My Comfort Zone

Today I had several conversations about my comfort zone. The conversations were with different people, but all were centered around the same idea — that I haven’t been in my comfort zone in more than six years.

Before Sam died, we seemed to be on an upswing. He was in therapy, on medication for his bipolar disorder, and had a great job, and was about to move into a new apartment. I was in my comfort zone. My kids were (seemingly) doing well, I had a job I loved, our first grandchild on the way, a great marriage — life was good, and I was completely comfortable in it.

Then Sam died, and even after the immediate pain and shock wore off, I realized that I would never be the same person I was before. I’d never be as comfortable in my own skin as I had been before losing him.

More than six years have passed. There have been great moments of joy and celebration, often celebrated with tears running down our faces. We have welcomed three grandchildren, seen our children grow and flourish, published books, traveled, and achieved so many things that we had wanted to do, but still, it is not the same comfortable feeling of before October 2013.

Then we have faced this ALS diagnosis. Everything is new. Medical tests. Appointments with doctors and other providers. Discussion of things to come. Truly invasive (and sometimes offensive) questions. Uncertainty. Fear. Humor. Figuring out how to eat Keto while traveling. Making house renovation plans. Being told at least ten times a day that self-care is important. Yes, all of those bits and pieces are part of our new life.

Facing the future of unknowns is exhausting and at times, can be overwhelming. Good friends and family who will look unflinchingly into that future with us make all the difference.

So, yes, I am still fully out of my comfort zone. Maybe this uncomfortable zone is my new comfort zone…

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