually a conversation on Skype. Very 2012 of us.

Almost a year later it just keeps getting better. I seriously fall more in love with this man everyday. What makes it different at our age? Everything that matters. Honesty, respect, appreciation… everyday. It”s actually very, very easy. And more rewarding than you can imagine. Actually better than I could ever have imagined.

  • We both know what we don’t want – old enough to know better, but young enough at heart to feel like teenagers
  • We both have no time or patience for games – life is too short – and too busy!
  • What you see is what you get – why would you want to be loved for who you aren’t?
  • We have no interest in changing each other – I fell in love with who he is, not who he isn’t.
  • We already have a family and know what kind of parents we are – 5 boys between us!

Did I mention we live 2 hours away from each other? In different countries no less? He’s a very proud, patriotic American, and I am a proud Canadian.

We love being together. He is as much my friend as my lover as my rock to lean on and shoulder to cry on. He has taught me to love sharing – everything. What’s mine is his, what’s his is mine. I love sharing meals with him in restaurants. I find that so romantic. We share glasses of wine. We share kisses and hugs – lots. He always says and does the right thing, naturally, which is what makes him the perfect man for me. He warms my heart, makes me smile, and best of all, I have never ever felt so safe and loved as I do when laying in bed with my head on his chest, his arm around me. It is our favourite spot. It is our little haven. It really is the simple things in life that are most wonderful sometimes.

And me? I just do my best to love him everyday and make sure he knows it. He is a wonderful little boy who grew up to be an even more wonderful man and he deserves to know that.

For now neither of us has any intention of moving or marrying. We have kids, jobs, lives in our home towns. Everyone asks us what will we do? Why do anything different if it is perfect right now? Of course we miss each other when we are apart. So far we have managed to never go more  than 10 days. It’s nice to miss someone. because when you see them you are always so happy and appreciative of the time together. We admit that is one of the reasons this is working so well. I told him from the beginning I can’t promise the future – the future does not even exist. All I want is to to be with someone I love when the sun sets that day, and still love him when the sun rises. So that is what I focus on everyday with this man. And we promise to love each other forever for now. Today and tomorrow. Eventually all those tomorrows will add up…

sunset

The Stages of Depression

What goes up must come down. So what happens after the down part? Because I crashed, down, way down – burned out, fell into a depression, whatever you want to call it. Forced work leave and forced to take meds. I have to admit, the work leave was a blessing because crying on the bathroom floor at the office everyday is not very professional. Nor is it very efficient and productive. Not to mention what it does for ego, confidence, reputation and mascara. And white knuckling it for almost 2 hours in traffic each way to work, crying and expending all your energy not to smash your car even though every ounce in your body wants to just to end the frustration…Not good. Not good at all.

Stage one. Diagnosis: Major depression and anxiety

For the first few weeks, I was relieved. In denial, but I couldn’t care less. They could call it what they want as long as I could stay in bed and shut out the world. My only responsibility was to get better. And I am very proud of myself because I did just that. I took my medication

depressioneye

even though I was petrified (I have never really taken anything except Advil and birth control pills; anti-depressants are a whole other ballgame.) I forced myself to eat even when I wasn’t hungry. I did nothing and I didn’t care.  I stayed in my bubble. All my energy was spent on taking care of myself and my kids. And I waited to feel human again. To be able to function like my old self – a stranger to me at this time.

After about 5 weeks, as I was told, the meds kicked in and the black cloud lifted. I felt a bit more energetic and hopeful, the crying and anxiet

y stopped (it helps when you remove yourself from the outside world and all stressful situations) and the numbness kicked in which is better but not great – I hate it actually. I wanted to start doing things, take back control of my life, organizing closets, trying new recipes, starting a blog, going for walks, learning yoga… but it seemed that just thinking about it was enough to drive me back to bed. Where I would go because that was all I really wanted to do, and I would lie there and think about all the things I should be doing, want to be doing, wish I was doing, yet could not physically or mentally do. Everyday I tried to do at least one or two things – yoga became my saviour because it got me out of bed and then gave me enough energy to at least be productive for a few hours before calling it quits for the day.

So now I am human for about 3-4 hours, and then the guilt kicks in, because I am useless after that. The brain and body shut down. I still cannot function like an adult. Which just drags me down again. So I go back to bed because I truly feel like that is what I need to do to get better – not push too hard – but I feel guilty. And I wake up each morning and the first hour or two are spent trying to motivate myself to do something, but all I want to do is stay in bed and turn my brain off. It’s a non-stop rollercoaster ride, moments of up, moments of down, up and down, up and down, which is exhausting and confusing and frustrating and not at all where I want to be – or thought I would be after 2 1/2 months. My occupational therapist says it is very normal – I am in recovery.

Stage 2. Recovery, Pressure and Guilt

imagesI haven’t slept much these last few days, anxiety filled sleeps, worried about recovery, going back to work, never finding myselfagain, crashing again, staying this way if I stay on the meds: foggy, unconcentrated, klutzy, tired, unmotivated, lackadaisical, unemotional, numb, lazy. Not too many positives in there. Although I am proud of myself for at least being a great mom and loving girlfriend, better daughter and friend. 

I guess that is where my energy is going. Will I ever have enough to be more than this? I feel pressured with all the doctors and therapists pushing me. But I know they are only trying to help. Well honestly, I think the insurance company is pressuring everyone because they don’t want to keep paying me. But that’s life in a bureaucratic society. At least I am getting help.

Today is a good day so far. It is 2 pm and I have not needed a nap. That being said, I only got out of bed at 11 and didn’t do much  except eat, put on the same clothes as yesterday, pack a bag, and drive up to the eastern townships for my son’s hockey tournament… and write this – which feels amazing. And as I write this, I am ready for a nap and will do that next. I have an hour before I have to feed my son and get him to his game. Dig deep mommy.

Perhaps (hopefully) today is good because my new meds are kicking in – the doctor added a pill to give me energy. Perhaps that is also why I have had crappy sleeps since I started – I take them as early as possible in the morning so they wear off. How do you measure if the added energy is worth sleepless nights? I try not to worry and take it one day, one hour at a time. What else can I do? I have lost all control. My depression has taken over, and now I need to focus on battling it and overcoming it. This is where I am now as I sit and write this.

Stage 3: Remission

The ultimate goal. I will let you know when I get there. Notice I didn’t say if. I have people helping me, and I will listen to them and do my best.

And now, I need to rest so I can be a good, healthy mommy.