(here we see the rawness that is within. no edits, no grammar, just pure and raw pain)
will the tears ever stop, will the pain ever stop. will stupid things that happen, small, little inconsequential things ever not rock me?
i never thought I was strong, but man, do I feel weak. the worst is the little things that i would normally not even notice that set me off
did i mention that #2 went to college for the first time a month ago? 5 months after #1 died, #2 left. one of my friend’s said it best “launching your second while grieving your first”.
the past month has been the worst for me. it’s like when #2 left I popped open a can of soda- that pop, fizz noise and everything just poured out. Sometimes it pours, sometimes it leaks and sometimes it dribbles, but we all know, you can’t cork those f-ing cans….I’ve tried putting a piece of tin foil in the slot to hold the liquid in, well, you know the soda loses all it’s fizz and tastes like shit afterwards?, so no, there is no un-cracking the cracked open soda can…..
#2 has a fall break next week. we thought we’d get him Friday night, and he’s off until Tuesday. I even scheduled a fun thing for myself on Sunday with some girlfriends because I knew I’d be driving him crazy by lurking by him every moment. Hub and I just discussed going to get him at school Friday; hub got a new car and is so excited to take it for a two hour road trip and get the boy.
the boy just texted me, I think, very innocently that he’s going to run in a cross country meet the Saturday of break, so “like if you or dad are gonna pick me up from school, it’d be like either in the evening that Saturday or Sunday morning”. Are you F-ing kidding me? First of all, why the hell would you put “like” twice in a stupid text? and second of all, what??? We get you for a few short days and you want to slash that in half???
I just started balling, my poor friend happened to be calling me and heard the whole slobbery mess. Does this kid not know how much we miss him? that his absence is just magnifying his brother’s death? that he is one of the funniest, smartest, cutest and most wonderful people I know on this planet and all I want to do is immerse myself in his vivacity?
Of course not. This kid is 18. He wants to run in a meet because all he does is study at school. He finally has a little break and he wants to have fun with his running club, blow off some steam and be a college kid.
It’s not his fault that his brother was such a FUCKED up idiot who took drugs and died. It’s not his fault that even though his mother was going to be sad when he went to college, she is now a wreck with grief and loss. It’s not his fault that he wants to be a normal kid and get the hell away from the mess that is his home.
and so I weep….
It is now September 18, tomorrow will be six months since he died. I have not posted on this blog, but have written here and there in various places. I realize I need to write, I need to get things out. There is so much swimming in my head and only so much space. I am grateful that I have the draft of the last post, I don’t even know when I wrote it and am not tech savvy enough to figure it out (it is probably somewhere in WordPress land), but I’m glad that it is there and that I finally posted it. (addendum: figure’d out a piece of WordPress land, I wrote the previous post in May).
I want to go forward and write about where we’ve been and where I am today, but I also want finish that beginning post. I shall do both. There is plenty of time and plenty of space.
Today I am sad and lonely and have one big f-ing sinus headache. I think I am prone to them in the last few years, but crying on the daily sure as hell doesn’t help.
Hub and I had a stupid fight yesterday and we are in a Cold War Zone. I feel like shit about it, but don’t have the willingness to defrost. All it does is enhance my loneliness which is so freaking stupid, like I need another loss in my heart. (update: defrost has begun, things are lighter around the house).
A month ago we took #2 to college. Good G-d that has been hard. For one thing that kid is more reserved, quiet, or basically doesn’t give a shit about us here at home. That’s not true, he is just in his own world and very much in the moment so whoever is in his face at any given time is his life-link. I’m so glad that I got to be that life-link for the first 18 years, and man, am I missing it every.single.day. I know his transition to college would have been hard for me, but since #1 died, the pain is bottomless.
I miss my boys. I ache and I hurt.
I have my girls here. #3 is wonderful and caring and so so worried about me. I hate to worry her. She is constantly checking in “are you okay?”, “are you crying?”, “what’s wrong?”. I hate that she is so aware of me. I hate that my grief is her burden. I hate that being 15 isn’t hard enough and not only did she lose her big brother, but that she has me to worry about too.
And, I have my #4. We adopted a puppy four weeks to the day after #1 died. She was five months old at the time. She is sweet and soft and furry and loving. She also barks and pees and poops all over the place and can be a pain, but overall she is a love and it is the BEST thing we could have done.
She has bonded the four of us. We have a common focus; someone to love and cuddle, scream at and keep us laughing. Many times she is plopped in the middle of our king sized bed with all of us gathered around trying to pet her; she’s a little thing, only 20 pounds, so there is only so much surface space to paw away at. Inevitably we’d be petting her and wound up rubbing a human’s arm or grabbing someone else’s finger. It’s really sweet and keeps us close to one another.
That’s where I am today- 6 months after my world turned upside down; the most hellacious ride I could ever ever imagine.
I just read a blog on blogging. The last paragraph said:
The takeaway for mere non-blogging mortals? Write! If you’re so moved, share your thoughts. You never know who might end up drawing solace or inspiration from them. The Internet has plenty of pitfalls (and anonymous commenters), but it’s also a reassuring way to know that you’re never truly alone.
I guess I’m not a non-blogging mortal, more of a ‘blog when the mood hits me’ mortal. Has the mood been right? Who the hell knows? My life has been turned upside down and I have no idea which way is up. And so I shall write….
At 1:30 in the morning on Saturday March 19, 2016 the phone rang. My husband and I were in a deep sleep and I answered the phone. I was told that it was the hospital in another state. I was told that my twenty-one year old son was there. I was told that he had been at an outdoor concert. I was told that he took the drug molly and had had seizures. I was then told that he died.
I just wasn’t expecting that last sentence. I really wasn’t expecting it.
And, like that, my boy is gone and my life is forever changed.
The shaking began immediately; as an outsider looking in, it is fascinating to see how the body relates to such trauma. I also was immediately in the bathroom with diarrhea, thought I was going to vomit, but didn’t. (It is also amazing how my symptoms are coming back as I write this….which is exactly why I know I NEED to write).
My husband was sobbing, I didn’t sob for weeks (and then when it started it felt like it would never stop). I was in and out of the bathroom a million times. We sat in our bed until about 2:30, numb, shaking, talking, in utter disbelief and then he said he couldn’t be in there anymore and we went downstairs.
He needed the tv on, just for some noise and distraction. I swear I saw more reruns of Hollywood Squares that night than I have ever seen in all of my fifty-one years.
I kept running back and forth to the bathroom and then shaking. I found that if I focused on my hands placed on the coffee table I could somewhat settle the body (an old therapy trick where you pay attention to what you see, feel, hear, taste and smell right there in the moment to ward of panic). It worked, I stared at that chipped, scratched Pottery Barn coffee table truly for hours.
The phone rang a few times; all of the people that you NEVER want calling your house. The police, a detective and the medical examiner…..that sentence is enough to make me vomit. My husband took most of those calls. Someone from organ donation called also. Having never had to consider the thought, it took me all of one second to say absolutely yes to organ donation. If anything positive could come out of this absolutely horrific night, organ donation was it.
My daughter was scheduled to get up at 5:30 as she and I were flying to visit my sister and mom that morning. As it got closer and closer to 5:30 I spent more time in the bathroom. I was about to shatter my fourteen year old’s foundation for the rest of her life. I couldn’t wait for her alarm to go off, I went into her room, woke her up and asked her to come downstairs.
There, in the living room on our huge comfy sectional couch that easily accommodated our family of five, my husband and I told our daughter that her oldest brother had just died. I am having trouble remembering the exact details of that moment- I think it was so awful that I have blocked it out. She curled into a ball and cried, I know I held her. And we sat. She asked many questions and we answered as best as we could. The irreverence that is our family (which will be inevitably clear throughout this post) enabled her to say (what I had already thought) “I am going to have one kick-butt essay to write for my college applications”.
She then asked multiple times for us to wake up our middle son. She just needed to be with her brother, and yet it was 5:30 in the morning and he had the rest of his life to digest this horror. We thought it was best that he get some more sleep and salvage a few more hours of being a regular teenager about to graduate high school and move on to his own life.
As we were supposed to be flying North in a few hours for Spring Break, I knew I needed to quickly inform my family . My mom lives alone, I knew I could not call her. I called my sister at 6:30 and the first thing she said upon seeing the caller id was “you’re not coming”. If only that were all I had to tell her. I told her about my son, her nephew, with whom she was very very close. Once she gathered herself as much as she possibly could, we planned that she would go to my mom’s and they would call us.
About 7:30 my mom called with my sister by her side. The sadness oozed from the phone line. There were no words. We had lost my dad when my son was 20 months, and now she lost her first grandson, the only of the eight grandchildren that my dad had met. How could this be happening? The relationship that my mom and my son had was as unique and eccentric as my son was. He’d call and text her frequently from college, usually on his way to and/or from class (texting her throughout the class). He first flew to grammy’s alone when he was twelve and proceeded to travel North to visit her, his aunt, uncle and cousins at least annually, if not more.
My husband then had to do the same thing. He contacted his sister who lives in the same area as his parents and sent her over to their home. My sister also contacted my brother which completed the circle of our immediate families. It was then their job to spread the word to extended family which they so lovingly and sadly did.
The whole time I was shaking, looking at my fingers on the coffee table and worrying about my daughter.
Dawn was slowly approaching; the night escaping away and this new and horrible day beginning. I both wanted the night to end because everything is worse at night and yet didn’t want the day to start because the reality of our lives became more vivid.
I called one of my closest friends at about 8:30 ish. She has the benefit of being not only one of my closest friends, but also married to my former rabbi/closest of friends as well. Sadly, they had moved to another state several years prior, but were was still my go-to people for everything related to just about anything. They were also incredibly close to my son, so like with so many others, this was a personal loss as well.
I had them contact all of my friends. We made a phone tree so that various people could contact different branches of my world. I had college friends, high school friends, temple friends and colleagues. There were neighbors and extended family and and then my kids’ friends to be notified.
At 10:30, before the news was really out, my middle son finally awoke. We didn’t want the word to travel before he knew. There was the fear that it would get on social media and he would look at his phone before we were able to tell him.
He had barely left his room before I was in his face. I can honestly say, telling him was far from graceful. In the hallway with him half awake, my husband by my side, I told him that his brother had died. Before even letting him digest the news, I told him to come downstairs because his sister needed him.
The sight of the two of them hugging on the couch broke my heart. My two kids. These were my two living kids holding on to each other because they had lost their big brother; the pillar, the leader, the asshole, the reckless-live-on-the-edge, yet brilliant hilarious compassionate and kind young man that had been my first born.
Before long people began coming to our home. Best friends, the best of the best, just came. A buddy came from 45 minutes away, one couple came from around the corner and another girlfriend came from down the street. They just came, they hugged and they cried. What else was there to do?
Needless to say, my phone was blowing up. As the phone tree was activated everyone began to text and a few called. I could not talk to anyone, but knowing the love that was pouring in was comforting.
Since it was the first day of Spring Break, many of our nearest and dearest were away. The phone tree contacted locals that were visiting California, Colorado and London. I contacted a parent of each of my kids’ friends so that they could tell their son and daughter and spread the word to the kids’ friends.
Our network is full and for that I am so so grateful. Nothing could ease the pain, but knowing we had so many people holding us up was helpful.
I knew that I had to eat, but I knew that I couldn’t eat. I had been working-out and eating very healthy for the previous few weeks, so I knew that my body needed fuel. The thought of making anything was out of the question. Our friends asked what they could get and all I could think about was the smoothie I thought I wanted but didn’t have the energy to make. Off they went to Robeks and brought me a beautiful protein filled smoothie that I could barely sip. They also brought Chic Filet, for as many in my family proclaim, even in your darkest moment a Chic Filet sandwich can hit the spot.
To be continued…..
I had an 8:00 client this morning. It’s my only client of the day, so when she scheduled, I warned her that I may show up in work-out clothes. She was fine with it (how unprofessional of me?). When I got home, instead of the intended “work-out”, I went back to bed and slept hard. I’m feeling blah, not sure if it’s that sleep, hormones or what, but it is raining, I’m sitting still and not feeling in tip top shape.
I’m about 19 days off of sugar and have been feeling GREAT! More energy than I’ve had in months (except for today)(which is why I think it may be hormones). I have literally cleaned and done things that have been on the to-do list for weeks upon weeks.
Last night I was with some women at dinner. They are friends with one of my good friends and I know them all. I like them well enough, but found myself bored at dinner. I wasn’t enjoying the conversation, nor was I interested in it. There were a couple of good laughs, but overall, it was a little dull. So, what did I do instead? I started focusing on food; not a good alternative ( the dull conversation would have been more productive). I didn’t do too much harm, I had a lovely salad after having a little bread which I hadn’t originally intended (did I mention this place serves rolls that are like crack, so having one roll and one little taste of bread was actually showing some restraint ).
One of the woman had brought some Christmas gifts and handed out Hershey bars to everyone. THAT is when I knew my disease had kicked in; I could focus on nothing but that chocolate. Looking, thinking, imagining and dreading; I didn’t eat it. I handed it to my friend when we walked out and told her I needed her to take it.
We then went to see the movie Sisters; it was cute, some of them liked it more than I did. There were some good laughs which I needed.
When I got home, the compulsion got stirred up again. I was eyeing all the sugar in my kitchen that hasn’t talked to me in weeks. Eyeing like a true addict; good news is I made it out of there clean.
I’m feeling a little better having just written it out. I am incredibly focused on how terrible I have been feeling both emotionally and physically for the past many months from binging every.single.day. The darkness and the heaviness is close to my heart, it hurt, it really did. So much shame, so much self-hatred and also so much physical pain and discomfort from all of the binging.
I fear that the memory will fade. I fear that eyeing the sugar will win over the the dark destructive memories.
Writing helps, it lifts my mood and releases the turmoil. More writing, that’s what I need.
(Since I began this I’ve started to feel better. I’m going to do the elliptical and then join my husband at his office holiday dinner, where, for the record, I will not be eating any sugar)
In the middle of the night last night I awoke to use the bathroom, a common occurrence in this fifty year old’s body. As I got back into my warm bed, I had these two powerful thoughts and decided I would blog about one of them tomorrow.
Here we are, tomorrow, and I’ll be damned if I can remember either of those powerful thoughts that came to me in the wee hours of the night (another common occurrence in this fifty year old’s body or shall we be more specific and say, mind).
For what it’s worth, I shall just write about my day because it has been so wonderful. And, for what it’s worth, I will offer up another key fact that will help inform WHY my day has been so wonderful: today is the seventh day in a row that I have not had any sugar!!!!!
On to the day. I had NO clients today. Exciting in some ways meaning I did not have to go to work. Scary in some ways because it means that I did not bring in any money. And, disappointing in some ways because I love what I do.
What did I do? I did everything that I have been putting off probably since I fell into my sugar hole a good three or so months ago. I paid some bills, reconciled my business’ Quickbooks (which can be a nightmare) and other assorted boring tasks; I had what my friend calls a ‘desk day’, clearing off all of my accumulated piles.
For months I have been knitting in front Netflix with a bowl of sugar/salt/fat/carbs next to me on these kind of ‘desk days’. And today, I just didn’t. I have so much energy that it feels like a high. I know it isn’t permanent, but gosh-dolly I am going to ride it for what it is.
My big fear, that I really don’t want to go into right now and spoil my high is, what to do when the compulsion returns, when my head wants to go back into the sugar hole and have my bowl of crap?
A friend asked me the other day why I give up when it gets hard. My first answer to her that it isn’t something that she can understand if she hasn’t suffered with Binge Eating Disorder and depression. I then thought a minute and said that “sometimes I just don’t have the energy to fight back”. Fight with the desire, obsessions, food thoughts etc. I did tell her that I would ponder it. I need to ponder and do some more writing on it, but ……I have to run and do the carpool hustle, and frankly, I just want to ride the high right now.
4 hour later
My daughter hurt my feelings tonight. It wasn’t intentional, but she and her brother were texting and I was driving, but included in the conversation. We were talking about eating disorders because I had made a referral to another therapist just prior to this conversation. At one point I said “what did he say?” and she said “none of your business”. I was hurt at the way she responded and then wounded, because I think they were talking about our family’s, particularly, my messed up eating. I could be wrong, but that is where my heart went.
I got home and went right to the food. Not my traditional hard core all out binge, but certainly enough to feel yucky now both physically and emotionally. And to top it off, I have shut myself in my room pouting as all mature fifty year olds do.
Just another day at the desk……
The definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
I do this with food again and again. Be it a new food plan, a paid for food plan, a trick or trade of a plan, but whatever the case, I’m not making real change.
April 2014 I began a detox that took me down 60-70 lbs. In December 2014, I put sugar in my mouth for the first time since April and I am now almost back to the original/highest weight.
I felt GREAT, I looked good and I was fit and clear and clean.
But, what I don’t know is was this “detox” another move of insanity? Was I just doing another bout of the same thing (albeit with better results for a while) without making REAL CHANGE?
The professional that I have worked with on and off maintains that restricting leads to binging and the way to find true recovery is intuitive eating and getting in touch with what is inside. I worry that I detoxed, rode the high for a while and did not make any real internal change.
In some ways, I feel like I ate my way back to this large size intentionally. Granted, I am an addict and once I start with sugar, my drug of choice, it is nearly impossible to stop . But, there is a psychological piece that I fight with, that I have always been fighting with. Sometimes, while binging, I get angry, I can be eating/stuffing/shoving food in with a rage. It’s as if I am saying F*** you to all of you; all of you that told me that I was fat and, therefore, wasn’t good enough.
Am I good enough at this weight? Can I be loved for whatever size I am? Can I love myself at whatever size I am?
Because, after this latest weight loss and gain I have been very aware that NO ONE IS LOOKING! The only one that cares about MY weight is ME. I have been so obsessed with 1. who noticed I lost weight and now 2. who is watching me put it back on. And guess what, the answer is no one gives a crap.
Now that we have that understanding, I’d like to really focus on my health. I feel like shit in so many ways. This is not how I want to spend my days; I want to feel good physically and emotionally. And, that is ALL FOR ME. Really, who else would I be doing it for?
I have a lot of old tapes (50 years worth) that tell me I am fat and that is shaming and that I would be better/prettier/more worthy if I wasn’t fat. We are now in the digital era – no one uses tapes anymore, myself included, so it is time to toss the tapes, stop listening, press mute and move on.
I have ranted. I needed that. I now need to be gentle with me; appreciate all that is good in me and around me and treat myself better. I deserve to nurture myself with love and kindness and health; as I would with anyone else. I deserve it too.