Is There A Time Limit On Grieving The Loss Of Your Health?

https://themighty.com/2016/12/grief-timeline-getting-sick/

I think it’s safe to say no on this one. There’s no time limit. It can remain a shock to the system for quite some time.

I tried really hard to have a good day today, but towards the end I couldn’t walk properly and I was struggling with my vision and breathing. I couldn’t think. I came home and looked in the mirror for some visible sign that I was well and truly “done for”, but came away dejected because I see what everyone else sees; someone who visibly looks healthy. It’s really frustrating. 😦

Advertisements

Life Is Full Of Everything

Nine years ago today, I lost my mother. I can’t always say it out loud, I can’t always talk about it, but I honestly have no clue how I’ve survived this long without her. Not because I need someone else in order to survive, that isn’t it, but because life is full of people that mean something to you, or at least, that’s what life should be.

Stupidly, I sometimes expect certain people to be a little more like my mother, and they aren’t. On a scale of my Mom to them, they’re epic failures. They don’t mean to be, they simply cannot be her. No one can. Irreplaceable people are precisely that; irreplaceable.

I have spent the past year and a half holding on tight to everything near and dear, and I’ve been a failure. I have needed help, and I’ve allowed my health to fail in the process. But ultimately, I have actually needed kindness, compassion, understanding, a person who listens, and someone who can put me first sometimes. No one ever does. Not for long.

When you go from being someone’s daughter to just being a person, there is a great shift. Suddenly, nothing is right in the universe, but there’s no way to fix it. And so, you move from one thing to the next at your own pace, trying to succeed and make a person proud, a person who is no longer here. Inevitably, there’s nothing you can do, because life is full of everything.

People, places, things, photos, shared moments, building memories. That’s life. It’s laughter, misery, friendship, companionship, love, and so much more. I went from being a daughter to just being. I’ve spent nine years trying to figure out who the hell that is. I still have no answers.

Hours before her death, the last words my mother spoke were “I love you, too.” I’d been sick for weeks at that point from Fibromyalgia pain. I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t move, and I had missed Mother’s Day the weekend before due to pain and a migraine. I felt like the biggest piece of crap on the planet. So getting the call that my mother had gone into cardiac arrest was like lightning striking through my entire body. I remember exactly what I was thinking and exactly what I said. I also remember thinking “This cannot be happening. This can’t be my life!”

After losing my mother, I got a brief respite for a few years before more damage could be done to my psyche. But as I sit here today, I realize some damage may be irreversible.

When you’re sick and you’re hurting, Google is your worst enemy. So tomorrow, I see my doctors’ Nurse Practitioner to see if she can be of any help in figuring out why I am suffering to the extent I am. Unfortunately, I suspect the only thing I will come away with is additional referrals to more doctors and maybe a prescription, or two. While there, I’ll get my lab work done. That should be an interesting experience. I hope someone reminds me to pack a snack. Especially since it’s going to be over 90 degrees tomorrow and I’m basically the Wicked Witch who will melt, with infinitely better skin. 😉 It’s 91 today and I can barely breathe.

Today has been a shaky day for me. I’m unable to function, unable to think, and it took repeated phone calls to find out what I was forgetting (and G-d help me, I WISH I had just let it go because when I did find out what I’d forgotten, knowing something wasn’t right with my memory, I wanted to crawl into a hole a die. I have less than 20 hours to solve the problem and quite frankly, I’d give up completely if I didn’t feel that not giving up was the right thing to do.). That I could not remember something from last week definitely makes me question what the hell is going on inside my brain. I want answers, not more questions. I’m terrified knowing I, once again, have to ask for help and that I might very well get shot in the process. It has occurred to me that, quite frankly, few people care to have your back when you’re down, but damn, they want you to have their back when they’re in the same place as you. They want you to fix their problems and make everything better, but are very happy to cast you aside once all is well in their own world. It doesn’t make you feel very good, and they’re, unfortunately, too stupid to understand that something isn’t right and they should reach out.

If we’re close and I say “I’m fine.” or you ask how I’m doing and I don’t answer, I urge you to look deeper. It’s extremely rare for me to say “I’m fine.” or “I’m okay.” when I’m not. If you dismiss it and take it at face value, then you’re showing me that you really don’t give a damn, because you’ve just accepted a blatant lie. I can’t remember the last time I was “fine” or “okay”. I wish people weren’t so self-absorbed and took a minute to really connect sometimes. No matter how good or bad my life may be, I still check in with people. If someone tells me they’re fine and I sense otherwise, I call them on it. That’s the mark of a true friend/family member.

I rarely go to the doctor. I’m not fine. I’m not okay. And quite frankly, I’m afraid for my life and sanity.

Life may be “full of everything”, but right now, life is empty, scary, lonely, and heartbreaking.

Here’s hoping my prayers are answered and that someone, somewhere, is looking out for me.

Lisa-blue

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

The Month Of Triggers

phoenix_mythical_bird__1440x900

Fourteen years ago today, a female relative of mine (an Aunt by marriage) was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. I just read her autopsy and toxicology report for the first time; her death having been ruled an “accident”. I read it in utter disbelief. The damage incurred was no accident. I look at it as being blamed in death for being harmed. If I ever come within ten feet of her ex, and I’ve always said this from day one, I will beat the living crap out of him. That he’s alive and breathing disturbs me on levels I cannot begin to describe.

I remember being told that she was gone . She died on Thursday morning. I wasn’t told until Monday. I fell to my knees in the living room, devastated, in tears. Eight years later, her ex-husband, who is my direct relative, would also pass away suddenly. I nearly fell down the stairs when my brother told me, because I just couldn’t handle the news. Both of them far too young to die at all, leave alone the way they did. It guts me.

For the past week or so, leading into this day, I’ve been nothing short of a basket case. I kept asking myself “What’s wrong?” I’ve been dealing with a lot of memory loss and blackouts, and I kept telling myself that my neurology appointment would “fix everything”. Not so fast.

Yesterday, I became keenly aware that the month of May is really “the month of triggers”. It’s a month full of loss and painful memories for me. Last year, it was when I started blacking out. If I began blacking out in years past, I am 100% unaware it was happening, but now I’m wondering if it began earlier due to trauma.

I don’t often talk about their deaths. It pains me, because it was like losing a second set of parents. It is a hard adjustment to go from being loved and adored to having no one to turn to for shelter from the storms of life.

Despite being divorced, they both loved me and had my back. My Uncle, especially. There is nothing he wouldn’t have done for me. He put me through school when my own father would not. He didn’t co-sign a loan; he flat-out paid for six years of advanced education, four at a top ten university. If I had ever been hurt or in trouble, he would have been there without a single judgmental word. In fact, he’s one of the reasons I am the way I am. My Mom used to say that not only did we look alike, enough that I still pass for one of his children, but that I took after him in so many ways, it was creepy. Since his passing, I’ve forgotten that fact. There is a ring in my jewelry box that he gave me after I graduated. Whenever I wear it, I’m reminded that I am fire, flame, and unique. I can storm through anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it on my finger, I think I probably need to remedy that.

This month will be lonely, sad, emotional, and painful. Tomorrow has its own triggers. I’ll do my best to power on. Sometimes, there’s strength in tears.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

When Someone You Love Dies

“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.” ―John Irving

Grief Turns Out To Be…

“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be “healing.” A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to “get through it,” rise to the occasion, exhibit the “strength” that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves the for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief was we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.” —Joan Didion