I was told this week that I was courageous. She also told me it was time to be weak, to admit my feelings of guilt, my guilt for feeling weak. Guilt? What should I have to feel guilty about? Oh yeah:
Click here for all listings involving previously mentioned guilt.
I know Kevin would not want me to feel guilty, he’d want me to be HAPPY. Do you know how many times I have heard this phrase? Whatever you guessed, add about 10 to that. 10 too many. Kevin was jovial, happy, the constant positive person! His positivity, especially when he was sick, was unbelievable, and probably a bit unhealthy. He did what he had to do to get through. Now I’m doing what I have to do to get through, and most days, it’s me putting on my happy face. Hey, I learned from the best (late husband, mom, sister, etc, etc, etc).
I apparently don’t do the whole down and out thing well, at least not the sharing part. When I hit those points, I journal, choosing not to put my down periods on the www. The first few months after losing Kevin you’ll find that to be quite different – I talked about being sad, lonely, depressed, angry, guilty, sorrowful, but that made sense, grief was new to me. Now that grief isn’t so new, if I bitch and moan about it, aren’t you all going to say “why doesn’t she just suck it up already?” I guess that’s what I’m waiting for!
So here’s the truth people: I’VE BEEN SUCKING IT UP! I have been so busy that I cannot think or breathe. I am trying to change that. How am I doing so far? I have a priority list that needs broken down. I’m trying out saying “NO” to things/people. It’s tough. Really really really tough. I’ve been staying busy since I first got a job at 14 and did every possible school and church activity I could. I would say the only big break I have had since I was 14 was when I moved to Montana and only had 2 jobs, and no friends to say yes to anything with! It’s a tough habit to break, and I’m not good at it. AT all.
I went off anti-depressents in January. When depression hit pretty hard in February, several people suggested I just might want to “stay on a little bit to get me through” I got angry. I was pissed. Let me make this decision. I had/have a time line, and I intended to follow it through! Graduate college: get off meds-SIMPLE! So I did. Not so simple. After the birth of my beautiful niece, I spent the weekend after she was born sobbing my eyes out afraid she would die. Yup, I thought she would die. I had no valid reasons to think so (although she did end up turning blue and ending up in the NICU, which of course to me, was later validation that I was not quite insane). Thankfully, I kind of knew this wasn’t a healthy response to new life. My friend messaged me on facebook suggesting this as well, and I finally made the call and booked the appointment for therapy with EMDR. I’ve had about a month worth of sessions, and last session was the first time I didn’t feel completely devastated and drained by the end of it. My therapist is great, no lie, I don’t even need to convince myself of that. I love her. She amazes me. And I know the EMDR is working because I’m thinking non-stop about just about everything these days, which is great. It really is. It really..sucks. It’s one of the most draining things I have ever done besides survive the first few weeks after Kevin died. I’m an emotional zombie right now. I don’t know happy from sad, right now, they look pretty much the same to me. I’m far enough out from the anti-depressants that I know longer have their buffer, and I’m far enough into the therapy that I realize all the stuff I need to deal with, and well, it’s soooooooo tiring. I’m really quite tired. I want to sleep. Now. Mmm….bed (bed makes me happy, this I know).
Now I’m distracted, hold one just a sec, I need to think about the feeling of my bed. Mmm, sleep.
I get pretty sick and tired of the “regular” commitments. I think it’s because in the past I’ve just done what I’ve routinely done, and that’s not really exciting anymore. Holidays for example-I could take ’em or leave ’em. I’m not big on traditional family dinners. Last year my entire extended family went camping, and I gotta say, that new tradition was awesome! I’ll take that anyday over engorging myself on traditional holiday foods. I just want to do things a little differently, and it makes me want to say no to the traditional activities that I feel obligated to attend. I know, I won’t have my family forever. But can’t I choose the settings where I want to see them? Relaxing at their house one on one, camping with them? Why not do things different? Maybe it’s also because Kevin isn’t here to share them anymore, and I simply don’t want anymore reminders than I already have of him. Sounds kind of mean, but honestly, I know he’s dead, I know he’s not here, I don’t need anymore reminders of that fact, ok?
I have failed to get even remotely excited about some, formerly-would-be-exciting things. I once was excited about my travel writing gig, now it’s becoming a hassle. It’s offering me great opportunities, yes, I know. It’s also not going as smoothly as I’d like (both between communication and finances). I’m frustrated, and not able to look forward to the trip like I originally did.
Money has become a big issue in my life. I was doing well, able to enjoy my life, do some fun things, and still pay bills. Now I’m tight, really really tight. This leaves to extra frustrations and wondering how I’m going to pay for therapy, pay for these “opportunities” that are handed to me. Are they really great opportunities if I have to pay for them? Makes me wonder…
I can’t say I’m happy right now. I’m so discombobulated about most of my life that I don’t know what direction I’m headed. And NO, this doesn’t mean I need to go back on anti-depressants, because the thing about grief, is that is lasts a lifetime. You heard me. I will always mourn Kevin, in some way, small or large. Some days it’s big. Other days I don’t even think about it. This is how it is. YOU can’t fix it. The MEDS can’t fix it. MMkay? You should know this for those around you who are grieving. It’s not a light switch moment. There’s not one thing that makes me unhappy or upset, it’s a combination of things. YOU probably did not do anything. It’s just how it is, how I feel, right now. Tomorrow’s blog could be about sunshine and lollipops, but I can only hope.
So if you can, pray. And if you can’t, help. And if you can’t do that, why are you here? Really?
I took care of both of my dying parents. As an only child I was real close to them. We all had a form of depression.
Now I informally help out/listen to friends and others whowent through or are going through what I did.
I love to listen to solo brass music played by women and sometimes when I get real angry I turn up a tuba piece or two that I have loud.
Why don’t you try and find some loud solo pieces and start playing them!! The process could be very theraputic
You are sooooooooo right…Meds cannot fix everything.
Just wanted you to know, I am still reading…
Wishing I was closer…darn it.
Hugs my friend.
Brenda, great post; yes, a rant, but it was obviously necessary. You and I are of like minds when it comes to medication…take only when absolutely necessary. You are such a brave soul, you gotta believe tomorrow will be sunshine and lollipops. By the way, you’re the only one I know of who uses ‘discombobulated…’
Thanks for sharing, Brenda. Very powerful, as usual. I can totally relate to needing to find new traditions. It just hurts too much to try to do what we used to do. My son and I escape to the Beach for Thanksgiving and Easter. I think my family now understands. It’s what I need to do to take care of me . . . for now. Sending lots of love and hugs your way. Let me know if you are up for a dinner sometime. Peace, love, and blessings.
Very interesting-I may have to try that! I studied music therapy for a semester, and know how powerful music can be as therapy. Playing tuba myself, well, maybe that needs to be my outlet!