Just passing through......

Musings of a lowly pilgrim
Life lessons | Mental Health | Social Issues

I’ve been afraid of changin’ ’cause I built my life around you……

October 5, 2018

This is…..has been the anthem of my life for the past five years………

I think everyone has one or two events in their life that will always be defining moments. Mine truly is before Greg took his life and since. It will forever be that way, there is no going back. But there is moving forward and I sense that time is now.

Since my return to Calgary from Costa Rica things in my life have changed drastically. During these past few years, I have been fraught with anxiety due to the uncertainty of my situation. I don’t really understand what pulls me out of such a state of apprehension and despair. I know this place well, having visited it many times in the past, though never before for so long, and never while being as agitated as I have been this year.  My world is in the process of being restructured and I am beginning to feel somewhat calm and safe.

Fall colours in Fish Creek Park

Having your safely threatened is not something I would wish on anyone, though some folks, such as refugees, have to cope with it every day. To have your home and livelihood endangered wreaks havoc within the bowels of your being and those of your loved ones. Those who endure such do not walk away unscarred. I cannot truly comprehend the lives of refugees, as my life is pretty darn good in comparison, though there have been times recently when I have completely understood how street people end up where they are. You get to a point where the struggle is unbearable and you give up. You cannot go on. All hope is gone.

Clouds over the Rockies

As I said before, I don’t know what turns me around, but I’m always infinitely grateful. Things were beginning to look pretty dire for me. I know, I know, “how can things be dire when you just spent three weeks in Costa Rica?” I don’t expect you to understand some of the decisions I have made over the past two years. Suffice to say that Costa Rica was an extravagance I could ill afford. I’m not quite penniless, but I will be soon enough. I have a couple of resources I am relying on, but with no guarantee I will have access to them. (I also cancelled my trip to Bali in January. That was honestly a really stupid move. I wouldn’t have had the cash to buy a tea once I got there.)

Bowness Park

A friend who is also a social worker told me that stress has some pretty adverse effects on the brain so I am trying to forgive myself for some of the foolish decisions I have made of late, but I feel like I’m turning a corner and regaining my sensibilities. It truly has been stressful to the extreme since Greg died. And I am familiar with the effects stress can have on the body, having been knocked off my feet in 1997 by CFS and then being afflicted with IBS in 2015. My circumstances have constantly been changing, some of them through no fault of my own while others were poor choices on my part. In the span of five years I have lost my husband to suicide, lost my primary means of support, sold my home, moved five times, become an empty nester, tried to run Greg’s business and failed miserably, started my own business, had to shut down the business due to illness, attended school for a brief period, had four different jobs, sold all my belongings and travelled with my cat in an R.V. down the Pacific coast to Mexico (not to mention flying to France and the U.K. and Costa Rica) thinking I was going to live in a country that had a more affordable standard of living, missing my family and then returning to try to rebuild my life back in Canada, while using up all of my financial resources. I spent money without consideration for my future. Which brings me to the situation I am in now. So, while all these events brought on stress, some of them were likely caused by stress in that my brain wasn’t functioning just right and made crazy choices. I have had some exhilarating moments countered by some deep dark pits of despondency. I sometimes don’t know how I am still standing. But I am, hallelujah!

Coyote in Fish Creek Park, Calgary

It occurred to me about two months ago that maybe I could go back to school, after all, I still have a fairly good brain, despite some of the ludicrous decisions it has been making. My future is pretty bleak if all I can manage for employment is part-time work babysitting (though there is absolutely nothing wrong with babysitting). Anyway, I must say that the colleges and universities seem to employ a generous amount of folks who are in a position to help but would rather not. I have been spinning my wheels for several weeks trying to get information and ending up being told all of the things I can’t do. I refuse to accept that. I’m sick of the message society has been giving me, that of being incompetent for any position other than the most menial due to my life as a full-time homemaker. I have enrolled in an online program through an open university here in Alberta. It will be quite a challenge, but I am looking forward to hitting the books and moving towards some sort of career in counselling troubled women. Who better is there to work with such people than one who has been through it all herself? And I have also applied to volunteer at a women’s shelter. I will still have to work while I try to educate myself and I’m not sure how I will manage that. I have applied to the library where I worked previously. If they don’t take me back then I will be in a bit of a fix, but I will find something. I will need government funding to complete my course, so I am working on that as well.

Thus, I sense that this is a turning point for me. I’m not sure where this blog will go, but it is my hope that I will be able to encourage those who have been to hell that there is a way back because….well, that’s where I am returning from.

Landslide   (lyrics written by Stevie Nicks)

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
I’m gettin’ older, too
Ah, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down


  1. This is a very moving story you have written and in such an elegant way. It is poetic, tragic, and very rich. I am completely moved by your journey and would love to continue reading. You will help thousands my darling. Thousands. Keep writing. Thank you for sharing.

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