Saturday, October 31, 2009

Walking the tightrope

People who see me for the first time always ask me how I'm doing (*intense look, head tilted to the side*) What do you say to that? I still don't have a good standard answer. The polite thing to say is "alright thanks". The truth is "up, down, surviving, drowning, glimmers of optimism, chunks of denial, pools of depression, zero motivation, infinite sadness, despair, hopelessness."

Yesterday I had this strange feeling. As I mentioned before, I've been in distraction and avoidance mode lately, and yesterday it felt like this: I remembered again with shock what had happened to this girl I know. This girl I love. She had the most awful thing happen to her and I feel so sad for her. I felt muted shock as I recalled it. That girl is Caz Past. The Old Me. The girl who is no longer here. What a weird feeling. To feel sorry for a past you. To think of yourself in the 3rd person. I guess perhaps I got a glimpse of how others might feel about me. As I allowed myself to think about it more and more the externality of that grief became less. The grief merged back into its rightful place; within Caz Now.

I wonder if there are elements of depression setting in. If I should go speak to a grief counsellor. How would I know? I have mastered the "I still fit in with all of you, lets discuss inane frivolous things" act. I feel an expectation from people to suck it up now. They see the "together" me and think that's my reality, but that's a fraction of it. There is a lack of joy. There is a sick heaviness that never leaves. I think of summer and I feel so so sad. I am dreading summer. I guess its mostly because of how different it was meant to be but also because last summer was one of such adventure - we had an amazing journey - bazaruto, zimbabwe, zambia, it was a time of such joy and excitement all culminating in Sophia's conception near Victoria Falls. This summer takes me somehow further away from Sophia.


po said...

I say see a counsellor. I think it is vital actually. Look after your mind, it is an organ and if you leave it it will get very sick and shut down. Look after it now.

Simply-Mel said...

I think you are processing your grief in a very healthy manner but there is definitely room for speaking with a professional. Do it. It cant hurt.

Anonymous said...

I would also suggest seeing a grief counsellor Caz. For me, she helped me to understand why I was feeling certain things or why I was reacting in a certain way. And that it was all perfectly normal and to be expected. I was practically forced to go by my boss, because I thought I was coping just fine on my own, but looking back her help was invaluable.

Joanne said...

Ditto all the above. Thinking of you lots and sending a hug.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I've been following your story for a little while.
I would say get counseling. It's a place where it's perfectly okay to say "NO Dammit. I'm NOT fine".

Everyone grieves differently. There is no right way or wrong way to get through. No one can tell you that you should be "getting on with life". It's very soon and still too painfully raw.

There are grief counselors who specialize in helping people who have lost a child.

Akul's mama said...

Thanks for finding me. I lost Akul almost 9 months ago and both my husband and I are still grieving. Some days are tolerable and we are able to smile for a few hours but then there are those dark very very log and extremely sad days that fill us with a sense of hopelessness. Hugssssss from another lost baby mom.

Tamara said...

I agree. Therapy is a safe place where you don't have to suck it up or make chit chat. A good therapist can also give you useful practical tools to handle situations. He / she will also have no expectations of you and will be able to deal with "Caz now" without thinking of "Caz before".

Nicole, Graeme, Janel and Nathan said...

Definitely see a therapist - preferably a grief therapist.

I've been catching up on the last few posts as my laptop crashed, hence haven't been commenting. However, as a fellow traveller on this road, I want to say that your reactions are perfectly normal.

For me, I was in survival mode until around 2 months. Then my grief seemed to get worse, a lot worse in fact. Eventually, around 6 months, I started seeing a therapist. I'd been part of a message board until then, which really helped. The therapist helped, but I think the thing that helped me most was not being in church.

I know that sounds contrary to everything one would expect, but I found people in church to hard to face. Instead, hubbie and I started going to Kirstenbosch on Sundays, as our time to be near God. No words (we only had angry things to say), no music (happy people made us feel more angry and made me feel physically ill), but still the presence of God in creation.

So - as one Christian to another, if you need it, if it helps, retreat to a safe place where you can just be with God (even if you're just being angry and ignoring him). I suspect though that your church is more sensitive to your grief than ours was!

Thinking of you this very special night... praying you & God find your way through this together. Hang in there.