Friday, October 29, 2010
Today I was thinking to myself about how damaged I feel. These past few years of going through so much trauma and loss, have really taken their toll on me. I feel like my daily reserve of clear thinking, motivation or empathy, are always working from a clear deficit. There just isn't much left in me.
I come home each day, and look at the ever growing mounds of mail that never get opened. Really. So you thought I grew past all of that? Not a chance. I'm not sure if I just don't care, or I don't have the energy anymore, but day to day tasks, such as opening and following through with mail, just rarely seem to rise to the top of my lists these days. These days? Actually, these years.
I wonder how I managed to do all that I used to do. I wonder how I managed to care about things like I used to care about. I know that the term I used above, damaged, is not a word people like to hear. Unfortunately, it is really how I feel. I'm not capable of all that I used to be. I still feel like I walk around in a fog most of the time. Yes, I do have some moments during the day when I am able to focus, or to lighten up and just laugh, but it's the immediate moments afterward that are concerning. It's as if a light goes immediately out. I suddenly realize that I am once again walking around in the dark.
I often hear other widowed people speak of "widow brain." I know that they often use this term in humor, but of course it is spoken about a true experience that many of us share. We are now so forgetful. We have less ability to multi-task. Actually, we can be a bit spacey at times. I know that I am. I'm starting to worry that I will never fully recover from this, which made me think about the various 12 step groups that have evolved over time. When one speaks from a place of addiction, they recognize that they will always be an addict, so for them, recovery is an ongoing life long process. Is that what grief is too?
I know that people who have gone through significant experiences, such as death, or a trauma, of someone close to them, often later experience post traumatic stress. I get it. I really get it. So it has me wondering how to best address this. What can I be doing to help myself in my ongoing recovery?
Well, how about this. First, I have to admit that I am powerless over my grief. I can't will it away, and I can't just "snap out of it." I also know that I need to rely on a higher power to get through the day. Now, for some this may be God, for others some non-deity. Whatever one chooses, and believe me, I have turned to just about everything lately, we need to speak it out loud. We need to talk, listen, and learn from each other. We need to walk side by side with others who are also struggling with this. We don't necessarily need cross talk, and we are not really looking for advice either. Just understanding.
Maybe 12 step meetings would be the way to go. Perhaps being able to drop into a meeting now and then, without having to tell your story, but to just be there, and to share what you are feeling on that day, and in that time, would be enough to keep us moving forward in our recovery. Will the end result be full recovery? Not that I can see. But, it can mean one less major relapse into our known darkness. I don't think ongoing bereavement groups are the answer for me either. I don't have the patience to sit with a group of people emoting all the time, or to feel that I need to take care of them. I have enough on my hands with my own life. What I need is a place to support myself by expressing myself, or listening, to others traveling the same road.
Hello, my name is Dan, and I am a griever.