That's crazy to me. I'm not even sure how that happened. Actually that's not true. I know exactly how it happened. The synopsis is this: it started out fun but slightly lonely, then it got really hard and more lonely, and now it just feels normal. Sometimes fun. Sometimes hard. A little lonely at times. But mostly just normal.
In med school I heard all about the horrors of residency...from the spouses' perspective...and the thing is I thought I was prepared. Ready mentally for the long hours and tired husband and lonely nights. I thought because I knew ahead of time just how hard and lonely it was going to be that I somehow wouldn't succumb to it all. That I would be immune to the loneliness and the sadness. I thought because we moved to a fun and exciting place for residency that it would be fun and exciting too. Which I now know is foolishness! Maybe some spouses sail right through this transition to residency unscathed but I did not. I cried. I threw grown up sized tantrums. And I fought it. Hard. I didn't want to accept this life. For a while there I lost myself. I couldn't even remember who I was or what I enjoyed. It was scary. And sad.
And the hardest part was this: while I felt so incredibly lost and lonely I was watching my husband thrive. Right before my eyes he was becoming this great new version of himself. The confident and happy, albeit tired, new doctor. He was becoming the person he was meant to be while I felt like I was disappearing. And I didn't know what to do about it. I had thought ahead of time that we would be miserable together this first year of residency. I assumed HE would be more miserable and I'd be mostly okay but still able to commiserate with him. But that wasn't even close to reality. He was happy. And I was sad. Very, very sad.
But I'm not there anymore. Thank goodness because it's a miserable way to live. So what changed? First my husband spoke truth and love to me. He reminded me of who I am. Fun. Energetic. Creative. Loving. Social. He reminded me of all the good things in our life. Our kids. Our house. Food on the table. Beautiful weather. New friends. New experiences. And he gently told me I had to stop wallowing and starting living this life. And that's just what I did. (After one more hour of crying in bed.) I quit fighting it. And started accepting it. All of it. The long hours. The lonely nights. Solo parenting four kids. Being the new person in town. New experiences. The good and the bad. Making new traditions in our new home. Finding our rhythm.
So here I am. Six months later. A little battered and bruised. But still standing. Because even though this life can be hard at times, it's beautiful and so worth fighting for.