Does grief get harder to deal with as we get older? I have been through bad, sad, dark times before, yet I am absolutely certain that I have never before experienced the depths of depression and despair that I have felt of late.
Perhaps it's so bad this time because divorcing T means not only losing my husband, but also my home, my lifestyle, and to a certain extent my sense of self. So I suppose it is no wonder at times I find myself floundering in hopelessness.
My theory is that the brain goes into a kind of numb shock at times of great distress or trauma. Feelings are to a large extent blotted out by this shock, as a means to keep the body functioning and surviving. The problem comes when a little time has passed and the numbness wears off, and the grief comes rushing back in. I have noticed a pattern of feeling better for a few days, feeling stronger and positive about the future - and then crashing back into despair as another wave of grief sends me reeling.
In the better times, I remind myself that this is all part of the process, all part of the healing. The grief is coming in because my mind thinks I'm ready to deal with it. I have to feel it and acknowledge it for it to begin to heal. Suppressing it is always a bad move - it will catch up with me sooner or later! In the bad times - well, if I can, I just tell myself to breathe through it, know that it will pass. If I can't even manage that, I just cry. A lot.
Since being back from Kevin & Ann's, I have been crying a lot. I think the contrast of spending time in a house full of friends, talking and not necessarily focusing on the divorce, and then coming back home to an empty house and reality was too much. Unfortunately, I didn't see it coming and the crash was jarring.
On a lighter note, the last couple of days have been better. My Tai Chi class seems to help immeasurably, and the sun has been shining the last couple of days too. So I am on enough of an even keel to think about writing this.
One of my faults is that I find it hard to ask for help. It's not that it hasn't been offered - I have had so many people offering help and support that I have been truly amazed. Even if I'm not reaching out for the help offered when I'm feeling down, just knowing that it is there is wonderfully comforting. So if anyone reading this has offered help of any kind, and I haven't responded - it has most definitely been appreciated. And when the struggle gets easier and I have more energy than just basic maintenance level - I will take you up on your offers of help, company, fun, food or whatever.