I worked today. It wasn’t unbearable. I have made a couple of friends there who help me to stay in the present, and find things to laugh about.
I have a co-worker whom I worked with briefly pre-the event, and then after, for a short time. I recently returned to that jobsite and she asked me how I’m doing with my son’s death and all…
…my honest answer is “I’m staying busy.”
What that means, is:
I do everything in my power to think about ANYTHING except for the fact that my baby is gone. I struggle every single day to keep my mind in between the lines, knowing that any drifting toward the curb will surely result in careening over the guard rail into the valley of sadness and regret. Although I don’t feel a desire to do anything, I am compelled to…keep swimming.
There was a self-help book that came out, probably in the 80’s, and the title of it was “I’m dancing as fast as I can.” Lately it’s more like I’m sitting in a rocking chair, rocking as fast as I can, but the effect is probably about the same.
Added to the grief of my son’s death is the fact that I find other things in my life, things that may ordinarily be moderately annoying, to be ENTIRELY UNACCEPTABLE. That’s where I have to do some footwork. I know enough about grief to realise that my irritability could be grief, slipping out sideways. And for that, I am, as they say, responsible.
I was in a class recently with someone who just frankly chapped my ass. This person was (just my opinion) overly self-centered, obnoxiously attention-seeking, and, well, maybe narcissistic. As evidenced by the looks on the faces of others in attendance, it wasn’t just me who was finding this person’s behavior a challenge to tolerate. For all outward appearances, this person was in attendance for purely selfish reasons, which was ironic especially when the whole point of the class was learning how to better SERVE OTHERS.
So, I got to thinking (in between perceived offensive behaviors), working on a mini-4th Step: what is it about ME, that this behavior is having such an effect on my serenity?
I learned from the Old timers in AA, many years ago, that if a person is getting on my nerves, it may be that there’s something of ME that I see in them. 🤔 Hmm.
Or maybe it’s a trait that I used to have, evident in all its ugliness, when seen in someone else…🤔
A few days later, I was talking about this situation with a friend. I had no sooner gotten out of my mouth how much I felt like punching this person, and realising that I was giving them ENTIRELY too much free space in my head, when my friend said “It sound’s like (they’re) really hurting.”
It stopped me right in my tracks. Mid-rant, to be honest.
I know something about that.
In fact, just a short period before this ass-chapping situation began, I had, myself, opened my mouth and said something for which I was compelled to apologise, the next day. (Yes, it took that long for me to hear my conscience, loud and clear. Don’t you judge me!) I apologised to person #1 for a shitty statement I’d made about person #2, because apparently I felt uncomfortable in strange surroundings and wanted to be sure that #1 would want to be MY friend rather than #2. Such an immature and hurtful thing I did. My only reason/excuse is that I’m hurting and sometimes it comes out of my mouth in the form of me being an asshole.
So, I can see, today, from this vantage point, that perhaps the person chapping my ass was, in fact, myself. After all, aren’t I the one who decides how I frame my life experiences? Don’t I choose whether I become angry or not?
Yeah. I’m still a doo-doohead at times.
Which leaves me here, tonight.
Let me preface this by saying:
I am not depressed. Also, I am not suicidal. At all.
But I was thinking earlier about the shift in my thinking, a.d.
I had been pursuing becoming an entrepreneur, a lifelong dream. I was learning how to think like a successful business person, just absorbing all those “positive” and “motivational” phrases and quotes. Things like
“My best days are before me!”
But, now, guess what. I don’t believe that. I can not believe that there are better days ahead than what are behind.
For too many reasons to mention, it’s just not something, barring MIRACULOUS moves of God, that I’m willing to accept. Mind you, I do believe in miracles and God has shown up and shown off plenty of times…but my feelings tell me that the best days of my life are gone.
This has NOTHING to do with the incredibly strong supportive folks around me. Please don’t twist this into being about them. It’s just how I feel. It will pass.
And don’t get me started on the Mom-remorse for not knowing how to (adequately?) help my younger son through this nightmare.
This is why I hesitate to write. I don’t have much to say that’s not wrapped up in shades of grief and mourning. If you see me on the street or in a store, you won’t know that these thoughts are my constant companions. I do my best to not thrust my heaviness of heart onto unsuspecting others.
But 3 days from now would have been Benjamin’s 26th birthday. 3 months and 2 weeks since he left us.
I suppose maybe someone will glean something helpful from this. Its really the only purpose for sharing these thoughts.
Thank you, if you’ve read this far. I am so very grateful for the kind and generous, emotionally available people in my life. If I can ask a simple favor, it is that you keep my family, Benjamin’s wife & friends in your prayers.