What’s going on?

There’s ‘something wrong with this picture’, it seems to me, when I come to my blog before trying out some honesty with people closer to me. (I’m going to give that a try this evening at my home group.)

The always unpredictable timing of the grief process has me feeling rather sad today. Here’s how my brain has managed to articulate it.

During the crisis of Craig’s accident, his very tenuous hold on life, followed by his death and the very sad rituals of mourning, I was held up with the help of other family members and friends who shared our intense grief.

When I returned home I plunged into escapist, always unsuccessful, behaviours, one of which was excessive drinking. (For me, just the first drink is excessive.) I was therefore neither grieving in a healthy way, numbness being my only goal, nor was I drawing on the potential support of friends.

Within a few weeks it was very clear to me that drinking had overtaken all other problems – not that grieving is really a problem – so I quit and sought the help and fellowship of others who have dealt with their own alcohol problems. Getting and remaining sober, and the almost triumphal relief this new single purpose brought, unintentionally supplanted (or perhaps merely extended) a period during which I was not walking through, and feeling, my grief.

The signs have become clear. Not eating. Not sharing with friends anything beneath the surface. “I’m okay” bullshit.

Well I’m not okay.

While I am very grateful to have been restored to enough sanity to stop drinking for two-and-a-half months, I now need to take stock of how I am feeling. This requires acknowledging pain, as raw as it was in May, which I sought to suppress with beer and conduct unbecoming. That pain is real.

It’s not that I have not felt the loss of Craig already. When I visited the home that he and Claude had not yet moved into at the time of Craig’s death I easily imagined Craig there and missed him. His death was fresh on everyone’s mind, even if we didn’t talk about it, at a family reunion in August. I am reminded of Craig whenever I talk to or email other family members.

Yet “I’m okay.”

Am I managing? In a manner of speaking, yes, and yet there is evidence that I am not -through isolation (whether or not I’m actually alone) or just not being real.

I want to change that. For one as emotionally ill-equipped as me I ought not let opportunities, such as occur at meetings, go untapped.


3 thoughts on “What’s going on?

  1. jeremy

    Rigorous Honesty is the key to sobriety. If you can’t talk to people there, then talk to me, you know how to reach me.

    Get thee to a meeting. Stay Sober, use the tools and remember this too shall pass…


    Kenn says: Thanks. I got me to a meeting and shared feelings, not just thoughts for a change. (I heard myself say that I was trying to think my way through feelings which, of course, does not work.)

    Platitudes I’ve told myself like, “Well, at least Craig did not suffer long” and “He wouldn’t have wanted to be alive but unresponsive” are all well and good – and true to boot – but they don’t take away from the fact that he is dead and we, his family and friends, are grieving. That requires feeling pain I so like to flee.

  2. Laurie

    Hi Kenn

    I can really identify with this last post of yours. Firstly…I am alcoholic and have been sober over 25 years. Secondly, I lost my dad on July 1, and am having difficulty expressing grief properly.

    I am normally a sensitve person who wears her heart on her sleeve, but for some reason I cant even cry. I know its not healthy….and am not sure what is happening, but I know its also dangerous for me. Take care Kenn…


    Kenn says:

    Thanks for writing Laurie and I am very sorry for the loss of your dad. What helped me (last night) was to just begin by saying exactly what I was having difficulty with, i.e. talking about Craig’s death. My voice choked up then and I began to go from thinking to feeling as I spoke. But, as I have experienced before, it is not something we can force. It’s just that by not sharing on this I was not sharing on anything – and that was pretty unhealthy.


  3. You have my number and my personal email Kenn.
    Anytime,night or day.
    I`m reading,just not much to say lately.

    Kenn says: Thank you Jamie. Not much to write from here either.

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