Grief can bring to the forefront all sorts of interesting conditions, exacerbate existing ones, and conjure some out of thin air. For me, stress is a huge trigger of existing conditions, and what is a bigger stressor than GRIEF??
My OCD has definitely kicked into high gear. I can't eat a meal if my food is touching, and my bathroom floor is so clean and sterilized, I could probably eat my own non-touching meal off of it. I think I locked and relocked my front and side doors so many times I think my kids think that I have lost my mind.
My mood swings have been particularly interesting. One minute I am singing and happy and laughing...the next minute I am chewing someone's head off. Sometimes I am running on 2-3 hours of sleep a night, sometimes I want to sleep for a whole day. Ever have one or more of those days where you are so depressed that you can't even shower? Yeah....try 3 or 4 of those in a row. Shortly followed by 3 to 4 days where I want to shower about 6 times a day. Fun, right?
The panic attacks are SUPER FUN too!! Ugh. Right. Nothing like going along blissfully through your day and then...WHAM! Heart pumping, thoughts racing, face flushed, breath short.....all in the middle of doing something that should so not have prompted it.
It has also brought to the forefront a intense fear of commitment. It is crazy. I have this wonderful thing right in front of me, and I am doing my best to sabotage it. Being standoffish, picking fights, needing my space, balking at any kind of talk of together-type things, and obsessing over the most insignificant things and turning them into huge issues. The fact that he is sticking around surprises me every single day.
Moving and unpacking I'm sure has not helped either. There I am cheerfully unpacking boxes that I think belong to my son, and I come across B's wallet.
Then I come across some old Father's Day cards.
Then I find his picture in a frame.
Then one of his collectibles.
Then I cry.
Triggers are unavoidable, I know that. I know that the grief monster loves to rear his head at THE most inopportune time. I know that over time these triggers will not overwhelm me so much. I also know that, for the first time in months, I am grieving FIERCELY. One other thing I know is that i will get through this.
What triggers do you have? How are you getting through it?
Monday, July 14, 2014
You unpack lots of things.
Sometimes it is a relief. Other times, not so much.
Sometimes those boxes, or that old luggage holds a lot of memories. Good ones, bad ones, ugly ones. Sometimes the things in the boxes make it to the new destination. Those things you gently unwrap. Giggle and smile at the memories that they bring up. Place them on the shelf and feel a sense of accomplishment that you did something by yourself. Sometimes they might have a few dings or scratches, and sometimes they are broken beyond repair. What do you do then? You gently gather up the broken pieces, wash them with a fresh new bucket of tears, stuff them into a trash bag, and throw them away.
If only it were that simple....
Every broken thing reminds you of another piece of your broken life. There is no way to put those pieces back together and have it be exactly the way it was before. Every scratch and every dent reminds you of the nice stuff that you used to have that isn't so nice anymore. Every piece of luggage that gets lost reminds you of your own loss. Every feeling that you unpack and share with someone that is not reciprocated reminds you of what you had and desperately want to find again.
Then you realize that there has been someone there helping you to unpack all along.
It might not have been the person or people that you expected. It might have taken a crap ton of hard work to get to this point. It may have been something that you wanted for a while, or something that just snuck up on you. You realize that while you were unpacking the boxes and the luggage there was that one person or people who helped no matter what they had going on in their lives. They made room in their busy lives for you and your unexpected breakdowns and stress. They never told you that they couldn't help. Or wouldn't help. They didn't take advantage of your stressed out state to get what THEY needed from you. You asked and they said sure. Not when it was convenient for them, but when you needed it.
Those are the people that are going to make unpacking your new, scary life that much easier.
For that, I am FOREVER grateful.
Who are you grateful for?