This holiday weekend was surprisingly difficult, including a very bad Sunday night again.
Fourth of July is not really a major holiday with special memories attached to it. I barely celebrated most years as an adult, and don't have many childhood memories either.
I just fell all apart last night for a combination of reasons. Since no one else is on the schedule for tonight this is as good a place to write about it as any.
Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journeySaturday and Sunday were the most glorious summer days of the year in Boston so far. It was a gorgeous weekend after Hurricane Arthur passed through. I did manage to stay focused in the present moment and enjoy the warm breezes and blue skies a little.
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.
I heard on Saturday that some of my family members had gathered for the holiday in North Carolina, and it filled me with nostalgia for the family gatherings of my youth. So many people, so much food, so much laughter. So many of those people are dead now. Some have been gone for decades. All the adults from my childhood home have died. My mother. Her parents. Her brothers and sister. So many of the faces I think of when I hear the phrase "family reunion" are no longer around. I don't know how my mind got stuck on that.
The Hallmark channel was been running some kind of Christmas in July theme all weekend. Back to back Christmas movies. The song Hard Candy Christmas started running through my head, as a general metaphor for a holiday that is a time of abundance and joy for a lot of people but for others is a time of want and lack: lack of holiday spirit, lack of family and companionship, lack of life direction.
I made it through Sunday morning OK. There was a baptism at church. Two lovely little boys from the same extended family. One was about 18 months old in a cute white suit. The other was less than 6 months old and slept through most of it. My childlessness grief button always gets pushed whenever I start thinking about death. After the service they were the epitome of a big happy family with lots of other little kids running around. So many people, so much food, so much laughter. My heart was in my throat.
Sometimes when these moods come, I cry out wondering where my comfort is.
But last night I realized anew that sometimes there is no such thing as comfort. There are some hurts that cannot be assuaged. All that can be done in terms of "distress tolerance" is finding a way to get through it. Live with it. Maybe distract yourself with something for a time.
I bought a big greasy dinner. Food. My drug of choice. Most reliable means of escape. The pleasure does not last long, and ultimately it is self-destructive, but it's hard to think of consequences when the pain is so bad in the moment. It works as a temporary distraction.
I put on some loud music and was able to lose myself in that for a time. Singing along with oldies. Letting mysekf be carried away on the music.
Distress tolerance is about trying everything until the worst of the feeling passes.
I was trying everything.
Except calling someone to talk. I still haven't gotten the hang of that. If I call someone when I am feeling that desperate and they turn out to be unavailable or I don't reach anyone, then I always feel much much worse. So I was reluctant to spin that wheel of chance. I got through it by myself.
One way or another. I made it through the night.
I slept late. I bounced right back. Today is not so bad.
My Fourth of July weekend was like a hard candy Christmas. But I won't let sorrow bring me way down. I'll be fine.
The weather is always beautiful after a hurricane.