An unusual thing I’ve experienced is that my self esteem has taken a serious hit after my husband took his life. I didn’t expect this. I don’t even know what it stems from, or why I would even feel this way.
But in her book, Second Firsts, Christina Rasmussen describes this exact concept.
The voice of grief is rather convincing, isn’t it? It tells you you’re “too old,” “not good enough,” or “not worthy enough” for another chance at life, that starting over is impossible. This voice in your head is the first thing you hear in the morning and the last thing you hear at night. It drives with you to work. It stays with you at lunch. Its message is so consistent that, because of its repetitive power, you may be inclined to believe it. But, as persuasive as the voice of grief is, everything it says is a lie. It’s all a pack of lies. Do you want the truth? If you do, then start listening to life calling to you inside your grief. How? Every time you are yearning to be held and loved, to laugh again, listen to your yearning. Do not listen to your fear . . . Listen to life calling you: “I am here, come on over. Take a chance on me. I am your life, and you’re all that I’ve got.”
I’ve felt inadequate in the most simple and the most fantastic ways since my husband died. When you lose a spouse, someone you met in what felt like the prime of your life, someone who basically agreed to love you whatever happens, and then that person dies – kills themselves, no less, you sort of feel like the gum on the bottom of someone’s boot. Not good.
The prime of my life feels a long time ago, and I had settled into love, comfort, reliability, consistency, and being intimately familiar with known demons.
All the demons are suddenly unknown, and I feel woefully unequipped to wield the sword in the dark against the invisible.
Rasmussen claims to have gotten out of this inadequacy. I hope to, as well.