The Side-Effects of Grief

This is a weird post to write, but I think I need to get this out… so… here goes.

I am *not* okay.

I know I’ve said that before and I know it sounds simple, but seriously, I am not okay.

The grieving process for me has been whacky to say the least. My favorite person in the world, the reason I bothered to do anything even halfway right in my life, is gone. But grieving that loss has been next to impossible with all of the family obligations I’ve had with Mia’s healthcare and the dogs. And work is INSANE right now as well.

I’m doing the best I can to get through each day but I’ve noticed some side effects to this grief, or maybe just my grieving process, that are not fun and kinda scare me.

I don’t want to see, speak, or interact with people who know me best – As in, I’ve been invited places by people I love and consider best friends, and my brain starts manically screaming “NO. NO. NO. NO” in response.

I’ve always been a social person and while I’ve had periods of time when I turn inward, this is different. This is more like a phobia. The thought of being around the people who know me best truly sends me into a complete and total meltdown.

I’m trying to get this under control in small ways. For example. I’m regularly texting a few friends. I’m responding to most of the texts sent to me. I’ve even started forcing myself to respond to people’s posts on my FB wall.

But still… I can’t imagine myself around my friends. I don’t want to. The only people I want to see or talk to or engage with at all are family, nurses, and doctors. I’m doing okay with coworkers, but I’m also left alone a lot of the time at work and the subject matter is very predictable.

**Edit** Vince’s family just came over and I couldn’t come out of my bedroom. I forced myself out for a minute and had to run back in to have a full on panic attack. This is what I’m talking about. What the hell is wrong with me?

I don’t give a crap about how I look – This is fine, I know it’s fine, but I’m starting to feel pretty damn fat. So I guess maybe I do give a crap because I care enough to notice. But either way… not caring what goes into my body, how I look when I’m out and about, and schlepping to and from work and hospitals, is just… awful. It’s not me. But some days, it’s the best I can do. I do believe I am saving a lot of money on make-up though… so there’s that.

Sometimes my thoughts are out of my control – Like, last night I couldn’t stop remembering the moments I was on the floor of Timmy’s house, screaming and sobbing, while Vince begged the nurses not to give up on my Dad. The memories were flooding my mind and I had to get up and walk around the house to stop them and the complete heartbreak that comes with them.

And then there’s time when I look at the pictures of me and Daddy I have on my phone cover and I have to turn away because all I can think is “he’s dead. he’s gone. you can’t ever speak to him again.” (This is new, btw. That photo used to give me comfort. Now I find myself avoiding it).

It’s like my thoughts are out of my control and the memories, the pain, my reactions to the loss of my Dad… those all take over.

Sooooo now that anyone who has read this thinks I’m crazy…

I don’t FEEL crazy. And I don’t ACT crazy. (At least, no more crazy than I already did, but that’s a fun-crazy, ya know what I mean?)

I’m doing just fine – better than fine, even – at interacting with Vince, my coworkers, immediate family (like The Uncles, Cari, and Corey), and simple acquaintances (like my neighbor, eyelash girl, hair stylist, etc.). I’m GREAT with complete strangers. I’m great as long as I’m busy.

If I had to take a guess at psychoanalyzing myself I would say that, as far as #3 goes, I’m trying to avoid confronting the extremely traumatizing experience of losing my Dad long-distance and I’m failing.

As far as #2 goes – meh. It’ll come back. It’s already starting to. But I’m gunna have to dig myself out of a +15lb hole when I’m ready.

But #1… #1 is the worst. I think I’m avoiding people who knew me as happy, blessed, loved,… the Ali who has a Daddy. The Luckiest Girl EVER.

And inside I feel like that Ali is gone. She died with her Dad. I see the world in different colors now. I feel different. I feel broken. And I don’t want the people who knew me before to have to see me now.

Vince doesn’t really count since he was by my side in this whole thing. It’s almost like he’s in this little bubble with me. He’s the only thing that hasn’t really changed and who I haven’t changed around.

So there. Those are my side effects so far. The ones that scare me the most. Maybe putting them out there will help me get past them. I see a psychiatrist on Tuesday and plan on being completely open an transparent about all of these things. I’ll letcha know how it goes.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m glad you are going to see a psych soon and I wish your responsibilities were a little less than what they are. You sound exhausted and in need of a break. **hugs**

    • luckiestgirlever says

      Responsibilities are what they are. Work is lovely in its distractions, actually. I just have sooo much to get figured out with all the bills and stuff. I don’t even organize my own bills as well as I’ve got Daddy and Mia’s organized.

      When I DO have time for a break though… it’s gunna be a cruise. Like, a nice 7 day-er. I’m ready for Eastern Caribbean. Like, Virgin Islands. And now that I’ve tasted the good life of the Owners Suite on our honeymoon I just don’t know if I can slum it with the steerage again… so I’m thinking at least a mini suite… ;)

    • luckiestgirlever says

      <3 back atcha. I’m trying to pull it together for your wedding. Like, REALLY trying. I know we will be there… I just don’t know how drugged I”m gunna have to be to make it. But we will be there.

      • Kat says

        I’m so glad you’ll be there to share our day with us. It wouldn’t be the same without you, especially since I caught the bouquet at yours!

  2. Paula says

    Good luck at the doc! I was wondering if you were over-eating or under-eating. I know it can go either way. I’m sure if you’re not exercising, you’re not getting that stress relief that you’re used too as well. Maybe take a walk with the doggies and get some fresh air. Much love. <3

    • luckiestgirlever says

      Thanks dude. I’m not over-eating so much as I’m just eating whatever is convenient, so basically just junk. And the dogs do NOT walk on a leash. One of the reasons we are having such trouble with them is that they were never socialized, so they attack everyone except immediate family. They’ve sent family friends to the hospital for stitches. It’s bad. :/

      But the good news is that they’re boarded until May 2nd so I’m getting a goooood long break. Yardwork has been happening and that’s oddly satisfying. I’ve also started hooping again and that’s a lot of fun. I love my LED hoop sooo much. I’m trying to learn how to hoop on my shoulders. I need real lessons so bad!

  3. says

    Oh my heart just breaks for you. Grief is just such an ugly horrible reality of life. I’m a little under a month away from the anniversary of my brothers death… and let me tell you, the fact that it has been seven years is UNFATHOMABLE.

    Like, sure… yes, a lot has happened and changed since then, and it’s been seven years, but when I think about it in terms of my brother being gone, it’s heart breaking.

    Death of important people changes you. Shakes you to your core.

    And you’re right, the Ali that was before, did die with your daddy.

    And from this experience, a new you will be born, and with time you’ll get to know her and understand her too. It’s just a whole other side of the process of grief.

    I totally get you on the side of being completely ‘normal’ around people, but inside everything is just different and you don’t recognize yourself anymore.

    Hang in there :( Big hugs.

    • luckiestgirlever says

      Omg… 7 years is a long time. I get the word UNFATHOMABLE. I get it in all caps. I totally get it. I lost my Grandma almost 11 years ago now and each year that the anniversary rolls around is just devastating. It’s awful to realize you’ve moved on, you have a life now that they never knew, that you’re a person now that they’ve never seen. There are so many layers and I feel like, sure time does make it easier but it also adds even more layers that make it that much more difficult.

      One of the things I’m having a hard time explaining to Vince is how, right now, I’m kind of clinging to my grief a little bit. Because the less I grieve, the further away I feel from my Dad. In a way, this intense amount of grief is keeping me close to him. I only know that because of the devastation I felt after losing my Grandma. I distinctly remember the day I realized I hadn’t missed her or felt heartache for her in a couple of weeks. It was like losing her all over again, just realizing that I was moving on.

      Does that make sense at all? I’m having such a hard time articulating it. I feel like if you’ve known this kind of grief, this type of loss, then you might understand.

      Hugs back to you and thank you for commenting. I need all the support I can get and THEN some. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

      • says

        oh lady, I TOTALLY get that feeling. You start grieving that you’re not grieving because time is moving forward and you’re moving on. You feel guilt when you laugh, smile or have a happy/good day. You just have a life that is different now and it just feels so foreign and wrong.

        Feel all the feels!

        And, please message me or email me anytime you feel the need to just talk about it to an outsider, I totally get it all!

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