Monday, June 29, 2009

Grief is my Mistress

Well, I’m finished with school. I’ll be taking the walk on August 29th to make my graduation official. As of last week, there will be no more rushing around, trying to write papers and collect research data. I have no more chapters to read in academic textbooks.

And I have so much time to myself, which is something I have craved for a long time. Time to be quiet, to be still, to rest.

The end of my school days has leaked into my workout schedule and created a pocket of ”I don’t wanna do it.” I’m just relaxing. And I’m still dealing.

I’m glad I have time, again. Time used to scare the daylights out of me. Now, I welcome it, even though I cry sometimes, simply because there’s time to, now.

July 4th is a trigger date for me. I don’t feel like going into detail at the moment, but I’m sure I have written about it in blog posts from Independence Days passed.

I still just remember a promise -- not made by anyone -- but a promise, no less, or a hope for a promise. I remember the History Channel all day and night for an entire day when I sat in my bed staring at the screen, watching men scalp other men and wishing I could walk out the door with my husband and enjoy the Charles River festivities. All we wanted to do was walk to the Esplinade, since we lived so close. But Chris was too sick. He slept the entire weekend, and anyone who has ever witnessed somebody fight cancer knows that by “entire weekend” I mean 24 hours a day, waking only to use the bathroom once or twice.

I was lonley for the life we had together. I was angry that he couldn’t rise up from the couch and hug me. I was helpless as he lay sleeping, and I wanted out of that nightmare so badly. I wanted Chris to get well and stay with me.

I can still see him passed out in a chemo-induced pseuda-coma. I would never leave him. Never.

Independence Day is coming, again, and I know if I try, I can have a very happy long weekend, even though Jonathan is away. That’s probably for the best, actually. When grief comes calling, I’d rather not have to explain to anybody. It’s nice, in a strange way, to be afforded the time to temporarily fall apart.

Our time is coming. We’re talking marriage and kids and living together, these days. I’m so happy I have him in my life.

Okay. If I'm gonna do it at all, tonight, I’d better cram something down my throat, wash off these tears and head to the gym.

...or maybe I’ll just curl up and read. :)


Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Little Help

What I have come to understand is that anti-depressants are not the enemy. And I know that if there was no such thing as medication, I would be just fine. However, I am happy that I have the option to choose to use an antidepressant to help me get through the rough spots that still arise in my life.

After a small personal struggle, I recently decided to increase my dose, again, since I could feel depression creeping up on me. I know the signs like the back of my hand. I begin to feel angry for no apparent reason. I use more profanity. Motivation is in low supply. Loneliness takes over. Boredom sets in. I know the signs.

During the onset of depression, however, I still go out and have fun and laugh and carry on like my optimistic self. When the day is over, though, and I’m alone, I feel all of the symptoms mentioned above.

I have come to accept that because of the trauma I experienced, I am prone to depression. I refuse to say, “I suffer from depression, though. The real truth is that I manage depression on a steady basis. That scenario is more accurate, I think. I tend to focus more on alleviating the symptoms than on the pain I feel when I know it’s time to change my anti-depressant dosage. Doing well on medication is not something to be ashamed of. I have been through the mill and come out on the other side, with my life in tact. So what if my seretonin levels need help every now and again?

I’m in love. Jonathan and I have talked about moving in together. I am finally in love, again. I live a life filled with blessings from the lessons I have learned. I didn’t choose for Chris to die, but since he did die, I choose to view his demise as a gift in my life, a lesson in selflessness, resilience, a gift in the form of the knowledge that when faced with a horrible circumstance, I do the right thing. I’m a loyal partner. Once I give my heart away, my heart belongs to the person to whom I gave it, and the only reason I will ever reneg is in the event of infidelity. I have a zero-tolerance policy where cheating is concerned.

I digress.

Increased Zoloft = increased concentration, increased seretonin, increased well-being.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Angie and Counting

Sometimes I really do wonder if it’s ever really going to be over.

I have good news...good news that sent me right into a grief reaction, as per usual. I got cast in the role of “Angie” in a production of “The Wedding Singer” in the next town over.

Every time my life begins to retake the shape it took back before I ever met Chris, I feel overwhelmed with guilt, like I’m erasing him from everything and everywhere. It’s happening, though. My life really is becoming what it was, again, and I’m terrfied.

I’m 42. I used to be 31 and I used to have a husband who was 4 years younger than me, who is now 8 years younger than me, and counting.

I’m moving forward, ever-so-painstakingly, and life is good, and things hurt, and I’m happy and I miss him and I feel so much guilt about moving on, but I do it, anyway.

This play is going to be a ton of fun.

And so is the rest of my life.

Even though it hurts.