Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grief: Oops - here it comes again

First of all, after I posted yesterday I wanted to make something clear.  I'm a city kid so a lot of what I do is city stuff.  The get up out of bed could be as simple as working in a garden, going to lunch with a friend, going on a hike.  It doesn't have to be all the wild things I get involved in here in the big city.  One of my friends was so sad for me because I had never been camping.  I went once and hated it - kind of knew I would.  So, it doesn't matter where you live.  It also doesn't matter if you are interested in it.  One the problems for us grieving folk is reconnecting with the joy and interest.  For me getting moving is the important thing.  I often find I have a good time once I get somewhere even if I have had to fight to get out.  Of course there are also the times (less of them) when I am all dressed and ready to go and still can't make it.

The oops - here is comes again - is that in spite of this great stuff - I am starting to feel like hiding again.  It's getting harder to get moving, to keep pushing those creaky doors open.  I thought about it and realized that it was this time two years ago that Artie started getting very sick and no one would listen to me - even Artie.  His doctor kept telling him he was fine so Artie didn't see any reason to go to the hospital even though eventually he was sleeping 18 hours a day and hallucinating.  We had a jazz musician hovering near the ceiling at one point.  I couldn't hear the music but he obviously could.  Six weeks of misdiagnosis - I left him with caregivers checking on him twice a day - and told him I wouldn't come back unless he went to the hospital.  No one could believe I got him in.  Unfortunately he wasn't fine - he had stage four cancer and died six weeks later. seems I have a 12 week date instead of just the anniversary of his death.

My intention is to keep moving; keep doing things but also to be gentler with myself during this time if I need to escape.

I have an e-mail from someone from an on-line dating service that I am ignoring.  Can't decide if I even want one date.  Still feel so married and yet am lonely and a little jealous of folks who have found new relationships.  I'm happy for them but not sure I'm ready.  We'll see.

I wish I could explain Provocative Therapy to you - it's such a weird improvisational combination of techniques - done in a conversational and humorous manner.  The intent is what happens - you get awfully confused and then hopefully things come together in a new way.  Usually it starts with, "What's the problem?" However if you say you are miserable without your husband you might find yourself being told - Of course you are.  You probably aren't miserable enough.  What can you do to make yourself more miserable?  Or maybe being told - it's not your fault you're miserable - nothing you can do to change it.  Then the strange thing happens - you start taking the opposite position.   You don't know me - I can change it!  or I am miserable enough - I want to be less miserable.  But the responses of the therapist are so complex and varied there is no way to describe it.  I had this great insight about being anorexic in a world of great things that I couldn't taste emotionally.  What did I get for it - laughter and a yawn.  :)  I laughed myself.  All these words that reinforce the unhappiness instead of tossing them up in the air and letting them come down in a totally different way.

The bottom line - I think - is that we all have solid beliefs.  Mine is - "If Artie is dead I can't possibly ever be happy."  That's been shot to pieces in a lot of ways in the different places I have been in.  It's not totally gone - but I am working consciously and unconsciously to make the belief "Artie's death is sad and painful for me but I can still be happy a lot of the time." Not quite at "I'm a happy person" but still  a big shift.  If I change my belief system the way I feel and act is going to change.  There are still parts I am clinging on to - like still feeling married.  That's okay too. I feel that I have more choices.  I have some control over how my actions and my thinking can change my feelings and allow for more moments and more joy.  Still working on feeling connected to the joy part instead of feeling like an observer. "Oh look - something really cool is happening to her."  instead of being present in my body and feeling the good feelings associated with the fact that something really cool is happening to ME. 

Because who am I without Artie?  Well, I'm the one that's alive.  I'm the one that's still breathing.  What if I could give my husband the gift of living double for him as well as for me.  He didn't have fun with the oh so good at whining malcontented me when he was alive - so maybe he's not having fun with that part of me now.  He always held me and comforted me - but of course - he preferred it when I was happy and laughing. 

I'm not very good at keeping things simple!!   Here's to a bit of light in our day - to taking a path not taken before even if goes through a dark and scary wood.  Who knows what we will find on the other side?  As long as I don't have to go camping!!  xo

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