Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grief: Poor Me Syndrome

I'm telling you - I went back to therapy yesterday.  I have this wonderful life and without Artie I cannot find a way to make any happiness stick.  I can enjoy the moments but when I'm back in my empty apartment by myself - especially when I wake up in the morning - Ouch and Ouch again.  I watch other folks around me think positively and move on.  I watch other folks around me who have had a loved one die much longer ago than Artie did still flapping around like a goldfish lying on the floor without water.

The thing is - I'm just me.  I don't know how to stop being in love with my husband and feeling that at 60 it would be easier if I could just go to whatever train station or airport and hop on whatever ride takes me to wherever he is.  My therapist is great because she is allowing me to talk about how I really feel underneath what looks like being better.  The thing is I've built myself a grief box, crawled into it, and nailed it shut.  The other thing is I kind of like it in there.  There's a part of my brain urging me to get up and out - which is why I have so many adventures and why I'm going back to therapy - but there is a part of my heart that keeps stomping it's foot (how's that for a mixed metaphor!) and says NO! NO! Artie is, was, and always will be the only man for me and without him life sucks.  I can't even get to the place that says - okay I'll be a widow for however long I live - but I'll be a widow that lives life with zest and love.  It's like trying to get from Washington DC to NYC by going south.  I know it's not the right way - but it's the only road I've got right now.

I just sent a friend an e-mail.  I have so many happy times - I really do.  I live in this wonderful apartment - I have great friends - I never thought I'd be a performer and I am getting all these compliments when I manage to show up and perform - but when the day and night ends and I walk into my apartment alone - it's like someone turns out the light in my soul and I can't figure out how to turn it back on.  By the morning it's all black and then I have to struggle to get up again and paint the day bright with colors.  Do I dare give up the struggle?  I read somewhere there is actually a misery gene.  People who are naturally positive are actually genetically different than folks like me who struggle.   As many problems as my husband had - he loved life.  He grabbed it with both hands as long as he could - and I know he wants me to do the same. 

It's why I'm the only one I know trying to hold back spring - talking about moving to the North Pole (only kidding).  Maybe therapy will help.  Keep moving.  Baby steps.  Keep piling on happy moments and maybe one day - snap - I'll walk into my cosy apartment and the happiness won't seep out through the cracks but will stay inside me. 

Keep strong. xo

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