Friday, January 8, 2010

Turning the Corner

When I started on this blog journey, and more specifically, when I started the post-Shep years, I mentioned something about how this blog was for me. And while I love readers and followers and comments like Victoria's Secret models love a lemon wedge for dinner, in the's all about me. (And now as I type that, my mother's voice is echoing in my 13-year old brain: Allyson, everything is not always about you!" Clearly, she was confused). I have such a spotty record with journaling (it has to be the perfect journal and the perfect pen and the perfect time of day with the perfect spot on the couch...that sort of thing) that very rarely do I actually capture the moments that would provide insight into my life later down the road. Instead, I end up writing about how Oprah had Chris Rock on and he made a really funny Joe Biden joke. Or how, for the first time in my entire adult life, I did all of the laundry without forgetting any of it in the washing machine for 3 days. These are not life-altering events. They really don't even give a clear picture into how my life is right now so that in 20 years I can crack open that journal and recall the smell of mildewy laundry and laughing at our VP's guffaws. What I would really like is to have a scene straight out of Bridges of Madison County where I die and our children are packing up the house when they discover my journals and read about the life I had that they never knew about. Although, that life would never include sleeping with a photographer from a famous nature magazine. I promise, Neal. Swearsies. Actually, I'm a pretty open book so I have no idea what it would include, but surely there would be a juicy tidbit, revealed only after my death. Surely.

All of that to say that my blog is my journal now and I've done better at keeping up with it than I ever have with paper and a pen. And so, this is one of those days where I put it all out there for me. Want to comment? Go right ahead. I love them and I get all new-pink-purse-giddy when I read them...but please don't feel obligated. I just need to have this documented so that I can look back in a year or 5 and say "that's right. That's how I felt then. I remember it now."

I can't believe it, but I seem to have turned a corner in dealing with Shep's death. It's only been 4 months, but I can actually conceive of the idea of getting pregnant again (oh I made a pun! Almost as good as irony). Two things happened this week that have convinced me that I am moving forward, even though I still have days where it feels like I took 3 steps forward just to take one giant leap backward. (Red light, green light. Although, a more accurate description would be: Red rover, red rover, bring Allyson's sanity over).

1) I went to our new, super-snappy, 24-hour gym in the middle of the day for a nice long workout. Days of Our Lives was on and, honestly, nothing makes the run go by faster than to see if Bo is going to choose Carly over Hope. Plus, it keeps me abreast of all the latest hair and clothing trends since Kentucky remains hopelessly behind. Anyway, as I was walking in, I ran into a former colleague of mine who asked how I was doing, where I was working now, y'know...former colleague chit-chat. I said that I was making and selling jewelry online now, that being pregnant and doing massage was not going so well. She nodded too she completely understood. Then she raised her sweatshirt and VOILA! She's pregnant. "I'm due in March! Can you believe it?" I can't. "When are YOU due?" Yeah, I'm not. Anymore. Now you ask: why do you have to bring up the whole pregnancy thing all the time? It makes people who ask about it feel like dog poop when they get the answer. Especially pregnant women due almost exactly one month after you were. And to you I say this: If I deny Shepherd's existence in this world then, in effect, I am denying him. I am denying a human life. My human life. And I absolutely, flat-out refuse to do that. Last summer, I knew 5 pregnant women and now, there's only 1. Miscarriage (and I HATE that word. I didn't "miscarry" anything. I didn't "lose" anything. Something was taken from me. Somebody. If I could find an appropriate synonym, I would coin it immediately) is common and we can't just sweep it under a heavy wool rug and hope it never crawls back out. I'm not saying it to make you feel sad or bad or any of the other 1584 emotions. I'm saying it because it happened, like "I drank too much espresso yesterday" happened and "I hit the garage with the car" happened.

But something else happened. After we parted ways, I did not get back in my car, drive to the first bar and drink my emotions from a shot glass. I did not go into the bathroom and throw up from jealousy and fear and anger. I went into the gym, got on the treadmill, and ran 5 miles, knowing that I will not be able to do that when I get pregnant again. And when Lightening Crashes streamed through my Blackberry, I did not switch it over to rap, nor did I sit down on the treadmill and cry until my head throbbed and my heart splintered. I kept running.

And when I got home that night, I did not pour a double with my favorite redneck bourbon. I made dinner and sprinkled it with bleu cheese...something else I forbid myself to have when growing a fragile being.

2) Neal and I don't have Showtime, and yet we are consumed with the wit, irony, and hellagood writing on Dexter. So, we watched the first 2 seasons on Netflix streaming. Now we are so caught up that we're relegated to waiting for the mail to arrive every 3rd day so we can watch season 3 on DVD. (Read: we have the 1-DVD-at-a-time plan. That fact alone makes me wonder just how long the USPS can survive). If you're a Dexter fan you know that season 3 is where Rita, wife of creepy-but-somehow-still-hot Dexter, gets pregnant. If you're not a fan but wanted to become one, well...whoopsies. Is it too late to post a spoiler alert? Anyway, sometime around her first trimester, she starts bleeding and her new friend (the wife of Jimmy Smits' character - who I cannot watch without thinking about all of his nekkidness on NYPD Blue) rushes her to the hospital. She's fine and they all go about their business; Rita being hormonal and whiny, Dexter stalking and killing people in his own clever way. The point? I did not turn off the TV, yank the DVD from the player (which is much less dramatic with DVDs than VHS tapes. Isn't that annoying? I can yank a VHS tape from a player with every bit of the scorned-woman-fury I can muster, but it is just not the same with a DVD), and haul it off to the mailbox. Nor did I get up to pour myself a double so that I could finish the second episode. I watched. I enjoyed. And I took a deep, cleansing breath. I'm not sure I can say the same for Neal, though. He's so protective. *Kiss*

These are not, for most people, reverse-the-spin-of-the-Earth revelations. For me, they are huge. HUGE. I know I still have a long road ahead. I refuse to get pregnant again until I have appropriately grieved for my first child. But this just shows me that I am moving forward and through the grief process. It's slow and it's painful and some days I do hide in the house and eat Nutella from the jar. But those days are getting fewer and fewer and for that, I am exponentially grateful.

Thanks for letting me put this out there. I know I have a lot of new followers and I don't want you to think this blog is all death and dying and taxes, but sometimes you just gotta let it all out. Tomorrow will be better. I almost punched the Gym Manager in the throat on Wednesday. Doesn't that just scream Situation Comedy Hilarity? Yeah, thought so.


  1. The blog you liked to this brought me to tears. Did you ever end up getting your tattoo?

    Obviously we don't know each other in real life (um duh.) but I think you are such a funny and sweet person and I'm so happy to hear that you have turned a corner in your grief. Those are HUGE things. I've never personally been through anything like this, but someone very close to me has and eventually you get through it. But you will never forget him and that's the most important thing.

    On a lighter note...why did you almost sock the gym manager?
    Oh and also, at some point before the wedding I am totally getting something from your Etsy. :) I LURVE your jeweleries!!!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. Don't feel bad about grieving, you deserve to, properly doing so is very important. Let yourself feel what you are feeling... don't ignore it... but do not dwell on it. I think you are handling it the right way, actually.... and I am glad to hear you are doing better.

  3. Girl. This blog is ALL about you, for you. And your followers will all feel so much closer to you after having read this. I love being able to see the real you - and the real things that you're dealing with in life. And I feel honored that you share those personal emotions with us. That way, we all feel your grief, we all feel your pain and we understand you more than ever. I'm so glad to hear that you're making progress with your grief, but you know what? If you have a bad day and vent about it on here, we'll all be here to virtually hug you and help to pick you back up.

    Big hugs from Austin and hopes for a fab weekend. xoxo

  4. I love you....that's all! ((hug))

  5. I am very happy for your "leaps and bounds" of progress. You have every right to your good days and bad days, your steps forward and back. Don't feel guilty for your emotions. My heart fluttered when I read the part about you being able to think about getting pregnant again. It makes me very excited that you are thinking this way...even more excited than the thought that I will eventually try again! All in due pun intended here, either. Thanks for your blog and inspirations. Love from Hawaii!

  6. this was beautifully written.

    for some reason, your blog was not coming up in my reader but i've fixed it (i think!) and i'm back!

  7. Ally, *this* kind of post right here is why I continued reading your blog. I love that you are all out there, good and bad, take it or leave it. I strive to be this also, so I admire it in other bloggers that don't hold back.

    You are a wonderfully strong and courageous woman. Those situations would have brought *me* to tears, but you? Nope, you just sucker punch life in the face and keep on running! (for 5 miles!)

    And I'm with Salt... this whole throat punching the gym manager is a must see/read.

  8. Allyson, before I began blogging, I wondered why people would "clog up the internst" with all their personal details. But your post is an example of blogging at its most powerful. You have documented for yourself some really important feelings and progress, and you've shared it with people, some of whom will reach out to offer support and some of whom will learn from what you've said. All you can do is take the feelings as they come, work them through, and move forward as you are able. Which you seem to be doing with great courage and strength. I'm glad you're treating yourself well...bleu cheese instead of bourbon, workouts instead of wailing. All the best!

  9. Ok. This is the second time I have noticed my comment not appearing. And this stinks because I said some really nice things to you and I just don't know if I have it in me to replicate them twice. In one day. You know?

    Let me try. I said for one, you are an amazing woman who is very strong, genuine and compassionate. This is why I like your blog so much.

    Second, I notice you comment on all of the blogs we have in common ad you need to be awarded with the best commenter ever award. Your comments are always so meaningful and so ungeneric. Always!!

    *sigh* This one better stick.

  10. modg is martinis or diaper genies @ blogspot. very. Very entertaining

  11. how, How, HOW did you make something that is so beautiful so funny? You are freaking talented, my friend. I would like to be able to go back and re read all of that so I can comment on every other sentence, but that i will not do. On principle alone. I was getting chills as I read every part of that, particularly your awesome Awesome acknowledgement of life. I won't get all political on you, but "every person's a person no matter how small" (horton hears a who). I am sorry for you loss and I am so proud of you for living for now, but also feeling every emotion until it's numb.

  12. Congratulations on a huge first step! Your so, so much stonger without using the Magaritaville escape route to avoid an unfavorable emotion. And stop worrying so much, let those thumbs heal...God will help you find the way.

  13. There are no expectations in the blogging world. I doesen't always have to be funny or poigniant (my blog clearly proves that) or sad. It just always has to be you. Your truth. Your hilarity. Your sadness. You deliver.

  14. I am blown away by what a great writer you are. Your wit is amazing and I love the honesty that jumps out at me.
    I understand your pain and sadness. We lost a baby as well and it is so hard to deal with.
    I look forward to coming here often.

  15. Hugs Allyson!! You are handling this so bravely!! I would have taken up permanent residence on the floor in my closet. I love your honesty. Real people are what it's all about. You rock my face off!!!!

  16. I'm a new follower of yours and I can assure you that you did not send me scurry-ing away with your touching and honest post.

    This is your space. Write what you want, when you want to write it.

    I'm so proud of you for dealing with your grief in an open way. So many times people brush it off and put on a brave face. (been there - done that) I think it comes out in other - sometimes magnified ways - when you do that. It has to.

    You are a wonderful, witty writer and I look forward to reading more from you.

  17. Here's a big hug to you for being able to face what you've been going through! There's nothing like those little steps-and being aware of the fact that you're moving forward, even if it's just not hiding in your bed all day long, is going to lead you to more steps. There are gonna be bad days,but the secret is to not think that you've gotten back to square one. And you know what? Your refusal to deny Shep is a very brave and yet simple thing to do.
    I'm cheering you all the way here from Pakistan.=)
    Keep it going.
    And totally off topic, how is Dexter btw? I watched like one episode of it but thought it was too slow and all the blood kinda grossed me out although I'm not usually this way. So if it's really really good I might give it another try.

  18. Your courage shines through..Im so sorry for your loss..but inspired by your honest revelations...Im glad Ive found your is my new site ..I lost my other one..and all the links that went with it..!!

  19. ab-so-lutely. journal away. there's not enough of this kind of thing in the blog world. or the real world, for that matter...


  20. I tend to be rather guarded these days with sharing my feelings with others. I admire the fact that you write this blog for yourself and are able to open up and be real. It's a blessing to others who are going through painful times to know that someone else out there can relate.

  21. You put tears in my eyes. The blog, this entry, it's so real. Thank you for sharing all this. Amazing.

  22. What a "from the heart" post--beautifully written. You are far stronger than I think I could ever be. (((HUGS)))

  23. Way to go getting around that corner. I can't act like I know how you feel. No one deserves to have to go through that kind of pain though. You're a very strong woman my dear. I think blogging is an excellent way to journal your thoughts. Plus you get to meet some really amazing people. ;)

    P.S. Your email is set up as No-reply. It'd be so cool if you listed your email so I can reply back to your generous comments via email. Thanks for you comment today and your words of encouragement. It means a lot. :)

  24. I'm another fairly new follower...if anything, this post shows me that you're real and unafraid. Exactly the blogger I want to continue to follow! Thank you for your openness, and many good thoughts for you.

  25. Hey - i was just reading through some of your comments and I wanted to say I'm with Shandal on your email set-up. So many times I've wished your email was there, so I could reply directly back to you. Let's fix that, k??


That's it, let it all out....