Its like those little butterflies you got the night before going back to school. When you have been away for awhile, your skin is sun kissed and maybe you grew a bit. All your new school things are being readied and you lay out the new outfit for your first day back. You think, this could be a chance to re-make myself. I'm a new person. So, you set your alarm for the first time in weeks. Enough time planned to fully get ready and be early even. Nerves rock you to sleep as you envision tomorrow's debut. You see yourself walking into those walls with a shaky smile. This will be the first time, since the last time everyone saw you. You think to yourself, "I better make this good."
Walking into my first day back at work was a little bit nerve wracking. Ok, a ton bit nerve wracking. I had this heavy want to be just as good as I was. I felt a strong need to pick back up from where I left off. From where I left off just six weeks ago. Within my first steps inside I realized very quickly that, for me to be able to pick back up from where I left off, would be impossible. Right then, in that moment on my first day, I felt so completely out of it. I felt like my head was all foggy. I felt heartbroken to learn that yes, work has moved on with out Ryan. I felt slices of anger mixed with disbelief. Why am I back here? Can I actually do this? This all was coursing through my body even before I stepped into the office. So, I promised to be nice to myself. I forced myself to ease into each of my tasks inch by inch. Much like slipping slowly into an ice cold pool. Submerging each part of my body limb by limb.
The support waiting for me at work was immense. I consider myself extremely lucky to fall back into a workplace such as mine. My girls in one word are, incredible. There was a handmade 'Welcome Back Jacqui' banner, my favorite treats including a dozen donuts and a beautiful journal they kept while I was gone. The journal is filled with love letters from them to me, encouraging words, artwork and words of remembering Ryan. Forever. It was all nothing short of amazing and I let myself feel their love and compassion. Those first few days I let their love and compassion fuel me. Because with out it I would have been to weak to continue. I'm sure of it.
On the second and third day I was having to learn a few new things that were installed while I was away. Before I left I was on top of my game. I was quick to learn and quick to please. Now with each step it felt as if I was knee deep in mud. Learning everything all over again made my skin crawl because I used to be so good. Another mountain I had to climb was seeing other mothers. The place is full of browsing moms pushing strollers, moms trying to contain their toddlers and moms to be. All the days long I am faced with this. Please don't get me wrong, because being a mom is a blessing and wonderful and every good thing you can possibly imagine. Believe me, I am a mom. However, for a mother such as myself, seeing all the moms in action is intense. A little too intense at times. My smiles mask my screams and tears. I feel jealous, but mostly heartbroken. Heartbroken, because my heart is literally broken with out my son.
On the last day I felt fed-up. I felt so full of frustration that one more bite would send me to the bathroom sick. Currently, I feel worried that I may never be able to overcome this. Worried that I may never have a sliver of what my life used to be like. Work for me is something I can hold onto. It was a part of me in the past and I'm trying to make it a part of me now. I think the key word here is, trying. I'm trying just six weeks after my life came crashing down. Trying to make sense of my life as I know it now. I believe I'll get there at some point. Hopefully, God grants more patience on my co-workers as I try to work through this.
So, what do I do? What would you do?
For now I am heading back for week two.
Praying it will be a little better.
That is all I expect.
Just a little better than my first week.
I found this quote on Pinterest via Moorea Seal during my first week back and it really hit me. As much as I am trying to be strong and make tiny sense of what is happening, I'm truly going through hell. Every day my husband and I struggle. Life right now is absolute hell with out our son. Sometimes I feel like people forget just how awful this is. That even though we smile and speak, inside we feel all kinds of hot anger and sadness. Everyone gets to move on with their life and their children. Let it be known, the pain we feel is downright excruciating.
Even so, we must still more forward.