Monday, January 24, 2022


 Grief is a strange companion. 

For the past several years I've been living with a form of grief as I watched my mother slip away and tried repeatedly to get family members on board with establishing a plan for Mom. I can only explain these years as a long, muted anxiety attack. I was constantly on edge, jumpy and hypersensitive. I never slept through the night. Often I would awake in the early morning hours, heart racing, gasping for breath and irritated beyond belief at some unsolved crisis or another. I'd spend an hour or two pacing about with my mind spinning in a state of near-hysteria. I'd finally tire myself out with my pacing or pushups or arguing with somebody in my head and fall back into bed to catch a couple hours of sleep before getting up and slogging through work the next day. 

I tried just about everything to calm down; I did yoga and meditation, took melatonin, drank chamomile tea, journaled, talked, exercised, listen to calming music, took long baths. Nothing worked. Sometimes my efforts even backfired. After deciding that I would only listen to positive, uplifting music, I changed my preset buttons in the car to soft rock and inspirational channels. All that did was piss me off. I ranted to myself at the-crap-that-passes-for-music-by-talentless-hacks and I pounded the steering wheel while flipping off other motorists. Then I'd punch in my old stations and scream along with Metallica or Rage Against the Machine which, ironically, did soothe the frustration for a little bit of time. 

I figured that I had just become an angry person.

Then everything changed. My Mom died in November and with her, all my anger died, too. Grief, like a chameleon, changed its colors and morphed into something altogether different.  I'm no longer angry, just so, so tired. 

Grief can be like a warm, heavy blanket - equal parts comforting and suffocating. Many days, I just don't want to get out of bed. I fantasize about just staying put, dozing off and on all day under my warm, cozy blankets. Of course, this is reality, not a ROM-COM, so  I can't stay in bed. I get up and go to work, but I think about how much I'd love to be asleep throughout the day. When I awaken at night, because I still do in those early morning hours, I no longer pace around, trying to get rid of nervous energy. Instead, I lie there, pondering how I can be wide awake with no energy at all.

I wonder how I became a lazy person.

Of course, I know that I am neither an angry person nor a lazy person. I'm just a person going through some stuff. I just wish I was on the other side of the stuff. I can only hope that as strange and unnerving as my companion can be, grief will show me the way through.

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