Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On grieving.

The common stages of grief are;

1.     Denial.
2.     Anger.
3.     Bargaining.
4.     Depression.
5.     Acceptance.

Just thought I would recap those.  I've been through them all over the last 7 years. 
I guess I shouldn't say that I have been through them, I've been through, around, over, under, and back and forth and through them over and over until I was tied in knots.

1. Denial
I was so confused, I didn't understand the words.  
My step-dad is the one who told me about my dad.  I didn't have a phone at the time and my sister called my mom who sent my step-dad out to my house.  I heard 'Chuck', I heard 'Heart Attack'...and totally expected to hear 'He is in NIMC Hospital'  
But that is not what he said.  All I could ask was 'What?'  I truly didn't understand what came out of his mouth.
He repeated it and everything went fuzzy and crystal clear at the same time, all I remember saying was 'No.'  
And then it hit and I felt lost; I couldn't breathe, I couldn't hear, and my knees let go.  I wanted nothing more than to just sit down and wait for...well, for what, I don't really know.  
I never did find the ground, my step-dad didn't let me fall and our roommate, Paula, came out of the house just then and between the two of them, I was back in the house and Paula was calling my husband at work.

2. Anger
I've always had a hard time expressing anger.  I can be cranky, whiny, frustrated, and even downright bitchy at times.  But real, honest, anger...is hard for me.  
I was mad about so many things.  
I was mad at my dad for leaving me.  
I was mad at God for taking him away. 
I was mad that I was still here.  
I was mad at the nightmares and the good dreams alike. 
I was mad because my heart hurt and I didn't know what to do to help it.  
I was mad at being helpless!

Out of all the stages...Anger is the one I revisit second most often.  Some days I just want to  get a bat and find an old brick wall and just scream and beat the wall until my arms fall off and my voice goes.  Why I don't do just that and get it all out is beyond me.  Maybe not so far beyond me...I don't do it because it scares me.  I'm afraid that if I let go, I won't be able to come back, I'm afraid my mind will break.  
So I don't.

3. Bargaining.
I didn't bargain too much.  I felt like I had nothing to bargain with.  I had months and months of just pleading for it all to stop.  For everything to go back how it was.  For someone, anyone, to fix this mistake that had been made.  I know that my mind changed. I lived through great amounts of stress before, but this changed me and I didn't like it.  I would have given a nameless 'anything' for it to be alright again.

4. Depression.
This is where I have spent a good deal of my life.  I can remember as far back as 4th or 5th grade, a friend of mine, Kathy, trying to help me.  We would be outside at recess and she would get me to walk around with her and keep my chin up...to actually look at the other kids.  It is an everyday struggle to try and keep afloat.

Its hard to say whether losing dad worsened my depression or just changed the focus of it.  
My family was hundreds of miles away.  Everyone was arguing about...well, everything.  I felt a lot of pressure on me to try and keep in touch and support everyone.  It didn't last too long, I just couldn't keep up and I felt somewhat left out of the support loop.  
When I brought this to someones attention in my family who should have offered support, I was told in no uncertain terms that I should find my own help and locate a support group in my area.
I actually did try just that.  I was unsuccessful.  Whether it be my location or the change in my mind, I don't know.  It got to the point that I was having panic attacks and thinking of self harm again.  It scared me enough to get me back to the doctor and as for antidepressants again...At this point, I had been off of them for a few years.  
There were so many things to deal with in my life that everything seemed to snowball and everything that happened changed something else.  
I felt as though I were drowning and had nothing to cling to.

As of now, I am again antidepressant-free.  I try to deal with things as they come.  I tend to talk about what is bothering me sooner rather than later.  And I try to keep a watch on what I know are my signs of backsliding.  

5. Acceptance.
This came very slowly.  I was also slow to realize it as well.  I think I finally realized it when, one day while grocery shopping, I was at the seafood counter and the girl behind the counter was polite as per her usual demeanor and after she finished with my order, I wished her a good weekend.  
Something crossed her face and she said that she would try, but was having a rough time over the last 2 months.  She lost her dad two months before and said she didn't know how to get her life back together.  I found myself telling her that it wouldn't be the same and that she wouldn't get over it...not really over it, but it would be easier to bear.  I promised her.

And it does.
I promise.

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