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.