Stuck

Apparently, my grief is stuck.

I've been having a bloody nightmare. Too often I have found myself blundering around, on a different planet, incapable of remembering something that happened last week or five minutes ago.

Sometimes the pain is unbearable.

I've felt things build up through the day, going from a mild feeling of unease in the morning to what I'd call a complete disconnection and a head full of fuzz, by the time it's evening.

All the time I am wondering if I have slipped into a clinical depression.

With emotions so close to the surface, my temper has been short and I have yelled in desperation at the smallest thing. I've doubled up in tears and got a parking ticket on a day I ventured out in connection with official matters. I've been buried in mountains of paperwork and after an initial spurt of 'getting back into it' at work, I was forced by way of being a bumbling wreck, to spend some time by myself at home. I felt safe in front of the telly, watching crap. There have been painful tears, helpless crying in supermarkets as I remember stuff from this time last year or the following months.

Songs on the radio have me in floods.

Flashbacks are coming thick and fast.

I felt that the more time that passed since we lost Neil, the further away he feels and I can't bear that. I remain grateful for all I do have, our beautiful children, wonderful family and friends and remind myself how much worse off so many people are.

I have answered my own question about whether my state of despair comes from grief, depression or perhaps both. I am clear that I'm not depressed. Any whiff of that and I would be straight to the doctor, I have always promised myself that, but sometimes it's hard to know the difference.

My grief has turned messy - violent snot-filled episodes of holding a jumper I bought Neil to my chest and howling in the small hours. It helps to let it out.

Our lovely grief counsellor says she would like to see me more often and that I will bring Neil closer again by thinking of good times. She acknowledges how hard that is but that  I have to try.

There have been times when I have been able to think of Neil and smile, on the aeroplane when we went away for a week, for example, as I imagined him there with me. But most of all, recalling how much we loved each other and the laughs and care we have shared, just makes me worse. It hurts too much and sometimes, I get furious that we can't still do those things.

But today, for the first time in ages, I have not only found my way into work, but returned after a lunch break. I realise how lucky I am to have been able to build my own work to the extent I can still be paid and not be here. I need to get on with it.

So that's what I'm doing.

Now when I feel stuck I think of the fact that Neil wouldn't want me to sit there doing nothing. I know he would want me to be kind to myself and to take my time. I don't think there's anything wrong with still grieving for the love of your life months or years after he is gone.

But his words that I shouldn't become a victim are ringing in my ears and I am simply doing my best. Writing it down helps. Thanks for reading.


29 comments:

  1. We were all very surprised but delighted when you returned after lunch today. Wish I'd taken a bet on it now! Seriously Linda, we are all so very very proud of you and are always here for you and the girls, filled with snot or not! xxxxx

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    1. You can bet on whether I make it to the Christmas party x

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  2. Grief takes time. Am glad that you are able to take some time to deal with it.

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    1. Thanks, it's easy to lose sight of that when you are surrounded by "normality."

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  3. Linda, all of this is fine. We are live in a society that really doesn't like the mess of grief. You're allowed a couple of weeks of snotters and then you're supposed to pull yourself together and get on with it. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that. You have a mountain to climb and it's bloody hard work - do what you need to to get up there, but remember you're not a victim just a human being.

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    1. Hi Ellen, thank you, that's very kind of you to say. I thin when Neil used the word 'victim' he meant he didn't want us to be held back by losing him or for it to let him not being with us stop us from living.

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  4. I listened to a lovely show a couple of weeks ago on the radio about grief. A woman in her 80s was on there who had lost her husband when they were in their 40s. And she said how she still grieves even now, after all these years. But she's just found a way to do it and survive. She still laid his plate at the dinner table for the longest time and seeing his socks would make her break down because they used to row about him not pairing them up in his drawer!
    Grief is a very personal thing; no one can tell you how it should or shouldn't feel
    Much much love Jonesy x

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    1. Hi Tara -- thank you for the love, I listened to that -- stopped me in my tracks xx

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  5. Writing it out helps, I know that from my own experiences. Keep talking, writing and dealing with it in your own way. I hope there will come a time when the tears don't flow as often, but for now just let it all out.

    Much love, thinking of you lots

    Lx

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    1. Thanks Laura, I know you know how hard it is, I am doing my best, but I have to let the grief in...then out again xxx

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  6. I'm glad that writing about it all helps you. It's nice to be able to read and feel that in some way you're sharing your grief with us all. And bless your lovely work colleagues, they sound wonderful. Love you xx

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    1. Oh they are okay I suppose :) No they are amazing even if they aren't letting me loose much :) Big love back at you xx

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  7. All those memories are still in there and will come when you're ready. Big hugs lovely. xx

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    1. Thanks Jo, lovely to see you and have a hug xx

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  8. I wait to read your posts until Im on my own because I know they will make me cry but I really enjoy reading them. I have 2 podcasts that Neil did with me and I listened to them the other day. Seems incredible he's not here. xx

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    1. Bless you thanks Libby, I want to listen to some, I watched a video of him the other day, I thought I was going to be in bits but I found it quite comforting, I just love him so much. I can't watch our wedding video though, that is too much xx

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  9. You are so brave linda. Hugs to you and keep carrying on, you can do it xxxx

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    1. Thank you, I usually protest that I am not brave at all but I am feeling a tiny bit brave just for the fact sometimes I want to hide away but I am not doing that, thanks for a lovely comment. xx

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  10. Linda, you are being brave and doing the best you can. Keep on crying and letting it out. Continue to acknowledge your grief.

    My mother denied herself the time to grieve when my father died. So much so that she took to the bottle. For 15 years she drank herself into a stupor. My brother and I dealt with this on our own from an early age. It was crap and I wish she'd dealt with things when everything had first happened.

    My mother is now in alleged recovery but still falls down. I don't know how she feels so I try not to judge her but it's hard. Our lives could have all been so different if she had accepted the help on offer at the time.

    So, really you're doing great, you're grieving a very much loved husband and father, don't be too hard on yourself.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to share such a personal and painful experience, I'm so sorry to hear how crap it has been for you. It's so very kind of you to offer these words of support when things have been so tough for you, I do think that it's "easier" now - I have asked for help and got it, I have blogged it out, I should imagine the 'help' available previously wasn't as all emcompassing as it is now. I think I also have to acknowledge that I write from a position of strengh, I am not going to lose my job or anything from wearing my heart on my sleeve like this, lots of love to you xxx

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  11. I find reading your posts very helpful in understanding what my mum is going through. Her grief also has peaks and troughs, set off by music, films or just seeing something of his in a cupboard. When you talk about the more time passes, the further away Neil feels, that's definitely true with regard to Mum. When we talk she often says it's the 'never, never' she can't get her head around. But it's lovely when we see Mum in good spirits and of course, she often has periods of happiness with her family and friends.

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    1. Thank you Trish, I am very grateful for your on-going support and dare I say it, look forward to your comments, lots of love to you and your mum xxx I have to try and bring Neil closer by remembering good stuff and I am giving it my best shot.

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  12. you are amazing and your posts are beautiful.

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  13. Everyone experiences loss differently. I think one of the most difficult aspects is the idea that you "should" be doing this or that, or you worry about having the right reaction. You are reaching out, you are thoughtful about what's going on. This seems like enough.

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  14. Hi Jen, thank you, this pressure comes from within us most of all I think xx

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  15. Today I laughed for the first time since 12 September and wanted to rush home and tell Marvin about the funny thing that happened ..... but I couldn't. Marvin is no longer here, at our home, waiting for me.
    Laugh with the girls, they grow way too quickly, enjoy them. Cry when you are alone and don't even consider conforming to people's opinion or ideas when they think or say you should be "over it by now". They just haven't been through it.
    Like you I think I should be doing this or that -- a good friend told me -- "Don't look at the whole elephant you have to eat. Just concentrate on one bite at a time". It helps when you start to become overwhelmed.
    Thank you for your eloquence, You put into words feelings that I could never express.
    Linda, My Thanks, My Support and My Understanding.
    Marion in Panama

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