Sometimes I feel like I embody many different people. There is the girl who feels paralyzed in her grief. Unable to function or focus, who just mourns her husband and can’t believe he is dead. Then there is the other girl who tries very heard to push past the pain and sorrow and live in the world, raise her children and cherish her blessings. It is exhausting to be both these people. Sometimes they seem to coexist on a certain level and some days there is clearly a winner. Regardless then there is a third smaller version of me who never goes away. She is the mother and she is always present, always active - battling the other two beings for fear that she will totally screw up her children’s lives. I’m tired just trying to explain myself to myself sometimes.
It is a new year. Everyone has big plans and dreams and are focused on what lies ahead. Me, I am just trying to get through today. Being it is a new year I have a confession to make. I put myself on drugs. I feel torn about making this decision, but after dealing with my feelings for fifteen months I just can’t take it anymore. I can’t take how quickly I fly off the handle with my children. I can’t take the sorrow and sadness that follows me everywhere I go. So now I am just another grieving widow on drugs – just great.
I went to my doctor who now writes me scripts for Ambien without a second glance. I told him my concerns about my mood swings. Then he asked me if I was back on the market. I am so used to the crazy things people say to me – sometimes I just answer the crazy without question. No, I’m not ready, I replied. Well he said, you know you can’t sit around and be sad forever. Actually I was thinking that is exactly what I plan on doing I thought. He said to me, if you started dating someone you would have some help with the children, some help financially and you may have a better outlook on life. Instead of strangling him with his stethoscope, I told him once again – I’m not ready. Ok he said, I understand, how about you try Paxil instead. Great I said, and left his office wondering if anyone else has a doctor as crazy as mine.
I don’t feel that different. The only way I can even tell the drug is working is that I can’t cry. I just cannot cry. This feels so unbelievably wrong to me. I have always been a crier – when I’m sad, angry, happy – my emotions are expressed with tears. I have cried every single day since my husband has died without fail, until now. I feel incomplete. I feel off kilter. I feel not like myself, but then I wonder if that is the point to being on this drug to begin with. Still it disturbs me to not be able to cry. I wonder if it means I am becoming inhuman, unfeeling and cold. If I can’t feel emotion enough to make me cry, maybe my heart is not only broken it is iced over. I feel lost without my tears. They are such a huge part of my world that without the release of crying, I don’t know what else to do.
I told my neighbor about my inability to cry. She said when the time is right the tears will come. Your mind is protecting itself from all the pain – maybe a break from crying is just what you need right now. So I wait – wait until something breaks through. I can tear up here and there if I really try, but the sobbing – lost, gone vanished.
I read your suicide note sometimes to try and see if I am any closer to understanding your actions. I think about how you thought the children and I would be fine and better off without you. I wish you could see that on some level we are surviving. I wish you could understand it feels like living with my head chopped off. You could not possibly comprehend what your actions have done to the children and I. The very idea that you thought we would be fine sometimes makes me laugh uncontrollably. It is just ridiculous that this was your final thought. I wish I could walk right up into heaven and show you how not fine I am and how much I grieve and suffer.
I went to the cemetery today. My first visit this year. I trudged through massive amounts of snow, weaving in between rows of graves to find you. I stood there this morning in the freezing cold, snow falling everywhere and all of a sudden I started stomping on top of all the snow over your grave. I stomped and stomped and kicked the chunks of ice as far as I could. I just went berserk. I screamed at the world and kicked and screamed some more.
When it was all over, I was horrified with myself. How could I treat your grave this way kicking and stomping. But sometimes I just have no release – sometimes everything just piles on top of me, over and over again and I get to the breaking point where the only way to release some of whatever is inside of me is to go crazy. I unleash enough madness on my children – sometimes kicking snow at your headstone helps get some of the pain out.
As I stood there berating myself for my actions, fingers frozen and shivering with cold the tears rolled down my face. Then the sorrow just washed over me as I thought about where I was and where you are and the sobbing came. I fell to my knees in a mountain of snow and put my hands to the earth and cried and cried like I haven’t done in weeks. I sobbed so loud and so long it just wouldn’t end.
I realized the truth of the matter. When the pain is so real and so raw and so awful, not even a little yellow pill can keep my tears away.