So it has been months since I have written a post to my blog. A lot has happened in those months and I am trying to get back to writing again. It has been over 3 months now since I have written. I don’t hold back in this post, this tells the dirty truth about a parent grieving and how it quickly spirals out of control even for those of us who feel we are strong enough to handle ourselves without help.
In that time, I have had graduations, engagements, OP mental therapy, moving, vacation planning for eight on a 5 day cruise and I can’t remember what else go on. This may be a long post so bare with the length. I am going to get back to my writing now that I am getting settled in my new place.
For a couple of months before I stopped consistently posting a blog post(so about 5 months ago), I started a downward spiral that I wasn’t sure I was going to pull myself out of. I began drinking heavier and taking my anti anxiety, depression and pain medications (for my back from the wreck I had in August of last year) together with the heavier drinking. My job performance had started lacking, I knew it was. I have spoke before about my place of employment being so good about my personal life and allowing me the space and time needed to grieve. My boss started noticing a decline in my work and spoke to me about taking care of myself. I decided then it was probably time to seek professional help from someone that could be an unbiased listener. I finally, after a year and a half, made my first appointment with a therapist. This was much against my better wishes as I have always taken care of myself without the need of help from others.
While I wasn’t optimistic that this would help due to how far I had fallen, I was willing to give it at least a one visit try. She mentioned a program within our system that is an intensive OP two week therapy program to help people with anxiety, depression and stress. I definitely fit the bill on those all three avenues plus the depression that was over taking my entire being. I had began using prescription drugs and alcohol more and more to numb myself to the reality Big Bubby was gone forever until we meet again on the other side of Heaven.
So for two weeks in May, I attended this therapy program. At first, I was unsure of how it would help me because a lot of those there were there due to family issues, job issues, etc. It was difficult at first for me to open up to them due to my situation as I didn’t want to make the others in my group feel like their problems were less than they seemed after they heard my story.
After a day or so, I finally opened up and gave the account of what happened to Big Bubby. The two week process helped gradually wean me from my anxiety medication, although I still do take it on occasion, and started me on a path to learning coping mechanisms for stress, depression and anxiety.
So, now, you might ask how I am doing….Life does go on after losing your child. No matter how hard you try to stay in the past with your lost child. Our middle son, Million Dollar Brother, graduated college in June and the same day asked Dapper Dez to marry him. We all celebrated and enjoyed the time together with family and friends both the graduation and the engagement. Baby Sis is in a very stable relationship now with the Red Headed Step Child (still need to find new name for him…:)), my move to the North Shore couldn’t have been a better choice (more to come in another post). The day I picked up the keys, there was a red cardinal setting on a sign post across from the house I am leasing. I have never seen one in real life and believe that was a sign from Big Bubby telling me it was OK and this was a good place to be. Krissie, the emotional support dog, now has a back yard and a kiddy pool to play in. Farther drive for me weekly but well worth her being happy.
Although, Big Bubby is with me every day, I know he wouldn’t want me to stay in a place where I wasn’t living my life. I see that now. To be brutally honest, drugs and drinking were a daily part of my coping for over a year. They numbed me to the fact that Big Bubby was gone and not coming back. For each parent, there are different ways of dealing with grief and this was mine, to numb myself from the pain and not deal with what was right in front of me, the loss of my oldest son.
I am not saying I have “moved on” from my loss. A parent who loses a child can never truly “move on” but I am merely saying that instead of drowning in drugs and alcohol, I am choosing to move through the grief process with the help of professionals who know methods to help. I am also not saying this is an easy road. It was much easier to drink myself to sleep with the prescription drugs my doctors prescribed to help with the pain. But what is the saying, nothing in life can be easily obtained without a little bit of pain along the way.
As a parent who buried a child, I am on a lot of grief Facebook pages (no judgement please as on these sites you will see different prospectives from those who have journeyed this trip before, during and after you). These are closed sites to parents of children lost to many different ways. Some turned to their faith, some turned away from their faith (me) and now find themselves working back to it slowly but surely, some have never gotten over their loss and are stuck in a deep depression that is unimaginable pain to live through each day.
I was that parent who was in a deepened depression trying to find my way through a fog that was so thick I didn’t know my way out. Trying to find a way out by one’s self is a hopeless endeavor when you have lost your child and find that you are hung up in the grief journey. Please don’t travel this journey alone. Know you have people around you that are there to help or direct you to the help you need. Listen to them, they are an unbiased voice that can help you navigate the new crazy, depressing, world you have found yourself in.
I can’t say I am at a place I would like to be at, but with the love of my family and those friends who dare to stick with me, I am going to beat this and come out the other side the person Big Bubby expects me to be going forward.