One Day At A Time

by Lori Dwyer on January 22, 2011 · 70 comments

Some days, I amaze myself. Like today. A good day. Perhaps I’ll only need one temazapam to sleep tonight.

Perhaps. But getting to sleep is the hardest thing. Once I’m there, I’m OK. But getting there is pure torture. Trauma. Whatever.

Fuck. Did you know, would you believe, that I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression, for most of my life? Ridiculous. And would you believe that all my anxiety, all my fear, was focused on this very thing happening. Losing someone close to me. Someone I loved dearly. Having to deal with the pain of that. How could I possibly handle it?

The irony.

What do you tell yourself, when the sense of impending doom proves to be accurate? When your worst fear comes true, and talking rationally to yourself doesn’t help?

You say that you survived the worst. And you got through it. And what the fuck do you have to be afraid of now? Nothing. Anything that happens, I can deal with it. I am so fucking strong.

So strong, that for the first half an hour After This happened, my children knew nothing of anything. So strong, I sheltered them in a neighbours backyard, talked to them normally, about every day things.

I never fainted. Never vomited. Never had to be sedated, admitted to hospital.

For four days, on and off, I sat by Tony’s side in the ICU, and told him I loved him, I forgive him, that I was strong enough, if need be, to survive this, and get our children through it too.

And I wasn’t lying.

I kissed my husband’s body goodbye, while he was still ventilated, for the purpose of successful organ donation. While the reflexes in his spine were still making his feet twitch.

I stood through my husband’s funeral. I spoke. I held his mother’s hand.

And I am here. Back in my house, slowly, a little bit at a time. Rebuilding, in the very scene of my trauma, the soft and exposed centre of my pain. Because I must. To minimise the sense of change, of disruption on my children.

And because this still feels like home. My house. Our house. Our daughter was born here.

I’m a different person to who I was, two weeks ago. It’s not that I’m any stronger. It’s just that now I know that strength is there.

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

connieemeraldeyes January 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

My husband shot himself in the head 18 years ago. He didn't tell me he was even thinking of doing that. I was really sad and in shock at first. I had a nice funeral for him but I wish now I didn't. I should not have had anything for him because he put me through some intense sadness. My heart goes out to you. I also think you can collect social security for your children. I have an ideal about what you are going through and I just say take it one day at a time.


MammaBri January 26, 2011 at 7:03 am

Oh Dear God.

You are going to make it through this. You'll do it for yourself and for your kids. You must and you will.

You are a Divine woman Lori. No other way of saying it.

Sending you thoughts of love and peace. Your community loves you.



Susan January 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Lori,I truly get you,understand your writting from your heart,& it hurts like fuck!
You brought tears to my eye`s,thinking of your life… quickly things can change.
It will get better hun,but it all takes a long time.
Thinking of you,your strength is amazing.


Ratz January 24, 2011 at 12:45 am

You a strong Lori. You are. Hold on to this courage which is so unique of you alone. xo


Suz January 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Grace. Just that Lori. Amazing grace. xxxx


Alex January 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Awful situation but you are awfully amazing to have the strength to get through this.


x0xJ January 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

It utterly FLOORS me at how well you are doing. What you have gone through is FUCKING AWFUL and unfair, but i would be lying on a floor somewhere in a heap. You, you keep going. You are writing, and while you have your darker moments, you are just…you're doing so well. The clarity with which you write, is just, beautiful.
I still wish this never happened to you, but thank you for writing, for being honest, because it does give many people insight they otherwise might not consider.


Kymmie January 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I'm cheering you on Lori. From Melbourne. Cheering you on, praying for you constantly, and loving you. xx


Michelle January 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Hi Lori

I found your blog today through Diminishing Lucy's blog.

I feel as though I have intruded upon something incredibly personal and I don't want to intrude. But I just wanted to leave you a note to say that my heart goes out to you and your children.

You seem to be a very strong and capable lady and you will get through this. Although my experience was different I can still feel your pain. I lost my first husband 16 years ago (on the 25th February). He was 28 and I was 24. He was the skipper of a trawler that sank during a cyclone off the West Australian coast. It took a few days to find the sunken vessel and then about 7 weeks to recover his body from it! We had been together for 10 years and only married for 15 months. He was my life.

My life felt very dark and empty for a very long time but the sun did eventually shine again. Just take it one day at a time Lori and don't be too hard on yourself. Tackle the things you can on the days you feel strong enough.

You can do this, you are doing this and it will get easier.



Jacki January 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You are so amazing Lori.


deardarl January 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

"You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have." No idea who said it but it's true.


suburp January 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

it has been very sad to follow your blog over the last weeks and there is nothing to say that can make it better. only you will know what will, in time. but I do want to THANK you and Tony to have agreed to organ donation to help someone else.
and thank you for sharing your feelings so openly with all of us, but be careful as well, lots of arseholes online and you know nothing will stop them from hurting people. x


Kimberly January 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Just one step at a time. I know that you are strong woman and you are pulling that strength for your children. You are stronger than you believe and even stronger with all of us and our prayers behind you.


SawHole January 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

No-one ever wants to experience a significant crisis like you have but it does bring out some innate survival mechanisms that give you more strength than you ever knew.
As you said, second by second. You are in my thoughts.


frogpondsrock January 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Be kind to yourself. Grief is sneaky and just when you are thinking that you are ok it will jump up and knock you on your arse. Love to you


Watershedd January 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

Quietly in the background. Just popping in with nothing to say, but wanted you ton know that you are not alone. People do care, even if they don't know what to say. Strength and peace, Lori.


jmasher January 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

Out of the ashes of your previous life and this horrific experience will evolve a new you. You will discover positive aspects of yourself that will amaze you – realizing strength is just one. Be grateful for the good days, know the bad days will pass and keep on talking. As others have said you are truly inspiational. xx


Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo January 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

Look after you. Trust me. xx


lori January 23, 2011 at 8:39 am

Thank god for good days. The hope and resolve in your words make me feel hopeful too. You are an inspiration, Aussie Lori. Like someone earlier said, go back and read this post on the bad days. Much Love.


Langdowns January 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

The resilience of the human spirit is an amazing thing and you are testament to that. Your strength is amazing, and yes it will dip and waver, but geez woman, you're doing a bloody good job.


toushka January 23, 2011 at 6:32 am

fuck that's an amazing post. very powerful.and clear. and inspiring. I hope the good days continue. There will still be shit days, fuck, of course there will still be shit days but please come back to read this post on those days. You are amazing.


marketingtomilk January 23, 2011 at 5:43 am

Lori – i have written so many posts inspired by you these past few weeks. I worried that i had got it wrong, was being glib, inexperienced, unrealistic and fatalistic. But in this post i see again the strength of the human soul, and it overwhelms me.



Karen January 23, 2011 at 5:37 am

Soon the "good" or "better" days will increase…but there will always be bad till the end. I'm so happy to read you've shifted into the next gear…I admire you.


Alison January 23, 2011 at 4:26 am

Lori, you ARE amazing. Your kids are so lucky to have a mum like you. Your strength, your honesty – just amazing. Just one day at a time. Take one baby step after the other & keep writing & keep letting it out. I totally agree with bekkles above, your words are indeed sending out ripples far & wide, you will be saving lives, I'm sure of it. I've read through your blog and your post on the Black Dog really touched my heart, very close to home for me, that one. Its something no one likes to talk about but it's such a huge part of so many peoples lives that we really do need to talk about it, shout about it from the roof tops and let others know that they are not alone. Let them know that it is ok to talk about how they feel. Yep, you really are one amazing chick. Thinking of you every day and sending out love, thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you. Alison. xx


Wanderlust January 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

It is in times of deep crisis that we truly come to know ourselves. Our true selves. Our warrior selves. You are walking through the darkness now, but you carry so much love and light within you. xoxo


Marlene January 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I am glad you posted this Lori….something for you to look back on and read on the "not so strong" days. You ARE strong. You ARE amazing. You ARE a wonderful mummy.
Love you


In Real Life January 23, 2011 at 3:28 am

*HUGS* I am so glad to hear that you had a good day today. Thinking of you lots. :)


Toni January 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Lori, remember back to that horrible day when you told us Tony was in hospital, and you wrote
"The Lori you know is gone."
It's true.
That Lori is gone, you are forever changed by what's happened. The very worst thing has happened, and you're surviving it. In time to come, you're going to re-build your life, and it will never be as it was. But it will still be good, because you'll make it good.
You have so much strength of character. Even on the days when you rant and rave and make no sense, and you feel like giving up, and you feel like you'll never smile again, you're re-making Lori, and you'll make her better, not bitter, because you know now — you can do anything, if you have to.


bekkles January 23, 2011 at 1:37 am

Hear, hear! You have an amazing strength. I wish you were using it in different circumstances, but here you are, surviving the unimaginable. One day at a time.
And hear we are, all at once grieving with you, offerring support (however meagre some cyber words feel) and benefiting from an amazing woman's words. I feel certain your words are making ripples far and wide, and could very well save lives. While I wish you didn't have the experience needed to write them, what you are doing is truly amazing.


Michele January 23, 2011 at 1:02 am

My heart is with you… My prayers are with you… My love is with you.


E January 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Sending you lots of love and hugs from Eden's blog. xoxo


edenland January 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Hey spunk. Thinking of you constantly. Your site always makes me want to eat jellybeans.

A few years ago, my friends husband took his own life in their garage and she found him, and bashed the shit out of the car with a baseball bat. Afterwards, she asked me to come over and reverse the car out of the driveway, she never wanted to see it again.

She continued to live in her house for quite some time, with her twin babies. We lost touch, I think she has moved away now, forged a new life. She had to – what were the fucking options?

I distinctly remembering her laminating a whole heap of photos of him, so the babes could play with them freely. It was so sad, and hard, and wonderful to see people surround her with love at such a hard time.

Isn't it nice to know that there's less arseholes in the world than you originally thought?



Anonymous January 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

This is your Awakening! xxx


Hear Mum Roar January 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I'm glad that today you were able to see what we all see: that you are strong, that you will do this, regardless. I'm happy you had a better day. I wish you many more to come


Kim at allconsuming January 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm




mummabear1970 January 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Lori, I take my hat off to you. You are amazing. Keep taking those days one at a time.


Annieb25 January 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Ditto to everything they all said. Lori, you will get through this and you will come out the other end a strong, loving, beautiful woman – all things you were before, but moreso now.


Anonymous January 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Lori you are amazing, you can do it and you will.. as unfair as it is, as much as it hurts, you will do it, and one day it will be easier.. I cant imagine the pain of all you are going through, i feel for you and wish we could turn back time and bring him back, undo the moment when it all happened….. Be proud of how strong you can be and draw on that when you need to.. Remember he loved you so much, you were his world, never ever forget that… I send you so much love and strength and hope one day, like today you can have many good days again


Sharnanigans January 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Everything you need is inside you. Continue to trust in yourself.


Curvaceous Queen January 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm

You are amazing not only because you have to be but because that is the way you roll. I hope that your discovery helps you take those new steps


Newmumma January 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Your strength is inspiring Lori <3


Ms Styling You January 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I wish I had half your strength, Lori. Your children have the most amazing mother.


Tina January 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Hi Lori. I can see from this post that you are getting stronger every day. You are so brave and are doing an incredible job just to even breathe. Your children have an amazing Mama. Wishing sleep comes quickly for you tonight. Sending all my love ~ Tina x


Becky January 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

You're strong. You're amazing. And I am glad you can see that, because you're going to need to know it. xo


Nerdycomputergirl January 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I'm so glad you are having a good day. No doubt there will be more as well as more bad days but there's lots of support here Lori to help you find your strength. Thinking of you and wishing you peace


scribbling mum January 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I have been thinking about you since reading your last post, trying to find any words. But there are none. So just know that you are doing amazing. Take each day,hell, each minute at a time. X


Sarah January 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm

You're an amazing person Lori. So human, so real, so strong. Your children are so lucky to have you, and you protected them with your strength. Sleep well xx


Lucy January 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Stronger than I would ever wish anyone would need to be.



Cate January 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I'm so sorry Lori, I can't find any wonderful optimistic magical comforting words. But I am still here, reading your posts, and thinking about you. And hoping for you. xxxCate


Brenda January 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Oh Lori my Lori. You are brave beyond words. So brave.

And remember…what doesn't kill can only make you a super badass. There's the smile. Love you, punkin.xxxxxx


Caz (The Truth About Mummy) January 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I love your strengh. You rock Lori. I hope the good days start to come more and more for you. Can't tell you how much I admire how you are handling his – even thou I know you have no choice.


Donna January 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Mummy warrior, you make us all proud xx


Lavender Hearts January 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Focus on that strength. YOUR strength. You are being tried to the limit but you will make it through, surrounded by love.


M. Drew Emmick January 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Wow. You're amazing. This post really moved me.


danniibeauty January 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Good on you for being strong. One step at a time…


Mumeroo January 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

And it's your strength that will get you through even the worst days.

I'm glad today was a better day!!


Veronica January 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Strength is funny like that. xxx


bec @ Bad Mummy January 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

It seems pointless to comment when I don't know what to say except that I have tears in my eyes reading your post. In my way, because of what we went through with Erin, I understand what you're saying about surviving the doom. I know it's not the same thing, it's just something I can understand I guess.


Mich January 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Oh Lori. When I grow up I want to be as strong as you. Xoxo


Christie January 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

You are so amazing and oh so, so strong. Keep on going. With love, Christie xx


thepixiechick January 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Three words – you fuckin' rock.
Three more – I love you.


Caitlyn Nicholas January 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm

You are amazing Lori

Hugs :)


Danielle January 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

thats it Lori just one step at a time just little steps ((HUGS)) sweetie :-) <3<3<3


Eva Gallant January 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

I'm so glad you are realizing your strength, because your children need you.


emmamc January 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

The only words I have for you were some written in a card to me when my daughter died. I have no idea who first wrote them "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have". Keep on keeping on, and you are in my thoughts and prayers x


ezymay January 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

As I said today toughest chick I know. It was so awesome to see you my darling. I'm here for whenever you need. One day at a time. xoxo


Dot January 22, 2011 at 9:24 pm

My thoughts are with you. My close friend passed away last month in tragic circumstances. It is still so surreal and so hard to comprehend why things like this can and do happen to good people.


Madmother January 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I agree, you are amazing. And incredible, strong and vibrant woman. Who will have bad days, and weak moments, and impossible to face the world hours. But you will get through it, because there is no other option. xx


papercouturiere January 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

It's amazing. The strength that we find within ourselves when we need it the most. We go through life thinking, "I'd Never survive this." "I'd NEVER be able to live through that." But, when life slaps us HARD with life-altering-bring-you-to-your-knees-tragedy, there it is. Strength. The same strength that we always knew we'd need in a time like "this", but never knew existed, let alone had. And with that strength, and love and support, the pieces will fall back into place. It's a different puzzle now, to the one it used to be, but the pieces will still fit.

We're still here for you L. Everyday. Always. xx


Mrs Woog January 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

You are amazing xo


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