Never Enough

Another one of those really real widow posts.

Trigger warning with this one. Suicide mentioned, Completed suicide talked about pretty extensively, including questioning the thought process behind it and leading up to it.

Each day we end PHP with what ends up being, hopefully, “no, no, yes, yes” time.

Basically, they end that group by going around asking something to the point of:

“Are you having any suicidal thoughts?”
“Are you having any thoughts of hurting anyone else?”
“Can you be safe tonight?”
“Will you be here tomorrow?”

After the first couple of people, we sometimes just start going “No, No, Yes, Yes” when they get to us, unless one of the answers is different.

Today, I left a little early and they still did a short version of the questions.

I feel so much better, now, then I did just over a week ago when I entered the program. The new meds are helping considerably. Knowing I’m getting away for a few days is helping. Having the structure in a therapeutic environment is helping. Stepping back from pushing myself so hard towards working, full time, as soon as possible, is really, really helping.

And then riding home, this picture pops up. It’s part of the last set of pictures that were ever taken of Parker. On the post surgical visit for her leg. She barely looks like herself.

I wonder, would she have been able to answer “No, No, Yes, Yes” if someone had asked her those questions at the time when I took this picture.

Would she have been able to answer “No, No, Yes, Yes” a week later?

At what point did the answer change for her in her head?

It’s one of those many things I’ll never know the answer to, and even if I did, I’d just have more questions about other things. Suicide just leaves so many questions.

I’m glad I have this picture, but it just reminds me that we never know when a picture will be the last. I’m glad that I’m still taking pictures of me, but I’ve stopped taking as many pictures of those around me. Stopped taking as many pictures of Wonder Woman and I, and my animals, and my friends. One day there will be a last picture of each of those and that’s scary because there are never enough pictures.

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Five stages on what planet?

 

Widow post!!!!

The grieving process is a load of crap for the most part. It’s some 5 part thing that someone came up with to help explain the process people with cancer go through when they come to terms with the fact that they are going to die. Seriously, look it up (I am kind of pulling that out of my half assed memory) and then people started taking it as fact for the stages we go through when someone dies and they expect 5 neat stages and that’s a load of fucking bullshit.

Nothing is neat about grief.

(Pause while I go do a cursory check on my history of the grief process . . yep, half assed memory was somewhat right . . good enough).

Today I was supposed to rearrange our bedroom. Wonder Woman and I are complete opposites in so many ways (I think Opposites Attract is actually our song) and so we do things separately, plus, I’m Self Saving Warrior Princess.

So, she’s off at Derby, having done her part of the room, and I’m about to actually move the room, and I’m a good ways into it, and suddenly I start flashing to the last time I moved it around. Or actually, Mickey and my home health care worker did. When I hit the point that I couldn’t keep it in the same position that it was in when Parker died.

And the room can really only end up in so many configurations.

And we were about to move it back to the other one that works well.

And I sleep on the other side of the bed now. . . . Parker’s side of the bed…..

And here I am about to move the bed and suddenly it hits me where I’m going to end up laying.  I’ll end up in the same exact spot that Parker was in when she died.  Where she was laying when I found her.

Those 5 stages of grief aren’t neat but sometimes you can go through all 5 of them in a matter of minutes.

“Nah . . it’s okay, I can totally do this, It’s not that big of a deal, I mean . . it’s just a spot in the room where I’ll be laying and a lot has changed”

“This is fucking bullshit . . . I’m tired of living with her ghost, I love her, but I’d love for her to not be interfering like this right now. I want my life to move forward right now, fuck this, I want my room the way that will work for US!”

“Maybe since it’s going to be a different bed, and mostly different furniture I’ll be fine, I mean, it’s been a lot of time.”

Tears . . .I just sat there for like 20 minutes while I couldn’t move forward or figure out what to do.

And then I started talking to people and figuring out what the fuck to do next. I don’t get to decide when to be grieving widow. It’s always there, and I can’t push it away.

And while Wonder Woman and I are opposites in so many ways, and while sometimes this whole thing isn’t easy, the minute I messaged her with a super vague message that just said I wanted to switch rooms and switch plans for grief reasons, she simply replied

“Of course”

Because she gets it, and what she doesn’t get she gives me space for.

I’m trying to accept that part too, because it’s not easy to believe I deserve to be loved this way. I want to believe it, and I’m trying to.

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Edited a few hours later to add . . .

She came home, she hugged me and we talked about some options. We let the house go for tonight.

I was pissed and upset with myself because I had made a clusterfuck of the house and was too overwhelmed to fix it.

Of course, once I let it all go, I was able to start tackling our bedroom, and slowly putting things into place the way we wanted them, even though that was the way they used to be. But once it started falling into place, it actually doesn’t look anything like the old room did. And it hasn’t felt like the old room for a long while.

We will see how I feel in the next few days, and when I come back from NY, we can always move rooms again in a few days.

I feel things really really big, especially when they first hit me. Sometimes having permission to act on them, and not being fought against is all I need to work back to my own calm.

Birthday Cake

I heard a thing today that had me bawling.

Not that I haven’t cried at PHP. Those who know me know that crying is not an issue for me.

I can drop the most traumatizing story like it’s a piece of birthday cake but cry when someone blows out the candles.

Because I want to carefully walk the line between sharing my personal journey and not stepping over the line into trampling on others rights to own their own stories, I’m not gonna quote or bring up specifics but damn….

Grief comes in so many different forms. Grief isn’t only about the loss of people or animals or being left. Grief and identity are so so closely linked.

And the link between grief and mental health and drugs and alcohol is profound.

We need to do better as a society. The conversation I’m having needs to be had.

Grieving is important for so many reasons.

And getting rid of the fucking stigma behind all of this shit is so so fucking important.

The Pink Girl

Really real mental health post . . . also, will touch on what a day is like in the partial hospitalization program (php) that I’m in, because a few people have asked.

I have distinct periods in my life where I can put my emotions, or the feeling in my head, my mental health, with that period in my life.

The time period right I got disability, 4 years ago, was one of those times, that super low depression that wouldn’t go away. The void that never ended. I wasn’t sad, there was nothing.

And then there was this time last year, leading up to the 1 year anniversary of her death. So much was happening. I was focusing on all I had accomplished. Trying to push myself to keep going and to make it. Trying to pull myself out of the depression that had happened at the 1st of the year. Hypomania bordering on mania was happening . . those are the times that I say I feel crazy because my brain can’t keep up with my thoughts.

But what makes those times worse is that more than anything I want to be understood. The thoughts are going so so quick, and I’m making connections that seem perfectly valid (and may or may not be). And I feel like I can’t make anyone see things the way I see them.

And when I’m trying to explain my needs to people, trying to explain my illness in that moment, that’s even harder. Last year I knew that I needed stability, I knew that sudden movements and sudden changes felt like they hurt my soul.

I felt crazy inside and it came out in a jumbled mess. I needed gentle, and unfortunately, what ended up happening is that for whatever reason, the whole situation profoundly changed my relationship with someone and it has ended up feeling like another loss for me to grieve. I can’t decide if this one is my fault, or if I did the right thing by saying what I needed or if it just doesn’t matter, because, it is what it is anyway.

I’m glad that the new medications are slowing down my thoughts and helping me feel less crazy but php is still hard, hard work. It’s back to back 30-60 minute long groups with a 10-ish minute break between each one, and a 45-60 minute lunch in the middle of the day. There are about 20 of us in the program, split into 2 teams who mostly stick together.

The groups are everything from how did you sleep last night, and rate your pain/depression/mania/anxiety, when we first come in, to “what are your weekend plans” so that we have a plan set up before we leave on fridays, to traditional group therapy, and things like relapse prevention, medication education, illness education, etc. There’s also a bipolar/depression support alliance meeting, dual diagnoses meeting and a ton of other stuff I’m forgetting.

Great place, but I come home exhausted and still have a lot to do around the house and in real life.

Also, I went in yesterday and someone commented “You’re wearing purple, what’s going on?”

Fuck, less than a week and I’m already the pink girl.

Someone find me a new color!!!!

Circus Pants

So, first, the backstory to this picture . . I had this pair of somewhat baggy pants with stand out black and white designs on them. I loved them, but they were way outside of my, back then, long black skirts and “hide in me” clothes.

But, no where near as my wild “HERE I AM” style that I rock now.

We called them my crazy pants.

Please ignore the political stuff behind the picture . . . that wasn’t the point.

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I wonder what Parker would think of my style now. I’d love to hear her take on it. I mean, I know she’s up there telling me to rock on with my bad ass self, but I honestly wonder what she’d really think and say. She would, of course, have some smart ass comment. I think she’d go blind from all of the pink if she didn’t pass out first because last thing she knew, I hated pink. It was all green, all the time before she died.

She didn’t say a lot on my facebook stuff, she didn’t comment on many of my posts, got frustrated that I shared as much as I did, but I swear, Facebook memories with stuff like this are such a wonderful thing.

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Sometimes, when it seems like I’m reliving the past with the dates and the accident memories or whatever, then I get something like this, with the I love you’s hidden in the comments . . this is why I check each day. The conversations between Kidlet and I, and Parker and I, and other friends. . . the inside jokes that remind me of all of the good times in between all of the shit.

Reliving the bad stuff helps me make it less and less painful, it helps me desensitize myself to the trauma I didn’t really have a choice but to survive. And reliving the good stuff just keeps building myself up to survive more and more.

Meanwhile I’m also working on building the skills to live more in the present, but that’s something that’s taking time and a lot of healing. I’m getting there slowly.

I wonder what happened to those crazy pants. I think they might be a permanent part of me now. All crazy, all the time.