Loss, grief, and LOVE

I have been here before. Surrounded by people I love but lost in the vastness of my own despair. People are talking to me but their voices carry over my head like the sounds you hear while submerged in a hot bath tub trying to soak away the worries of the world. Muted tones, blurred words. My pain raises in my throat like a lump of hot coal. My throat burns as I try to swallow. I suppress the urge to cry out. I choke on my own grief. Tears spill out, roll down my cheeks and expose me. This is my reaction to someone else’s loss. Why? The question I ask myself every time someone I love loses someone they love.

Grief is a strange thing. Emotions crash over me like waves on a sun soaked beach. People in the business of Psychology will tell you grief has stages. I always thought that was horseshit and feathers until I joined the club. This club has many members and no one is here willingly. If given a choice most people want more time with their loved one; to live another day, to love with every ounce of their being, to laugh until they can’t, to hold onto the magic of them, to make one last memory, to acknowledge their stronghold on your heart.

Seldom does anyone get those chances. Love the people in your life while they are with you. Get angry, fight, be involved, just don’t forget to STOP and LOVE and LAUGH and EMBRACE. Make a memory. Have you ever seen the movie Artificial Intelligence ? I can not watch this movie without crying. It portrays happiness in it’s purest form and grief so raw it burns. This movie pulls at all the important emotions that make life worth living.

I’ve spent many years unable to accept kind words or deeds done in memory of my loved ones because my soul was too broken and numb. I was unable to hear anything above my own anguish. Perhaps that is why I cry when I am faced with a loss that is not mine.  I still struggle to maintain a peace within myself over the loss of my family. I often wonder if I will ever feel whole again. Never under estimate what you mean to someone else.
the-most-beautiful

and Cue the Music…

Owning something for me means being honest with how I am feeling or coping with a situation in my life at any given time. Last week I went to my usual Saturday morning meeting. I wasn’t feeling my best and for the first time since going back to WWs in February I didn’t want to get out of bed and go face the scale (insert dread filled music).

I know myself pretty well, when the nasty, insult laden negativity starts to creep into my thought plane I need to be extra careful. I talked myself into the shower. I talked myself into making the drive across the city. I talked myself into walking into the door. I am that hesitant, negative tourist who ends up having a grand time once I convince myself everything will be fine. Everything was fine.

Have you ever felt wonderful and terrible at the same time? Instant unease in the pit of my stomach. I am happy that I am doing well but I am scared I will falter and give up. I am happy that I am losing weight but I harbor disappointment for having allowed myself to become so unhealthy in the first place. Wait, What?

The toughest part of this journey for me is to be honest with myself even when it hurts. In the end if I manage to work through the mental demons blocking my path I come out of the other end of the tunnel in a better place than when I entered the underpass, usually. This week I have been in a dark space. I have been running away from how I am feeling since my Pops passed away. I have experienced profound loss before when my kid sister died in a car crash. I survived but I am not the same. I struggled for years about not being enough, that  I let her down, disappointed her and if I had just been???!!!??? I could have prevented the tragedy in the first place. All lies, all self-doubt, all fear driven.

I am feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. I feel like an after shock. An earthquake came and destroyed my little corner of the world. Every once in a while I feel a wave of negative energy wash over me. I don’t know what to do next. I am afraid and I am struggling because I feel like I have been left behind. I will work my way through this. The anxiety I am feeling will pass. I will be Okay. I am not alone, family is bigger than what you are born into. I am just having a moment.

That moment:  an event or a feeling that can change your life path. I have had a few  moments in my time.  That moment when I realized that I meant something wonderful to someone. That moment when the phone rang and she was gone from my life forever. That moment when I finally understood that I am Okay just as I am. That moment when I decided that I am worthy of more than I have allowed myself to believe. Moments make up a lifetime. We all have bad, uncomfortable moments but it is up to you what you do with that. Don’t let small mistakes become BIG problems. My moments have taught me many things. I am stronger than I thought. I am brave. I am capable. My moments have been valuable beyond measure.

Before I met him I thought I would always be alone. Before she died I thought I couldn’t live without her. Before I married him I never knew how wonderful love was. Before I understood, I thought I was broken. Before I knew who I was, I yearned for something more; now I am enough. OWN YOUR MOMENTS. Learn from them, lean on them in times of uncertainty, embrace them. Be in YOUR MOMENTS.

Never Give Up on the Person You Are Meant to Be

 

Mrs. C

Sometimes on this journey we cry. I hate to feel like I am going to cry. Crying makes me feel vulnerable and weak and needy but sometimes on this journey we cry. On my last trip around WWs I had a coworker who went above and beyond what a casual friend does for somebody.The times we had, the fights, the tears, the laughter; ordinary at the time, precious to recall now.  It’s strange how coworkers can become like family to you. How friendship can make an unbearable job an easier ride through Hell.

I was afraid to join the local Y. I was down my first 75 pounds. I was eager to try out water aerobics but timid about actually joining a “group” activity. Mrs. C not only talked me down from my ledge of fear; she happily told me she would go with me as many nights of the week as she felt up to. I am around the same age as her children and if truth be told I felt like she was adopting me. I loved her for that. She always treated me like I belonged to her. I got scolded when I was rude, encouragement when I faltered and a shoulder to cry on when I just had to let out the emotions that come flying by when you are doing a great job as an active WW. ( yes, that is sarcasm) Through it all she believed in me.

Mrs.C passed away in July.  I am sad. I want giant gumdrops (one of her favorites), I want, I want…I want not to be sad but it is a part of life. I already miss her more than I will ever be able to convey here.  She was a great friend to me. I will carry all that she taught me until the end of my days. 

I wish I could ease the pain of your goodbye for the ones you loved. I can’t; the only way to the other side of grief is to go through it. You are loved. You are missed. I wish you peace.  Until we meet again, my friend. 

My Soul Music

I have never tried to write my blog while listening to music before. I thought I would give it a try. I am listening to In Blue by The Corrs. I love this CD. It helps to put me in a better mood when the thick fog of funk rolls in. I have the sound turned down a bit so I can process my thoughts. It is true that you never forget a good lesson learned. I used to sing, listen to music in high school to help me prep for tests. Feels like home, who knew? I switched to my go to gal…Streisand. Her music gives me something no other music has ever given me, the ability to believe in myself.

Lately, ok maybe that is a bad reference for time. I have not been getting along with myself for a few years now. This rift in my being has caused me turmoil and self-loathing. One would think that I would have learned to set myself free from that bullshit already. I think I have finally realized it is part of the mystery I call me. I lost faith in myself. I got lost on my journey. I am in the deep woods surrounded by mosquitoes and other wild life with no FECKING idea how to get back to the main road… except, I know the way. I have been unwilling to “fix” my course. Listen, I was in the middle of a first class pity party. I had balloons and snacks and more snacks and more snacks, well I think you get the idea. Eventually it was time to crawl down from my perch in the tress and rejoin the world around me.

I choose my life. Every crappy, wonderful, screwed up minute. I want to be healthy. One of my mother’s last wishes for me was to be well. She knew she was fading and her time was drawing to a close. She gave me one of her best Junie hugs. “I love you, Trish. I know you will take care of Daddy but I worry you won’t look after you. Don’t become me. I can’t walk. I struggle for breath. Someone has to help me with every small thing. Do you want to end up like me? unable to live like you want?” I brushed it off at the time. Mom being dramatic with all the trappings. She died three months later. I started WWs March 3, 2007. My mom passed away June 11.2007. In that short time I lost 50 pounds. I continued to lose for her, for me until I left behind 145 pounds. Hold your applause. Yes, I lost all that weight and then I walked away.

Funny thing about grief after awhile your mind softens the sharp edges so you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, I chose to move in the wrong direction. I had my reasons; ill conceived most of them. Shortly after my Mom’s passing I began taking care of my Dad. In the beginning he only needed gentle reminders and help with his shopping. I was on course. I managed to lose 145 pounds. I was 6 pounds short of reaching lifetime goal at WWs when my Dad had a cardio-vascular accident that changed our lives. He nearly died on me. I was thrust into full time caregiver with part time hours. Where was my rock? Suddenly I felt so useless and small. Dad got better physically but his dementia…well, that is an ongoing adventure = (

I coped the only way an addict knows how. I FELL off the wagon. No, that’s a lie. I JUMPED. It has taken eight years to regain most of the weight I lost. I didn’t want to deal with all the sadness, disappointment and loneliness that comes from taking care of an ailing loved one. There is no one to blame. It is what it is. I allowed myself to fall short on purpose, fulfilling my own doom theory. Well guess what? Screw that shit. I have things I want to do. Things I need to fix. Adventures to take. People to love. I accept I will always have to fight my need to “fix” my problems with food. Food is the worst friend, ever. I can’t live without her. She won’t change so I need to learn to give her space so my soul can have peace.