‘Sitting here wasted and wounded, at this old piano’

I feel like I’m high right now, but it’s a good thing. I’m a wee bit delirious but that big hairball of stress in the middle of my gut and the knot between my shoulder blades are slowly starting to unravel. I have a long way to go, but today I actually feel better than I have in a long time.

Today is the year anniversary that we buried my grandfather. I went to a holiday grief workshop yesterday, sponsored by my church, and it was actually not too bad. I personally don’t care much for the so-called mental health arena, having worked in it, but this chick was all right. I got to cry and light a candle and listen to others who were hurting just as much as I am.

I haven’t cried in a year. Haven’t had much opportunity, or maybe it’s that I didn’t give myself one. And that’s where I kind of dug the counselor who ran it — we talked after the session, and while she’s a representative of the church as well as her profession, she had no problem calling bullshit on stuff we’re “supposed” to say and think.

And that’s why I like my new church — it’s non-denominational and they focus more on us fixing ourselves to lead better lives as opposed to really bopping us over the head with Bibles.

The thing I took out of the grief workshop was that grief is a new part of our lives, like it or not. It’s something we have to juggle in and deal with. And grief never really goes away — but our relationship with it changes.

I think the thing we all forget is that most of us just power through the tragedy because we have to. We get our bereavement days and then everyone wants us to be back to normal. But what happens when we’re ambling along just fine and — boom — the grief washes over us at some random moment? Do we get to take more bereavement leave? Hell no — everyone assumes we’re over it, and we have to hide it or try not to let it impact us too much.

Hence, we have to figure out how to accommodate it when we’re already overloaded. And if it means we have to scale back on deadlines/pressure ’cause we’re just not mentally all there anymore, so be it.

Particularly helpful was when the counselor said to me, “You’re stretched too much in your thoughts.” It’s simple but fitting — when you’ve got to take care of so much and all sorts of pressure is on you, of course you’re going to feel guilty for not being up to par in current activities or doing enough to revere the memory of the loved one you lost.

It’s funny — I saw a lot of the attendees at church today. I tried to say hi to them and asked how they were doing. And everyone acted like we’d never met, which I highly doubt it’s because I’m not memorable, so I’m not sure what that was about. I just know we all had a really hard afternoon together yesterday and I just wanted to say hello and, in doing so, let them know that I had them in my thoughts, too.

I’m sure I’ll have something to say about today’s session after I’ve had some time to process it, but in the meantime, I have to go shopping for a kid I picked off of a wish tree. I used to work in Human Services, and we really counted on people donating toys to the kids in foster care.

I’m trying very hard to not say, “And who gives a fuck that I’M not having Christmas?” and instead I’m figuring that if a small donation from me will give someone a special moment this holiday season like I myself am so desperately seeking, well, therein I will find my own joy.

The only thing I worry about is that, when we did toy drives, we saw the occasional birthparent selling the toys on the street for drugs. Here’s to hoping the little boy (who is the only person on my shopping list this year) I’m playing Santa for will get and love whatever it is I can do for him. Because nothing is worse than waking up on Christmas morning, even at this age, and not having a reason to believe in magic.

In any event, speaking of magical appearances, I ran into a friend today and I was musing that, wow, I was out till the wee hours last night, and I still made it to church on time. Damn, I guess that makes me devout! 😉

One Lonely Response to ‘Sitting here wasted and wounded, at this old piano’

  1. Princess Cat :

    A year already? *HUGS*

    I found myself at happy hour on Thurs (of all the places) sharing stories and crying like my story started yesterday. What is that they say about time?? Cuz I’m calling bullshit!