Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Walking Through Grief

I'll be honest.

For a while there, I thought I had it figured out. Under control. I was sad, anxious and terrified all of the time, but as long as I didn't open up too much, didn't dig very far beneath the surface,  I was ok. Managing.

When Jason was ripped out of our lives,  I lost myself. But I thought one day, she would just magically come back. That fog of shock kept me putting one foot in front of the other. At first I did everything you're "supposed " to do. Therapy.  Support groups. Writing.  Talking it out.

But the pain doesn't end. It mutates, endlessly evolving faster than my feeble brain could keep up. And after awhile,  my natural defense mechanisms  kicked in.

Put up the walls. Slide on the mask. Pretend everything is ok. Don't give into the tears, the fury, the raw agonizing pain. Just keep going. The less I thought about him, the more I refused to let myself feel... the harder it became to feel anything.

And then, 16 months from the death of my love, my best friend, my missing piece,  the cracks began to emerge. Panic attacks.  Nightmares.  Flashes of memories buried away, so painful I literally gasp for air and sob.

Terrifying thoughts. An overwhelming desire to not have to feel anything, no matter the cost. Overwhelming exhaustion.  I find myself inert. Unable to move, no interest in anything beyond the walls of my bedroom. Hiding from the world. A phone call takes too much energy, a trip to the grocery store requires days of psyching myself up. I don't like leaving my house. I don't want to talk to anyone. How can I explain the enormity of the pain? How can anyone even care?

I barricade myself. I don't care if my kids rot thier brains playing video games all summer... at least then I know they are safe. Safe in our sad house.

It doesn't help. The pain bubbles through. I'm cracking, crumbling and I am lost. It's all too real. Why now? Why do I feel worse now than the day he died?

Because it's hitting me. He's gone. Forever. This nightmare happened and nothing I do will ever make it right. It will always be wrong, there will always be someone missing.

There is no way to get around this. No way to slip through. If I want to heal, accept and let go... I have to feel this. I have to walk through it. I have to mourn. I have to face the hand I've been dealt. I have to fight.

I am lucky. I have a lot of people who love me. And I'm letting go and accepting help. I have to put my hands in the air and surrender to the pain, lean into it. I hate it. I hate everything right now.

But I'm going to do the work.  Wish me luck.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rain, Rain

I am heavy. Heavy heart, heavy mind. Wallowing,  probably. Fighting,  definitely.  I thought surely the sadness, the bleakness that I felt after Jason died was unbearable... that it was the worst I could possibly feel.

Little did I know that despondency,  utter & raw grief,  does not relent. It lays in wait, threatening to envelop me at every turn. For every step I take toward acceptance I am pushed back into this numb, apathetic - actually, pathetic - state of despair. 

It is maudlin,  coarse. It is making me rough. It does not stop. There is no relief in the bottle or the pill, it sucks the joy from me every single day. I cannot lose myself in anything anymore. 

I wonder if it will kill me. It feels as though it must. Surely this much pain cannot be borne without consequence. 

Breathe. Open your eyes. Count out your hollow blessings. Someday it won't ache so much. Someday you will be free. Someday you won't want to disappear anymore. Someday you will live again.

Keep pretending.  Keep imitating life. Keep your small hopes burning.  Keep feeling the hurt.