I’m still alive. I did feel I was teetering on the edge for a little while, but I didn’t go off the deep end. Although it was sooo tempting to just stay curled up in bed in my PJs and close my eyes really really tight and wish it was all just a bad dream. . . .
Thank you–all of you. I received so many emails from real-life friends, blogging-world friends, and total strangers. The concern and prayers and sympathy that you all sent my way just blew my mind. I made the comment today to a Goodreads/blogging friend that this safety net of support has really helped me to recover a little bit faster than I would have ever expected to. And it’s true. I still, of course, have moments when I end up in tears and turn in to a complete blubbering idiot, but I think those instances are a lot less severe and a lot less often than they would have been without all of you.
So what have I done this past week?
- Changed my mind every few seconds as to whether I wanted to be surrounded by people or left totally alone. I’m still doing this.
- Went back to work on Wednesday. Not quite sure I was ready, but I don’t get paid if I don’t go, so that made the decision a little easier. I started off the day by bursting into tears when a co-worker (who has NO idea of what went on) asked me how I was doing. He skittered out of my office as fast as his legs could carry him and I haven’t seen him since.
- Spent approximately 8 hours (seriously) on the internet looking for a destination for the weekend of July 4th. I’m determined that Mike and I are going to pick up and go somewhere for the weekend. I think we need to get away, just the two of us. So I’m carefully planning a spontaneous getaway. That’s just how I roll.
- For the first time in my life, I wasn’t able to lose myself in a book or “sleep it off.” Both were very new and strange experiences for me. I’ve dealt with every bad situation in my life through what I call “book-therapy” and “sleep-therapy”, but this time I just couldn’t do either. So I just kept myself slightly numb with prescription medication for a few days. Not quite as satisfying, but it did help through the worst of it.
- I ate myself into a sugar coma. Anything from the category “food that’s bad for you” made it’s way across my lips. One day I had 3 ice cream cones (breakfast, lunch, and dinner!) plus fast food and take-out. I probably broke the 4000-calorie mark that day. The other days weren’t quite as bad, but nutrition definitely took a back seat for the entire week. I’m actually craving vegetables and fruits now.
- I drank. A lot. (So if you’re looking for holistic and spiritual ways to overcome a loss, I’m obviously not your role model. For me, it was booze, food, and pills.) I fell a little bit in love with a beer called Victory Whirlwind Wit, and then ditched it on Saturday when I discovered Celis White. I’m blaming my love affair with Belgian beers on a new restaurant/bar that’s within walking distance of our house. They have about 40-50 beers on tap and hundreds of bottle choices. Way too tempting.
- I got up one morning and wrote a poem. That night I got drunk and wrote a few more. Really. I haven’t ventured into the realm of poetry-writing since I was an angst-ridden, misunderstood teenager. It actually felt good to be creative. Cathartic.
- I’ve felt such a full range of emotion, roller-coaster style. There was no nice, tidy 5-stage progression of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Instead, it was severe anger, a little bargaining, complete denial, wondering if I was depressed, then more severe anger, definite depression, acceptance? nope-false alarm, and a little more bargaining.
- I went a week without wearing make-up or my contacts. Thanks to the sporadic crying jags, neither were worth the effort, maintenance or upkeep, and I really didn’t have the energy. I felt like I was making great progress by taking a shower each day.
- I boxed up the few maternity clothes I had bought, the pregnancy journal and scrapbook my father and his girlfriend had given to me, the What to Expect and baby name book Mike and I had been devouring, a “mom” picture frame from a dear friend in Seattle, and also the Hop on Pop book that Syndey had sent to me when we exchanged a few books weeks ago. I need to get the reminders out of my sight, for now at least. And with the way I’ve been eating and drinking, those maternity pants may just find their way back into my closet sooner than expected.
- Retail therapy. Mike and I headed to the outlets on Saturday and spent way more money than we should have. But we did end up with some “necessary” items–sandals and shorts for Mike, and summer clothes for me–so it’s not like we were just spending money for the hell of it. It WAS very therapeutic, and it kept me from moping around the house all day, so it was worth every penny.
- We had a second litter box, food, and water for Giz upstairs in our master bathroom so that she wouldn’t have to keep going up and down the steps. And I was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to make it to the litter box in time. So it was a necessary evil, but still, it was EVIL. There’s nothing like the smell of cat crap and cat food when you’re taking a shower or washing your face. Yesterday, I dismantled everything and had a stern talking-to with our remaining cat (Guinness aka “Little Kitty”–I hardly ever mention her. Let’s chalk that up to her being very private instead of me showing favoritism for Giz over her, shall we?). Little Kitty can stand to lose a little weight since she had been chowing down on the wet food we left out for Giz that she could rarely finish, so a few extra trips up and down the stairs won’t kill her. Or at least it better not, because I’m a little too fragile to handle much more right now.
- I ordered a stone marker for Giz with just her name and a paw print design on it. We paid some exhorbitant amount of money to have her individually cremated and want to bury her remains in our back yard and mark the spot. We don’t pick up the ashes until later this week, and I keep wondering how much ashes there could possibly be from a 3.5lb cat. But we definitely wanted something to honor her, and a little marker with her name on it seemed appropriate. And I think it would creep me out to have her ashes in the house.
Today I have make up on, my contacts in, and have only cried once (privately, quickly, and without making my mascara run). Tonight I’m venturing out in public for the first time by myself (OK, so it’s only to the grocery store–where I haven’t been for WEEKS–but still . . ). So, at least there’s progress. I’m headed in the right direction. It’s slow, and it’s uphill, and sometimes I want to backslide, but each day is truly a little bit better than the day before.