Last Thursday was a "bad day". A really bad day. The kind of bad day that makes me wonder who was that person who wrote all those optimistic TGR diaries about getting better and getting past it and reaching seven year milestones.
Thursday I dragged myself through a 15 hour day and had no cash on me so I had to take the bus home. I barely kept myself from bursting into tears on the bus. I tried to do a sudoku puzzle but could not concentrate. I put on some music but it did not break through the fog of my mood. Part of my mind was at a distance saying, what is going on with you? What happened? Why is today hitting so hard? But I had no answers.
When I finally got home to the privacy of my apartment, I sat at my computer for only a few minutes before the dam broke. Suddenly all the tears I held back on the bus began to flow. I was howling at the moon with a grief as deep as it was seven years ago. I cried out for my mommy and begged her to forgive me for things I had done and things I had not done. I looked over at her urn on top of the cabinet and called out her name and cried out for her. I cried with deep chest-heaving sighs until I could barely catch my breath. I made noises I never heard myself make before, moans and yelps and incoherent sobs. It seemed the tears would never stop. I felt like an utter emotional and psychological failure because I should be farther along than this by now damn it!
It lasted for about 20 minutes, but seemed like an eternity.
Then I came to my senses a little. I sent a text message to a friend on the West Coast because it was too late to call anyone else. Fortunately she called me right back and was able to talk me down to a state of relative calm. Calm enough to get ready for bed and fall into a fitful sleep.
I dreamed a comforting dream about my mom that night. It really helped. My subconscious mind found a way to soothe me as I slept. I woke up to a better day.
Yesterday, on the other hand, was a "good day". I went to bed early Saturday did not have to get up at 5 in the morning to finish getting ready for work on short sleep. Everything about the day went smoothly, even the usual mini-snafus that inevitably come up were resolved quickly and with a smile. The day was not as long as usual—I was on the way home by 3 in the afternoon. I got a ride to get on the bus at the end of the line which is always helpful—I got a good seat. I did not cry on the bus, nor did I want to. I did not need to distract myself with music or sudoku. I made perfect transit connections and was home quickly. I went to bed at a decent hour and slept soundly and woke up this morning before the alarm clock. At first I thought I had been upset Thursday because my mom's birthday is coming soon, but her birthday is even closer now and I didn't freak out about it yesterday.
The biggest difference between Thursday and Sunday was that my counselor came back from a month's vacation. She always helps me put things in perspective and brings me back when I am feeling hopeless. She reminds me that improvement is not always linear and that I am better off than before. At least I was able to send that text last Thursday to my West Coast friend, and then wake up and call for the emergency appointment on Friday. Reaching out for help is definitely a new behavior response I am learning. And I have to admit it has been a while since I had a cry out as bad as I did on Thursday, when there was a time I used to cry like that almost every day.
I also was able to get some some sunlight on Friday. I sat in the sun for half an hour. It was cold, but I think my skin appreciated the sun. Who knows, maybe Vitamin D deficiency and seasonal affective disorder are a part of this also.
But there may not be any rhyme or reason to it. Maybe at this stage there are just bad days and good days. I just have to get through the bad days however I can and be grateful for the good days whenever they come. When I am honest with myself I admit there are fewer bad days now, even during this awful drawn out slog of a winter. Though there are not a lot of good days, there are a lot of neutral days and that's better than nothing.
And maybe some day I'll get a handle on ways I can move more days from "neutral" to "good".
Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.
There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..
It just is.