Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grief: F is for Fear and Fun and I Can Think of Another One...

Fear:  As I go into a mode of trying to be in the world more I find that fear is filling me up and I need to shake it out or follow it or work worth it or express it or escape.  Not fear of anything in particular.  I have been waking up at 3 am and not knowing why.  I realized today that the three hour time difference (Artie and I lived together in a house in California) means that I am waking up every night at the time he died.  I have stopped counting every day, every month he died but Jan. 17th it will be a year and a half and my body is counting for me.  I am using the techniques I have learned - but come 3 am nothing works and I hit play on my remote and watch something until I am tired again - a half hour or an hour - and I can go back to sleep.  Everything is fine.  I am safe.  As I get out more I will feel better - but sometimes - like today - I had to accept the fear and come home and do things inside the house.  All dressed for the gym - but I did what I needed to do - and then - home to Artie land.   Wearing my sneakers and gym clothes - but being out wasn't good for me today.

Fun:  Have fun!  Make time in your schedule for fun!  If you don't know what fun is any more - think about all the things you have wanted to do and never have gotten around to.  Or think of something you might have been interested in before your loved one died - and try that.  We get so busy these days.  You have to make appointments with yourself (or with others)  time to have fun and time to take care of yourself.  When someone want to schedule something else you can say, "Sorry, I'm busy."  I'm trying to get better at approaching people I take classes with and talking to them.  I'm trying to find the courage to sometimes go somewhere by myself.  I don't mind movies or theater because I am just sitting in a seat - but I love Irish music - and I could have gone to a pub tonight - but that is hard for me.  There are also a lot of open mic nights for poetry and storytelling.  I do one - but there are more I can do.  For me if I can drag myself kicking and screaming out of the door when I get where I am going I usually have a good time.  It is too easy for me to say - nope - gotta watch the next episode of whatever DVD I'm in the middle of.  How much am I cultivating my own loneliness?  What can I cultivate instead?

Friends:  (that wasn't the other F word I was originally thinking of!) I do a pretty good job connecting with friends - and although I'm introverted by nature I know some great folks.  A lot of times they are busy.  I could widen my circle of friends if I widened my activities.  I could widen my cirlce of friends if I took more risks.  In public I look very extroverted but I am really very shy. 

What can I do every day that lessens my fear and increases my fun? 

There is a group in NYC called the Moth where you put your name in a bowl and tell a five minute story.  I chickened out for the last one.  There is another one on Tuesday.  I hope I can tell you I went.  Sometimes they have 50 or 60 names in the bowl - so I could have a story ready and not get picked - but I can get in habit of going - like I go to the gym - me - little let's lie down and rest after my rest - going to the gym fairly regularly.  I thank George who used to be my personal trainer before he got a better job - and Doug O'Brien for his CD  Why Weight? - and me.  Now if I go to the Moth on Tuesday - I will have turned fear into fun.
The new alchemy - not turning base metal into gold - but turning fear into fun.

Let the magick begin.
Me (letting yourself begin to be fully alive)
Action (taking actions that will make you feel better)
God (or spirit or will or faith or however you define it. Even agnostics believe in someting!)
Inspiration (from other people, quotes, your inner self, nature, architecture, humor, anything.)
Courage and Community (It takes a lot of courage to be a grief warrior - but we are a great community.)
Knowledge (What you know, what you know that you didn't know you knew, and what you learn.)

Aha.  It's easy to write it.  Let's see if I can live it!   xo

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