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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can I have my brain back now? Please?

I feel that I should be reading all kinds of self-help books about grief and had a couple suggested to me--The Year of Magical Thinking and The Mourner's Dance. Thing is, I can't read very well and I can barely write because the adrenaline is gone. I feel like I have a family of squirrels nesting in my cranium.

In addition to my inability to read or write coherently, I can't follow conversations well. At all. I'm a visual learner. I need pictures and I need to actually do what I need to learn. I can't follow verbal information unless I can run the meeting or take over the conversation with questions. I'm always like that. Now, I feel like I'm under water when people are talking.

When people write about depression, they often talk about going to a dark place. But my place isn't all dark, it's kind of stupid really. It's a foggy, stupid place.

Also, I have the attention span of a gnat. But that's been a problem since I had children. Actually, having children was the time the first couple of squirrels moved in, ate some grey matter and replaced it with fluffy nesting material.

I decided I'd make up my own stages of grief. A couple of them are mine, but a couple are the real thing. Can you tell which is which?
  1. Anger - Did a post on this. Nuff said.
  2. Projectile vomiting - Did a post on this too.
  3. Seeking a geographical cure - Since most accidents happen close to home, let's move. Now! But, since packing up my family and moving us all to Sudbury is impractical, I signed up for a cycling trip to Spain in April. See also #4.
  4. Retail therapy - Superficiality is the balm for my soul: bought stuff, have become an avid reader of People magazine because the story lines are easy to follow, actually started whitening my teeth with those Crest White Strips in my drawer and now do the occasional mud mask. And yet, I'm not watching the Oscar's? Why? Too hard to follow. Too many names and title thingies.
  5. Bitterness - Don't feel there's much of a point to being optimistic. Especially when I think back to New Year's Eve when my husband and I clinked our glasses together and said 2010 would be "a good year". What were we thinking? Am now so negative that I figure if my plane to Spain doesn't crash, I'll probably get hit by a car while riding around Mallorca on the fancy rental racing bike.
  6. Depletion - Not feeling resilient. Dealing with my brother in law's death, my husband's heart failure and various house woes, including bed bugs over the past five or six years has me running on empty.
Need a plan, Stan. Maybe the answer isn't meditation--it's medication. Oh, what a difference one tiny letter makes.

Speaking of typos, my own personal favourite occurred a while back when I accidentally ended a work e-mail with "Retards" instead of "Regards" and no one noticed.


  1. Oh babe. Go easy on yourself. You have a perfect right to be reading People and being bitter. I wish I could help, but I don't have it in me to give you platitudes or tell you it will get better. Just keep moving forward. Preferably in the direction of the alcohol.

  2. Sounds like you are still in a fog of grief which is perfectly normal. That's funny about saying retards instead of regards...see you were able to find that, the fog is clearing! Medication might help. Talk to your doctor. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better. The trip to Spain sounds awesome!

  3. Hi Patti,

    I know it doesn't feel like it, but YOU ARE NORMAL. Your brain and body are reacting to a terrible tragedy, one that nobody can ever be prepared for. It took me a long time to even get the date right. Also,I can totally relate to the magazine reading. Concentrating on a novel (and movies) just made me frustrated. Magazines were much simpler and gave me mindless distractions when trying to fall asleep. Sometimes you need to follow the advice to "just put one foot in front of the other." Don't pressure yourself to be how you were. A tragedy IS life-changing. Believe me, one day it gets less difficult (notice how I didn't say it will get easier). The pain will still be there, but you will learn to cope with this new life. More importantly, you will learn to smile again.
    Planning a mini holiday may be good for the soul. Even better, how about two - one with the family and one with you and Oli. I would be happy to have the girls.

  4. Thanks for the heartfelt responses (should that be hyphenated?).

    I forgot a couple of stages there:
    1. Using LCBO purchases to build up airmiles for the trip (you were bang on there, Allison). Suzicate, "LCBO" is where we Canadians buy our booze because we live in a socialist country.

    2. Demolishing minivan in parking garage - not really a coping mechanism more of a spatial thing.

    3. Being grateful for Belair Direct's crash-proof policy.

    I think holidays are a good place to focus my energy, Steph. Thank you all for reading.

  5. just clocked over here from bibliomama. being a local i heard about this terrible crash and it just seems a little more real know to "meet" someone affected by it. my deepest sympathies. i believe your humour will h elp carry you through this terrible time, but also allow yourself the time.

  6. I will have an award for you on my blog in the morning!

  7. Thanks, Suzicate. your blogging is very inspiring. You're so kind. I'm going to look now...

  8. Hi Patti - I hope the trip to Spain is healing for you, and at least the wine tasting party will be a diversion!

  9. Thanks, Jenn and Julie. I think Spain will be a welcome diversion.

    And Jenn, I'm looking forward to the wine tasting party. When I think of that Facebook invitation thread it makes me smile.