The bitter cold finally settled in over Massachusetts this week. I really don’t care for the cold but the past few weeks of mild winter weather were starting to get to me. All I could think was This time last year the world was frozen. This time last year I was in a daze. I was sitting in silence on the couch. I was telling strangers that my son had just died. I was numb.
As Kai’s anniversary came and went and I now try to participate in this Holiday Winter Wonderland of life going on around me I have been longing for the cold. Longing for the numbness.
Between a lack of sleep, fighting a persistent cold since thanksgiving and just feeling sad, I decided to stay in bed and take a half day at school today. As I sit here trying to rest and decompress I came across this post I wrote back in July but never posted.
July 22, 2013
I know everyone has those days. The ones where you just really don’t want to get out of bed. You don’t want to get dressed and present yourself to the world. Those days where you don’t want to answer the phone because you really have nothing good to say. I know we all have those days but I think us bereaved parents -especially in the ‘early days’ (which I am learning is like the first few years)- we have more of those days than most.
Time passes differently after you’re child has died. Some days you float through life forgetting how you’ve gotten from one place to the next but other days go on forever in an agonizing eternity, longing for nothing more than a dark quiet room and a soft pillow to scream into at the end of the night.
After a really trying few days I woke up this morning instantly dreading the day ahead. Mark moved out two weeks ago and it has been a difficult adjustment. Once he moved out it all became that much more real. The house is empty and silent. No baby, no husband, no life. Even the dog is getting loopy from the silence. He spends his days sprawled out on the couch whining these pathetic little half whines with every exhale just so we’ll have something to listen to, or maybe because he as just heartbroken as the rest of us.
The first few days the silence was killing me. When i say silent I mean silent. I don’t even have a TV to serve as a distraction and mask the silence. After a few days of staring at the walls I started cleaning out Kai’s room. This threw everything in my life into upheaval (a whole post for another day) that I am still trying to recover from.
Needless to say it has been a hard few weeks, or months, or years, but this weekend I hit a tipping point. I let myself lay in the heat of self-pity, convincing myself over and over I will never again feel anything but this terrible emptiness and pain. All of the work I have been doing with school and Kai’s Village and cleaning the house and getting a job, it all seemed dreadfully, overwhelmingly, pointless. Nothing seems worthwhile or manageable. The mere thought of ever even trying to be happy again gives me anxiety. Maybe this is true depression – when you get to the point where even the thought of being happy makes you depressed. Maybe it is just life after loss.
I feel like an out of control teenager. I want to give up on the world and melt away into obscurity the way that only well written characters of good book or a movie can. But in real life even doing nothing, even melting away into obscurity, takes energy and money and time. And, in the movie – well, even the sad depressed teenager usually ends up being rescued by true love or falling into that meaningful dream job or becoming a rock star or something when they grow up.
But for me this is it. This is grown up. Ive spent the last ten years of my life getting to this point…and now it is all gone. I am 31 years old and I have lost everything. I am starting from scratch. My former life has de-friended me and I am now supposed to figure this all out, alone. So I spent the entire weekend sitting here acting like a depressed teenager hiding from the world, unwilling to see the brighter side. Unable to let go of the cloud that sometimes follows me, because the truth is my life is pretty sad.
I decided early in the day yesterday, in all of my teenage rebellion, that I was absolutely skipping school today. As usual I have an extremely hard time saying no, taking the time for myself that I need and I wasn’t fully committed. By the end of the day I convinced myself that I could probably make it to school, but promised myself that if I went I was certainly NOT doing anything or talking to anyone. It will be all I can muster to sit quietly in the corner and hope that no one notices how much my life is falling apart.
So this morning as my alarm went off, I reluctantly got up and dressed. I stomped around the house whining about how much I didn’t want to go. I walked the dog and got in the car, kicking and screaming, and went to school.
The thing is, when you’re an adult who lives alone and you spend your morning reluctantly dragging yourself out of bed kicking and screaming, NO ONE hears you but YOU, and that is infinitely more depressing than any of the miserably depressing things I had pondered all weekend.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
But here’s the other thing, I dragged myself out of bed to go to massage school. It’s hard to sit in a corner, feeling sorry for myself, doing nothing, when half of my day is spent being touched by someone. It is hard to hold onto the anger and pain when someone who is so focused on relieving your pain is touching you. Touch is such a powerful thing. Getting up and dressed and out of the house, however reluctantly, is powerful thing.
So today after all my nonsensical tantrums thrown for me and only me, I went into school and was reminded that good things can happen even on the worst days.
-As far away as July feels to me right now, it is hard to look back and see how in so many ways I feel exactly the same. Most days I get out of bed. Most days I am able to see the good, however reluctantly. A year later I am still trying to learn that sometimes its ok to say no. Sometimes touch is just to much. Sometimes it’s ok to stay in bed.