… and so it was, I returned to work two weeks after David’s death. I could identify with my role there – it was the only area of my life that had remained unchanged. I welcomed the long 12 hour work days, 7 days a week it provided the needed distraction. I immersed myself in spreadsheets, sales meetings and the opening of two new office locations. My first year of loss was effortless.

The following year was not as easily managed. It became increasingly more difficult to section off  my thoughts and emotions into my neat little compartmentalized boxes and I began to fragment; unravel. I lost track of time and my focus was challenging to maintain. My mind wandered and frequently to that fateful night of David’s death. I was continually haunted by the image of finding my husband’s lifeless body, and seeing no trace of life in his eyes – his beautiful blue eyes that were now gray. My nights were sleepless – the days had no end. My outward appearance could no longer disguise my despair or my heighten dependency of alcohol. I recognized that I was in a state of grave distress but the extended support system that I had anticipated would always be there was no longer available to me in that second year and my despair quickly developed into – severely depressed.

My daughter and son returned home – I shudder to think what direction my life would have taken had I not had the benefit of their love and support that extended beyond the scope of obligation. Together we forged an alliance to live a healthier lifestyle. I remembered conversations with my Mother, [David and I sitting with  her] while she endured her countless chemotherapy treatments – her rare moments of quiet and clarity she would simply respond, “the body always follows the mind” when asked why she continued. My Mother lived beyond what was expected – she was laid to rest in December of 2010 following a ten year battle with cancer. I could have never guessed that those [very trying] years would one day serve as my example of the determination and courage I would need to overcome the greatest challenge in my life.

But I had choices to make, difficult choices …

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Exercise has replaced the alcohol as my coping mechanism and I have started my journey to a healthy new me.

“Fitness it’s not just about the number of pounds you shed or how much bulk you can put on. Fitness is beyond the physical. It is a way of life, it shapes character, cultivates discipline and it instills conscious living”

“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book