Author Topic: ... and the roll stops dead  (Read 6661 times)

Jen

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1076
  • Jim: 7 April 1974-10 April 2014
... and the roll stops dead
« on: March 15, 2015, 11:49:47 AM »
So that didn't take long.  :-\

Total meltdown in the grocery store parking lot yesterday-- no real reason, nothing specific to trigger it, just the yawning empty ache inside opened up and dragged me back in. End of a crap week, to be honest. I feel like I'm trying to walk across quicksand. Or maybe it's the Swamp of Sadness in The NeverEnding Story, and I'm that poor horse that finally just gives up and sinks.

I think I've figured out why this is so freaking hard. It sounds ridiculously obvious, but it's a considerable revelation for me: there's no getting away from it. No escape. This is reality; reality BITES.

My whole life, as long as I can remember, escapism has been my coping mechanism of choice. Some people drink, do drugs, shop-- I disappear into a fantasy world. I bury my nose in books, or I lose myself completely in my own fiction. It's always worked beautifully-- as long as I'm in Middle-Earth or at Hogwarts or flying the Enterprise, nothing in the real world can touch me. It's kept safely at bay, and I don't have to deal. Maybe not the healthiest way to face one's life, but it's gotten me through some bad times in the past.

Now, though, it's not an option. It doesn't work anymore. I can read, but I can't immerse myself in the stories the way I used to. I can't write-- my imagination is out of order. This is all there is. Can't think about the past; can't find a future. I'm stuck right where I am in the here and now, living through every single waking minute of every single day. I tell myself that a minute in the real world lasts exactly as long as a minute spent in one of the worlds inside my head, but it's simply not true. Guess that's why this is hell. :(

« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 01:59:42 PM by Just Jen »
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

widowat33

  • Member
  • Posts: 305
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 12:08:17 PM »
((Jen))
I think the hardest times are when there isn't a trigger, when it just comes from nowhere. At least when we are expecting to have a meltdown we mentally prepare ourselves for it, so when it's unexpected it really hurts!

Mangomom

  • Member
  • Posts: 114
  • Widowed 8/10/12
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 12:09:20 PM »
Oh Jen...  (((hugs))).  It sucks.  I get it.  When reality sinks in and you are left with nothing but life with no direction, it is terrifying.  I PROMISE you you will survive this.  I was a huge reader pre-death and could barely manage a magazine for the longest time.  And when one passion disappears it seems like trying to find a replacement is like trying to move a building with a spoon.

I still struggle to "find my passion".  That's a great saying but not an easy task.  But, at 2.5 years, I don't feel as though I am drifting without an anchor.  I am certainly not the person I was, but I am changed enough to realize I can't go back to who I was with him.  She's gone.  It was a harrowing day I realized I was trying to keep me alive as a dead person.  Only then was I able to get up and decide to make this life mine and mine alone.

You WILL get there.  Not tomorrow, maybe not any time soon, but you WILL.

I was just thinking the other day that I have noticed a change in your tone on the board.  I remember when you joined and were so overwhelmed with sadness and mourning your lost life - I actually worried a bit about your personal safety at times with your hopeless sounding posts.  You don't post like that as much and it made me happy for you that you are seeing things a little brighter.  What you are going through right now is a tsunami wave.  Ride it and the ocean will settle again.  The next wave might be a hurricane or it might be a gentle tide roll.  Thats the nature of grief.  Just don't let go of the life preserver.  You will reach land again. (OK, this got corny... you get the imagery though, I hope.)  I can't wait to meet you in a month.

Jen

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1076
  • Jim: 7 April 1974-10 April 2014
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2015, 02:36:50 PM »
I can't seem to shake it. Ides of March? I've been crying all day. It's particularly horrifying, as I'm at work. I feel like my heart has been ripped open and I'm bleeding out again. Why? Where is this coming from? Nothing happened to cause this. It just hurts!

I have no passion anymore. For anything. I only ever really wanted one thing-- I had it briefly-- then I lost it, and there's no chance of regaining it. Still, I was doing better-- I was seeing light and color and possibility again. And then it all went away. No hope. No joy. No nothing, ever. Yes, I'll survive-- I don't have a choice there. But other than duty, what's the point? Forgive me another book reference, but I feel like those poor people in The Golden Compass who are severed from their daemons-- they go on living, but they're just one step removed from zombies. They keep breathing, they keep doing, but there's nothing in them that ever... aspires, or dreams, or soars.

You're right, my anchor is gone. I'm just drifting aimlessly, and I wish I could believe I could find land again, but right now there's nothing in sight. :-/

I do know that depression, that lying old hag, figures into this. I'm trying to work through it with a therapist, though I'm not overwhelmed wth optimism that it will help. There's a good bit of anger as well-- I'm furious with my husband for leaving me, and it doesn't really matter whether he wanted to or not. I'm no less alone. I think I'm getting bitter... cold. I can almost feel my heart freezing-- if that happens, it really will be the death of me. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. It would be so nice not to feel anything at all anymore...

I'm wrong; there is one thing I can still get excited about, and that's traveling-- it's not much of an exaggeration to say I'm living for the upcoming bagos I'm planning to attend. Hope you don't mind soggy hugs, Mangomom.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 02:40:47 PM by Just Jen »
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Wheelerswife

  • Member
  • Posts: 1093
  • Widowed x 2.
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2015, 03:21:35 PM »
Hi, Jen,

I know you are moving into the last few weeks before the first anniversary of Jim's death.  These weeks are incredibly hard.  Things kick up.  It's a tough wave.  I can't say your pain will lessen...just that mine did with my first husband and I wish it would hurry and ease up faster since the death of my second husband.  There are times when I have more optimism than at other times.  I know for sure that I hate being miserable, and for that reason alone I feel as though I've got to keep looking forward and walking toward the future.  It has to be better than staying immersed in all of this pain...I tell that to myself.  And so each day, I keep walking.  Sometimes I stumble and sometimes I break down and cry and sometimes I have panic and anxiety, but still, I keep my eyes facing forward.  Doing this one day at a time has gotten me through over a year of school, medical issues, holidays and vacations and days when throwing in the towel sounded a whole lot easier than living.  I hate what feels like a snail's pace sometimes, but I find I don't have much choice.  It isn't happening any faster because I will it to happen.  I know you've got some great supporters out there and you have a bago to look forward to...so keep those wid friends close to you and keep talking and soon you will be getting big hugs and a bit of an adventure that will reassure you that there are other people here for you, even when you feel totally alone.

Hugs,

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness

Mangomom

  • Member
  • Posts: 114
  • Widowed 8/10/12
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2015, 03:24:29 PM »
Hope you don't mind soggy hugs, Mangomom.
  That and wet dog noses are some of my favorite things...  Oh, and warm woolen mittens or something like that.  Hang in there.

I do remember the frightening anger at DH for dying and leaving all this grief for me to work on without him.  I spent many a day screaming at him when the kids were in school.  It mellows.  I never thought it would while I was living it, but it does.  ((((((hugs))))))

jlp

  • Member
  • Posts: 64
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2015, 05:12:23 PM »
Jen, I'm sorry you are having such a bad day -- there must be something in the air.  I've been doing really well the last few weeks and then today -- not so much.  I think part of it for me is having too much on my plate at the moment and feeling myself being pulled in all different directions.  Too many people wanting me to make decisions I'm not ready to make. 

I'm tired of being lonely.

I'm not looking forward to reliving the last three and a half months of my husband's time on Earth.

We'll get through this, I'm sure -- please know you are not alone.  I've so appreciated your posts over the months and please know I am thinking of you.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 05:13:59 PM by jlp »

Jen

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1076
  • Jim: 7 April 1974-10 April 2014
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 02:18:13 PM »

I know you are moving into the last few weeks before the first anniversary of Jim's death.  These weeks are incredibly hard.  Things kick up.

Maureen, thank you. I feel like such an idiot... it didn't occur to me. I'd convinced myself that I was all right with it. Eleven months, one year, what's the difference? But on balance... I think there is a difference, even if it's just one that I've created in my own crazy little head. I set that year as a goal-- "If I can make it one year, I'll be all right." Now that I'm almost there, I'm afraid that I'll quickly find out that I'm NOT all right. How different is 366 days from 365?

Quote
I can't say your pain will lessen...just that mine did with my first husband and I wish it would hurry and ease up faster since the death of my second husband.  There are times when I have more optimism than at other times.  I know for sure that I hate being miserable, and for that reason alone I feel as though I've got to keep looking forward and walking toward the future.  It has to be better than staying immersed in all of this pain...I tell that to myself.  And so each day, I keep walking.  Sometimes I stumble and sometimes I break down and cry and sometimes I have panic and anxiety, but still, I keep my eyes facing forward.  Doing this one day at a time has gotten me through over a year of school, medical issues, holidays and vacations and days when throwing in the towel sounded a whole lot easier than living.  I hate what feels like a snail's pace sometimes, but I find I don't have much choice.  It isn't happening any faster because I will it to happen.

I think this is one of the hardest things about this journey-- maybe THE hardest-- and that's that there's no defined endpoint. We go on and on-- it makes me think of a song from Kismet (sorry, I need to just start my Broadway songs and quotes thread and be done with it, then I can put this crap there and everyone can happily ignore it and life will go on, lol): "Then fate's a thing without a head/ A puzzle never understood/ And man proceeds where he is led/ Unguaranteed of bad or good." If someone could tell me, "You will be miserable for 2 years, two months, and 11 days, then it will all be over and life will be good again, and you will look back and see that it was all worth it," then I could cope, you know? There's an end. It's a long time to be miserable, but I can count down the days and eventually the good will get here. But obviously that's not happening. I'm so afraid that I'll keep crawling along and never find the good again. :( But then again... what's the alternative? Give up and die? That would be cowardly. Not what Jim would want for me-- he'd be ashamed. And the road through hell has too many good people on it for me to leave.

Honestly... beyond the obvious-- I'm absolutely required to stay for my kids and my family-- those bago adventures are what I'm living for right now. I do know there's a good chance I wouldn't be here without the support of the amazing community here, and I'm so incredibly grateful. So-- thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I know you're tired of being told you're an inspiration, but...

(((HUGS)))
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Jen

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1076
  • Jim: 7 April 1974-10 April 2014
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 02:26:57 PM »
Mangomom, I promise I will make good on every single hug. I really am counting down the days. :)

Jen, I'm sorry you are having such a bad day -- there must be something in the air.  I've been doing really well the last few weeks and then today -- not so much.  I think part of it for me is having too much on my plate at the moment and feeling myself being pulled in all different directions.

Yes!! I really thought March would be better, after the frozen misery that was February. Right now there's nothing awful going on, there's no crisis to deal with, but there are a dozen little fires to put out at any given moment.  Any one or two I could deal with, but put them all together... It's like being pecked to death by chickens!

Quote
I'm tired of being lonely.

Yes. Oh, yes. I'm so tired of it. I find little pockets of non-lonely sometimes, and I cherish those moments, but they end and the loneliness comes flooding back. And I don't even have to be physically alone-- I can feel that pervasive sadness in the middle of a room full of people. :(

Quote
I'm not looking forward to reliving the last three and a half months of my husband's time on Earth.

(((HUGS))) I am so sorry. I keep having those "a year ago this time... " thoughts. I hate them; they don't help. He was here one day, gone the next. Sometimes I wish I had brain bleach and could scrub all of it out.

Quote
We'll get through this, I'm sure -- please know you are not alone.  I've so appreciated your posts over the months and please know I am thinking of you.

Tearing up again... that means a lot to me. (((more hugs))) We will get through. We ARE getting through. One little snail step at a time...
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

hachi

  • Member
  • Posts: 229
  • Widowed 7-6-2012 YWBB Joined 6-10-2013 Loc:NH
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 02:32:16 PM »
How different is 366 days from 365?

The days leading up to 365 were just brutal. 365 was just bad. Could have been worse. Could have been better, but for many reasons. Specifically relating to my own grief, it was a little bit of a relief to have that day end. So 366, in that sense, was a better day.

Navigating through the next year will have it's own different challenges, but surprising, one day, you will have an anniversary of a good day. I don't think I am alone in looking forward to the day when I stop counting the months, weeks, days.

I sincerely hope to want to read a book again someday. It used to be one of my greatest joys. Hang in there, one thing we do know is that we will survive this.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein

anniegirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 322
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 03:11:39 PM »
A fellow escape artist!

I couldn't read fiction anymore and I still find it hard to immerse myself in it because it has to be really good and that is hard to find.

I also found it very hard to write fiction too.

So, I escaped into non-fiction. Yes, it can be done. And blogged. Creative non-fiction.

Widows are nothing else if not adaptable.

I also found that the first six-ish months were easy compared to the last four or five, but at five months, I just went to pieces at work.

I was teaching credit recovery (drop out prevention work really) and ESL in a brand new school that was mainly. And though I had some of the least wanted kids in the school to work with, it was actually a stupid paperwork thing that sent me over the edge one day. I just burst into tears while ranting to a co-worker. She said, "Go home. I will find people to cover you. I will talk to the admin right now. Just go home. You need a break."

I went to the cemetery and yelled at my LH's tombstone. No one was around to see this, thank goodness. But I bawled him out good. Told him, "You are somewhere totally free of this mess and I am stuck living it. You'd better get your angel butt off that cloud and send me some help."

Next day, I met with my VP and she had figured out a way to get me a medical paid time off to the end of the school year. I just supervised my sub from home.

But, I did - as I told you - pick myself up and finish my master's. There was parenting I couldn't magic away tombstone's make poor babysitters).

Long story but the point is that breaking down is necessary sometimes. They are opportunities to check and see if we are where we are comfortable. A chance to take stock, make changes.

And they remind us that we still need time and to maybe go a bit slower.

The last couple of weeks have been busy for you. Lots of people depending on you getting this site up and running. Easy to get caught up. Startling to be reminded that even though you are amazing, even amazing people get overloaded.

You will be okay. The next few months will have ups/downs but you will get through it.
This is not the droid you are looking for.

lcoxwell

  • Member
  • Posts: 671
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 05:02:13 PM »
I don't know how in the world I missed this, when you first posted, but I wanted to take a moment and tell you that I am sorry you had a bad week and that the grief sucked you back in again.  There are times, when this happens to me, as well.  Sometimes, it is easy to see what triggered the sadness and despair, and other times, like when you were in the grocery store parking lot, when it seems to make no sense at all.  (What is it about grocery stores, anyway?)

The ability to escape can be a wonderful thing.  I am told that, eventually, the ability to read an entire book will return.  On the other hand, as nice as it might be to escape, I am learning that I have to deal with things, no matter how much I may not want to.  I know that isn't a comforting thought, but it is true.  Avoidance just doesn't work, no matter how much we may try.  Looking at it from a different perspective, the fact that you realize there's no escape and you realize you have to take it one day at a time, may be a sign you are healthier, emotionally at least, than you think.   ((((Hugs))))
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.

Jen

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1076
  • Jim: 7 April 1974-10 April 2014
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2015, 10:15:59 PM »
It's somewhat ironic to me that for years I've read all about mindfulness, and how desirable it is to live "in the moment." Now I can't get out of the moment, which seems like it should be an accomplishment-- and maybe it would be, if the moment wasn't so lousy. :-\

That's not entirely true, I suppose. I'm here, I'm reasonably healthy, I have things to be grateful for. I need to stop focusing on the negatives. Easy to say, harder to do...

(((HUGS)))
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

anniegirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 322
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 10:22:11 PM »
I think there is a difference between mindfully being in the moment and being abducted by the moment and held prisoner.

And it's not negative to feel crappy when things are crappy. You don't have to Oprah your way out of it. Cry. Rage. Rant. And then eat some ice cream, have a cuppa tea. Something. Thinking happy thoughts has it's time and place and so does allowing yourself to not feel happy.
This is not the droid you are looking for.

linda5

  • Member
  • Posts: 193
  • My one, my only
Re: ... and the roll stops dead
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 06:37:57 PM »
Just Jen, your post is timely for me.  I also can't read a book anymore, and I used to immerse myself in fiction!  I'm fastly approaching the 2 year mark, March 24th, and my oldest daughter, her husband, and most importantly, my only grandbaby just moved to Phoenix!  I now only have one daughter in Missouri! I've been yelling at my dear husband more lately for leaving me to figure out life alone!  I keep telling him that he should have been able to do something to make a job offer appear here for our son-in-law.  Unfortunately, they moved (I guess he has no power to help us), so now I feel as if I'm back to square one with the grieving shit.

Wishing you some sunshine and calm seas!