Saturday, July 13, 2013

Who Am I Now?

A girl who also recently lost her boyfriend and I have been messaging back and forth since Blake died. Although she is very much still going through a lot of the same emotions as me, she is a couple months further down the road. Talking with her has given me insight into typical challenges during the grieving process that I will encounter, before I encounter them.

A few days ago I wrote her this:
"The hardest thing for me right now is realizing that I'm never going to be myself again. I think I'll become more like myself as time goes on, but I'll never be exactly the same as I was before. Everyone says that's a good thing and I'll come out of this a different, but stronger person, but it just sucks. When I do things I used to do with people I used to do them with I want so badly to just be myself and I can't."

After affirming that that was normal and she was experiencing it too, she shared this:

"I started an internship a month ago and am meeting a bunch of new people and they think of me as a single girl with short hair, when I see myself as a girlfriend with long hair and a nose piercing haha. I am scared to add any one on Facebook because I just know they won't be able to comprehend how much I have been through in the last three months and how much I have changed, to them I am just another college student. Have you started experiencing that at all yet?"

At that point I hadn't, but today I move to San Diego and I know that time has come for me. 

Who am I Now?

Am I Blake's girlfriend? 
Am I single?'

Should I let new people friend me on Facebook?
Will it scare them to find out what I am going through?

Can I get close with anyone who doesn't know this important part of me?
Is it necessary for everyone to know?

I honestly don't have answers to these questions and even three months out, neither does she. Although this kind of seems contradictory, I want to be able to answer "yes" to all six of those questions.

Blake will always be my boyfriend, but that doesn't mean I can't eventually be completely happy and in love with someone else. I know that sounds ridiculous and maybe to some people it is. However, widows get remarried all the time, does that mean they love their first husband any less? Absolutely not. Does that mean they'll never be able to fully give themselves to their new husband? I don't think so either. At age 24 it would be silly to think I will never love again, and Blake wouldn't want that for me either. 

I can't be afraid to let new people into my life because of my reality right now. Yes, it will probably scare them. It might even scare a few people away from wanting to be my friend altogether (why would I want to be friends with those people anyway?). But after they get over the initial shock, I think they'll come to realize that everyone has a story. Everyone has a battle they are fighting that makes them who they are, but doesn't define them. 

Which brings me to the last two questions. Yes, I can get close with someone who doesn't know about my boyfriend's death, but eventually I'll need to tell them if I want more than just a surface level friendship. Going through a loss like this is going to change me. It's going to make me into someone a little different and hopefully a little stronger, wiser, and more beautiful too. Because of that, how could I hide this life altering experience from a person I love? That being said, it won't define me. 

So who am I now?

I'm still figuring that out. But I know once I do, I'll be everything I used to be and so much more.


  1. Hi Briana

    I've been reading your blog and was wondering have you dealt w Blake's friends who were using w him? Have they talked to you about everything? Are they still using?

    1. There have been a few who have reached out to me and told me that Blake's death really made them want to get help. I've tried to be supportive and encouraging to those friends and told them to contact me whenever so I can help them in whatever way I can be useful. This has been by far the most rewarding thing for me.

      Unfortunately people who don't come to that conclusion on their own aren't ready to get help. Sometimes even the sweetest most sincere offers to help are met with rude and offensive remarks. I've tried to not take them too seriously, but I realized it wasn't healthy for me to push any further. The most you can do is inform someone close to them (family especially) that you are concerned.

    2. Thanks for your reply. Are you or his family upset with his roommates that were using with him? I feel like I would be. Did Blake tell them to keep it from you?

    3. His roommates weren't using with him. It would be easy to want to blame them for not telling us after he overdosed the first time, but I realized that blaming people doesn't solve anything. I don't want to have to hate anyone because it just makes my heart hurt more.

      In the end, there really is no person to blame, not me, not his family, not his friends, not his roommates, and not even him. If I want to blame anything, I can only blame the drugs. Because of their power over him, he was unable to see he desperately needed help.