I guess some would say that I have been through a tragedy. I say that I’ve been through a life-changing experience and that it has made me a better person. I don’t like that T word – it’s pretty harsh. When Zeke died, I thought my life had ended. In some ways it had. I went through a whirlwind of emotions, some that I can’t even remember. I had so many questions; What did I do wrong? What was he thinking? why did he leave me? Someone once told me that people that complete suicide are selfish – I’m not sure I agree. Once someone is gone, it is easy to contemplate what they were thinking, and only think about the mess they left you with, and the struggles ahead. But isn’t that selfish? I mean this person just took their own life – I can’t imagine how they came to that conclusion, but I can only believe and hope it was not an easy one. I quickly learned that I was the selfish one……I was so obsessed with why he chose to do this to me, but soon realized that he did this to himself; it was not about me. That is hard to accept.
When I talked to friends or family, they always told me “I know how you feel.” Those words used to make me so angry. How did they know? They weren’t in my head, they didn’t find him in this horrible state, they didn’t lose the love of their life. They were able to go home at night. I had to go anywhere but home. I began to get so bummed about that answer to my thoughts, I realized I needed help understanding the emotions I was going through. I started seeing a therapist that helped me learn that everything I was experiencing was “normal.” She told me that only I would know how to push through the sadness and learn how to grow. Sometimes when I went to see her we never even talked about Zeke. We would talk about the most random things – shopping, wine, going to the gym, work and sometimes the news. At one of our meetings she said “I’m not going to let you avoid the subject, we need to talk about him.” It was the first time that I broke down crying in front of anyone. I’m not one that usually feels comfortable crying. I don’t like people to see me that way. I was surprised by my reaction, but I felt so much better. I guess that sometimes when you keep things bottled up, those feelings can come out even stronger than ever. I’m glad that it happened with her; she helped me open up and finally speak about what was going on in my head.
It is coming up on the anniversary of Zeke’s death, and I’m not sure what I will do. I used to hang with friends and take way too many shots of tequila. Probably over the past month, I have realized that I am drinking way too much. I think I drink to hide my pain; I still miss him. Wow, that is the first time I have admitted that. At first I used to sleep with one of his dirty tee shirts so that I could have his scent with me; it helped me a bunch. Then the smell went away. After that I would drink to sleep. The only way I could fall asleep was if I just passed out drunk. It really wasn’t until lately that I thought I had a purpose without him. It has taken me awhile to realize that. Zeke inspired me to be creative. We used to bounce off of each other’s artistic abilities. It was so funny when we would be getting ready to go out for an evening and we would be “that couple,” the ones that were dressed alike. I used to tell him he had to back and change. I used to paint, write, build, and design. After his death, I had a hard time even picking up a paint brush, I didn’t know how to hold it in my hand. Now I am slowly learning to keep his spirit in my heart, and create again. I started writing down plans, sketching furniture, and painting pictures. I used to be so on-the-go and not have time for anything, but now I am slowing down and doing things that are more fulfilling in my life. So, I think that this January 5th, I am going to finish my projects I have started. I am building a window seat box out of what used to be our bed, Zeke had built us a platform bed. I will have it filled with his stuff and have a special place for me to sit and think about him, and be inspired. I think I finally have been able to re-focus my energy into how to be happy, how to be me, without him. I probably will stick to one of my rituals, visiting him at 1st street; bringing him a sunflower, and telling him I love him. Then I will go back home and pick up my paint brush……I think I know how again.
– Nicole Orsargos