I like to be a good patient, but I feel like I made really made my therapist work the last time we were together. I didn’t have an agenda, so the conversation would get a little off topic, but eventually we got to the heart of the matter: I’m sad.
But not just your garden variety blues. I am sitting, on this dark maroon leather (?) sofa and I am bawling my eyes out. Like I want to do every single day, but can’t. She’s trying to get to the bottom of it.
“What are you telling yourself about this loss?”
“I don’t know.”
“What does it mean to you?”
“I don’t know.”
She tries to start sentences for me where I can fill in the blank and my only response is to sob uncontrollably. I have no words. And when I can think of some, they aren’t new or original. I am in shock. I am overwhelmed. I am tired.
For someone that has a vocabulary app on her phone, learns new words for fun, claims to be some sort of writer, it’s a little embarrassing that I can’t better articulate how I am feeling. That I haven’t dug into this more. But really, that would be like digging a hole when you neck deep in quicksand. Sometimes it’s just better not to know.
She goes with overwhelmed. I tell her how I think about it all the time.
“Do you want to not think about it?”
“I don’t know.”
I suppose there are medications that can eliminate excessive thoughts.
“But I know you don’t want to try meds.” We covered this is in our first session. I always figured myself one to avoid pain at all costs but for some reason, I am curious and want to stay present with this. I’m not even self medicating with food or alcohol. I stopped drinking alone (life achievements!) because it was just too easy to have glass of wine or two, go to bed and not think about what’s painful.
I’m still not thinking about what’s painful, incessantly. I’m using CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) to manage my grief and grief related anxiety by only wallowing for one hour a day. 9:30-10-30 pm is my time, to think, wonder, love, regret, write and just whatever else this grief needs to work itself out that involves my face getting puffy and ugly crying.
All other times of the day, on my way to/from work, in the bathroom, walking through the park, sitting in the library reading Walt Whitman poems about death, (WHY?) I am to STOP these emotions from overtaking me. You have to literally say STOP. It helps to think of a stop sign. This creates new neural pathways. I know this from all the self help books that I half read through the years.
Lori is impressed that I use the term compartmentalize. There’s a big word! I used to do this on my way to work. Fresh cup of coffee, crisp early day, all kinds of new possibilities and I am crying my head off en route. It’s healthy to have a good cry, but I’d rather sleep afterwards than have to order truckloads of chicken burritos. The flow feels unnatural to me.
My next mission is going to a grief support group. Once again, I’ll do my best to be “good” and hopefully I can have my stuff together and not make anyone more sad, if that’s possible.
Until next time,