Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Six months

Hello, world. It's been a while... a long while. It's December 9th and somehow I haven't had a post since September 30th. I've struggled for words. I've struggled to process. I've struggled to think clearly. I hate to beat a dead horse but it's been a really hard couple of months.

I feel as though I no longer have any concept of time. Somehow it has been six months or 183 days since since my dad left us, and 199 since I last hugged him goodbye. How is it possible that so much time has passed when most days it feels like I just got the worst phone call of my life? It's supposed to get easier to deal with, not harder, yet because of my birthday and the holidays it's become so much harder.

I feel like for an entire month now I've cried at least once a day, but most days it's been more often than that. I read once that the tears dry up long before the pain stops... well, mine don't appear to be drying up any time soon.

My story, the journey to health story, was published on a HUGE Primal website on October 2nd. I was beyond excited for about two minutes...and then I wanted to pick up the phone to call my mom and dad and then it hit me again... "Nope, you can't call him now or ever again because he's dead." The outpouring from people all over the world who replied to the story on the site, sent emails, facebook message or reached out through this blog was amazing. But not being able to share it with my dad took away from the excitement and I think I officially hit the depression stage of grief.

What didn't help matters is that I didn't get to see any of my family for various reasons from Labor Day until Halloween weekend. Guess what isn't good on a single person who is grieving the loss of a parent 3-5 months after the fact... It made the struggle so much harder. When I finally was able to go to my hometown, we celebrated my 30th birthday a couple of weeks early. It was so great getting to spend time with my family but it was so sad without him there. Some things happened the weekend of my actual birthday that  made it a truly awful weekend, not mention being horribly sick with my second respiratory infection over the course of six weeks.

The week of Thanksgiving, the number of breakdowns I had were too many to count. I know I have so much in my life to be thankful and grateful for, and of course I am, but I didn't feel thankful for anything that week. I had people who have also been grieving various losses tell me that it's okay to not be okay, to not feel like celebrating anything, to not feel thankful. It's hard for me to not act cheery when I know I'm supposed to be that way but I simply didn't have it in me that week.

You have to be gentle with yourself. Nobody else knows how your loss personally affects you. For me and my past with depression, I'm sure that it's making it more difficult. If I hadn't worked so hard in the past few years to improve my health naturally, I would have started taking antidepressants and sleeping pills months ago. I refuse to do that for several reasons. I have been sleeping much better the past couple of months, but the dreams and nightmares I have often wake me up in tears. It would be easier but it would undo so much that I've done and my dad absolutely would not want that.

Christmas. Once upon a time there was nothing that could put more joy in my heart than the entire Christmas season. The celebrations with friends and family, the joy on the faces of my nieces and nephews, the songs that filled the air, the laughter, the giving, the hope, the peace....Through other family deaths and personal losses, it's been something to just get through as of late. Six months and one day ago I was looking forward to Christmas because I was finally in a great place again and so looking forward to being happy once again during the season. I've tried. I've helped other loved ones decorate, I play Christmas songs for my little man at work all the time, I even put my tree up. I have since taken it down. It made me too sad to look at it. A friend told me all that matters is that I did try to do something I would normally do. I feel guilty for not having the joy and thanks that I know I should have because of everything and everyone that I do have in my life but those moments have been few and far between the last few weeks...and apparently that is normal and okay, too.

A few days ago I was looking through some photo albums on facebook and found a comment made dad had written on the album. "I'm there guys, you just can't see me. I love you all." I needed to see that so much. I get asked all the time if I've found any peace about his death yet or if I've had any good dreams about him yet. The answer is no, I haven't. And the closer it gets to Christmas, the more I seem to cry and just feel sad. I needed to see that comment from him. I know in ways he is here. He is here through old stories and jokes. He is here in the eyes and personality of my youngest nephew. He is here through things my sister says all the time and it sounds just like him. But I can't see him, I can't hug him, and there are things I prayed to share with him one day since I was eight years old that will never happen and I just don't know how to be okay with that yet.

I know that one day there with be joy again and that I will feel peace. To those of you dealing with loss during this season, know that anything you feel is in fact normal and you should win a prize daily just for waking up and going about your day...a big one! To those of you who are lucky enough to not have profound losses in your life that make you feel like less than your normal self, don't judge us...we're trying. If you see me or talk to me during the rest of this month, please don't ask me if I'm okay or if I'm feeling better. Know that I'm not but I'm trying. Pray for me, pray for my family. Love your family. Be thankful for them. Tell them how much you love them.