Monday, October 8, 2012


There's been a new twist in my emotional roller coaster - anxiety. It feels like when you are slow chugging up the slope, you know what's coming and your body is preparing to be lurched forward in a death defying downhill run. Every nerve is on edge. Your brain is sending adrenaline throughout the body, your eyes are looking for anyway out, you're so scared you think jumping from a moving train might be better than the fall. My doctor today called it being on "hyper alert." Our mind/body's way of protecting us from saber tooth tigers.  Some people are thrilled by an adrenaline rush. It makes me want to puke.

It's not the first time I've felt like this. But I don't remember it lasting quite as long.

Before seeing my doc, I looked through a notebook I keep in my purse. I found some notes I took at the beginning of the year at a John Edwards (of psychic fame) show.
"The first year of grief," he said, "is the coasting year." 
It's the second year that is really hard for the griever because they have to deal with the loss of their support as well as the loss of the person.

Actually, in our society, a year is on the long side. Unlike other cultures where wailing and carrying on is expected, and professional "wailers" are hired,  people in the western civilizations are expected to "get back to normal" go back to work, carry on like nothing every happened. In other words, pack that grief up in a nice little box, tie a bow on it you want, but put it up in the attic where the others memories are kept.

The fact that I have not had a job to go to is a luxury I'm not ashamed to admit to. At the same time, I think maybe if I had another something(s) to keep my mind occupied, I wouldn't be so sad all the time. And maybe, it's like Alana has told me, grief is like a spiral and some unknown force seems to know when it is time for the spiral to turn and grief to rise up another notch.

 That's where I am today. Ever since the trees fell, I seem to be waiting for the next catastrophe. I can't see around the corner, but my body is pretty sure there's a boogie man there.  I don't think I want to  change my medications, so I'm going to rely on the self-care things I'm learning.  It is time to be still, to go to a quiet place in my "heart center" and breathe.

If there's a wildebeast in your vicinity, I wish for you swift flight. But if beast is of your own making, I wish for you a calm, quiet, gentle heart beat.

Thanks for listening,
Merry Me


Anonymous said...

I don't imagine this will be music to your ears, but one of the things that made the biggest differenc for me when my anxiety was at peak performance was to cut out all caffeine. I would have sworn to the moon and back that I was not sensitive to caffeine, but when I cut it out of my diet -- I slept better and sounder and could feel the anxious tightness in my chest release. Perhaps something to consider adding to your bag of tricks, mamacita? love and decaf tea, weneki

Jo Dee said...

Dear Merry,
I take 2 rounded teaspoons of 'calm' magnesium powder dissolved in a glass of warm water. I've found it DOES take the anxiety away.

But sadness? Usually it's the grief of having to give up a dream or certain hopes, and being unwilling to. I stayed stuck in that kind of grief for 7 years when I was young, committed to my pain because i just couldn't or wouldn't adapt to letting go of my images of how things/my life was supposed to be.
I truly didn't know how, and even if someone told me, I wasn't able to let go of my self-hate enough to begin to truly embark on taking all the steps that create self-love.

Now none of this may have anything to do with you at all.

Caffeine jump starts our systems, and that's why Anonymous was right about it, and also why the magnesium helps with anxiety.

But grief? Sometimes it is so deep, and so huge. And we are more familiar with emotional pain than with pleasure, so our resiliency is low.

This may have nothing to do with you, your situation may be so different. I just feel for you facing it.

Sending you many cyber hugs comfort and peace throughout the week))

terri said...

hey, mar,
i've experienced the deal of the second year being worse. which is a way big ol' drag. i'm so sorry.

i do think getting out and getting involved in stuff would be really good for you. and yeah, i know, hard to do when you're afraid and sad. but maybe definitely worth the push.

it sounds so silly, but with my second year crash of grieving, i got on the treadmill several times a day. every time i thought i was gonna go insane with the feelings, i got on there and walked and walked til i felt a bit more steady. (you can always find used treadmills for sale!!!)

there's stuff to try......but ultimately, i think it just mostly sucks.

thinking of you......