Monday, June 24, 2013

Miss Sadness

I wrote the following just a few days ago and I'm already in a different mindset now. Reading it, I think "Whoa, this chick is DRAMATIC,", and I'm a little embarrassed now that the misery has lightened a lot. But, this is the truth of grief and depression. Here it is. The real deal. It's ugly and sad and feels endless while I'm in it, but it doesn't last forever at this volume (thank God).

I don't get true pleasure from anything lately. There have been a few moments since Dave died when I did, but it's always been muted. Experienced through a gauzy, hazy layer of numbness. Lately, though, even getting simple comfort has been hard. 

My brain seems to be on the negativity channel and I can't change the frequency like I often can. A silly comedy I'd normally lose myself in at least partially, just annoys me. I can't find relief in music. No genre seems right, songs either grate at my nerves or make me too sad. Food is a requirement, not a pleasure. Being alone doesn't feel soothing and being with others feels like I'm putting on an act.

I'm angry, bitter, sad and confused. I don't want to take a hike, or go on a little road trip, or cook, or paint or take pictures or learn to play my guitar. I don't feel like volunteering or traveling, or working on my resume or my Oregon teacher's license. I don't want to walk dogs, or work on my dog training certification. I want out of my skin. I want escape. I want to feel better. But I feel awful. Awful inside, awful outside. I feel jealous of others who don't have a dead spouse. I feel jealous of people who have kids. I feel jealous of people who have had loving parents. I am searching, searching, searching for a glimpse of the feeling of true belonging.

I keep realizing for a moment or two that that feeling died with Dave and that it might be years before I feel that way again, if I ever do. Then, I forget that fact and feel so convinced I can find the feeling again. Where is it? I think. Oh right, it's gone.

I got myself out to the nail salon today. Forced myself. As the woman was  painting my nails, I overheard another woman say "I tried to mow the lawn today...".

My eyes filled with tears as I thought,  I used to have a lawn. I used to have a life. I used to have a future. It's all gone. Sitting there with my hand cradled in a stranger's hand, I wanted to tear it away from her, run out of the place and race home to cry. I waited it out, and finished the manicure, paid and trudged home. 

I tried to eat lunch, but the only thing I could fathom putting in my mouth was ice cream. I shoved spoonfuls in while crying loudly like I've heard kids do when they don't get their way. A temper tantrum cry. A helpless, wailing, outpouring of frustration.

I tried to watch a funny movie and it made me mad and sob more. My big, warm, purring cat curled up on my chest and I felt empty. Even his sweet warmth wouldn't soak in.

What do you do when the things you normally rely on for comfort no longer work their magic?
Where do you go? Can I run from this? Can I fake it till I make it? The inertia of my misery feels irresistible.  It feels like there isn't enough love in the world to ever fill the holes in my heart. It feels like there isn't a thing I could do that wouldn't make me more miserable.

It will pass and the light will come again, I tell myself.
Hold on and wait it out. It won't last forever I say.
But I don't believe it right now. Right now it feels like I'll always feel this empty.

Sitting here, on the other side of it, I'm relieved it's over for now. I hope I'll have from now until after Camp Widow to ride this wave of feeling better.  If not, I'll be Miss Dramatic SADNESS trudging around the Marriott in San Diego with a little storm cloud over my head and a pint of mint chocolate chip in my hand.


  1. I relate. Oh oh I relate. I have been in this storm cloud for a very long time. And like you (well you, in said cloud), I don't believe it will end, and I'm too tired-bitter-angry to Make myself pretend to believe it. Phht.

    1. megan,
      You don't have to believe it right now. Let those of us who know ... believe it for you. Just keep breathing. And coming here.
      You are not alone.

    2. The date June 24 ,my husband died and I am on the edge of sadness

  2. Someone asked me recently how I was and what I saw as my future as I pass the two year mark in my grief. I answered that all I wanted now was peace. I want peace from the torment of my grief. I want peace in knowing that I will never have answers to all the questions I have. I want peace from all the worries and fears I have about what I need to do. I want to be able to be still, to be without the TV or music required to keep my thoughts from filling with GRIEF and all its tired little friends. I want to be able to sit in peace and feel calm and quiet in my soul. I am not always angry or sad and I do have moments of pleasure and even fun, but I never truly have peace.

    And a purpose. I think I'd like one of those too.

  3. I relate also. Just passed yr 3, thought there is no way I could feel so useless and utterly defeated in this endless downward spiral...but it does feel like a never ending life of "so what" and "why bother" and "I just don't care". Had hoped summer would help, swimming, sailing, biking etc...but he's still dead, can't get around that fact no matter what the season. Pass the ice cream, please.

  4. Right on Cassie! You summed up my feelings perfectly. I asked myself the other day if I thought I would ever feel real happiness again. Will I? I feel angry and bitter and jealous. It has been 3 years for me and I continue to go through the motions. Yes, I don't cry as much but the emptiness is still very much there. I guess this is just life and fortunately we have each other.

    I want to be in on the ice cream too!

  5. “I wrote the following just a few days ago and I'm already in a different mindset now. Reading it, I think "Whoa, this chick is DRAMATIC,", and I'm a little embarrassed now that the misery has lightened...”
    This is one of the reasons I haven’t gone back to read the journals I filled that first year. It seems too melodramatic to me now. (I just passed the 3 yr mark.) But it was so cathartic at the time. To just let it all out – somewhere tangible, and get it out of my system.

    But now..
    Now I’m just tired of the drama.
    I’m tired of the sadness.
    Tired of feeling shitty that life hit us like a demolition wrecking ball.
    Tired of feeling that nobody else in my world gets it.
    Tired of trying to hold it all together.
    I’m tired of it all.

    I just yearn for a simple, little, happy, drama-free life.

    This morning I read the following quote:
    “You do not attract into your life what you want. You attract what you are.”
    (I’m also tired of trite sayings, but I’m trying to take this one to heart.)

  6. We can all relate. I sure can. I have a blog I've kept as well and I seem to write when all those feelings are heightened and heavy... and life and days seem so empty and meaningless. But it is reality. The intensity does ease up some as I go throughout my day, but the feelings come back again...

    I so understand. It's strangely comforting to know there are others who are right there with you, but wish none of us had to walk this lonely road.

  7. I can relate to every word of this, right down to the ice cream.

  8. I'm coming up on 11 months. I'm dreading the "1 year sadiversary". shouldn't I be proud that I made it? but I don't want that date to come. I'm so scared of it for reasons that I don't understand. Is it becauae I did make it through the year without him and it hurts that I did? Is it because it feels like a lifetime, but only a year? It actually is a lifetime, my grandson was born 6 days before he died. Is it because it feels like yesterday that we were all together? Is it that I have the absurd feeling that at a year I should be better? (my mind does know better), is it that I have so many more years to live without him? I have such conflicting feelings. It's driving me crazy. I just want to be better, I don't want to have these lows, I don't want to be scared of the future anymore. I just want to, like it was said, "be at peace". I want to be hopeful. I want to forget, I want to remember. but I just take a breath at a time(like you all have said) AND I just had a great big bowl of ice-cream

  9. To Cassie and Everyone who responded:
    Thank you all so much. You have no idea how much I needed to hear all of this today. I am so low, so down, so agitated, so tearful and most of all so tired of all of this. I am coming up to 4 years next month. Is this going on too long? Will I ever feel joy again? Will my fear of the future go away? Has anyone here ever gotten professional help?

    1. I am so sorry, Anon. I'm really glad it has helped in some way to come here. You are farther ahead than I am, so I can't answer your questions from my perspective, but I know several widows who are 4 years out or more and it's still hard. Maybe we just get better at tolerating it? Honestly, I don't know. I do know that we can't do this alone. We need each other. Hold on.

      I have a regular therapy appointment and have since shortly after Dave died, but I was seeing a therapist before he died, too. It helps. It really does.

  10. I can relate. Just yesterday the day was ok I thought I have turned the corner on this journey. 5 months and maybe Ill be ok. BUT today is different or maybe it really was yesterday that was different. Going with what ever comes is difficult dealing with that empty feeling is exhausting. I was told by a widow the other day that I'll be happy again. I told her NOPE never again but her husband died 25 years ago so who knows maybe in 25 years. Is there enough ice cream for 25 years?

    1. I especially want to address this post to the two people who are at five months and the other at 4 years. I am at three and a half years. To five months, give yourself time. You are still at the very beginning, when everything is so raw. I recall it taking about two years before I really felt the shock wearing off and still feeling very vulnerable. Just take it one day or hour at a time now and don't feel pressured to move forward at a faster pace than you can. I learned that a lot of this is out of our control and the brain, spirit and body heals at it's own time. And that process is an individual one. To the poster at four years, I'm sure you still have many down days. I had grief therapy once a month for over a year, plus journaled, and counted on my faith. I also have a career and even though at times it has been tiring, I found that having to get up in the morning and go to work was a saving grace. If I didn't work, I'm sure I would volunteer to get out of my own head and help others. I read a quote once, I don't know who said it, but it was to the effect of, "first we grieve for our loved ones, then we grieve our life." I think the further down the road we are, the more we have to learn to respond to life again in some way, to start to relearn how to live without our loved ones. Not easy, I still have a way to go. But time has helped, and I would definitely recommend counseling, writing, meditating, and taking care of yourself. God bless us all, and I hope everyone can find some light and peace again.

  11. Oh, I don't know why I don't come read these pages more often.... You all make me seem 'normal' :) You are saying what I've been tripping in my head, and thinking something must be 'wrong' with me. Thank you for sharing. I need to read these at least on a weekly basis! Every time I come, I get a glimmer of hope, and Lord knows I need more of that!

  12. I am so glad I found these pages. My husband died a year and a half ago. (I still keep track by the month.) I wish I had a job to go to, but I'm retired. We had several years of a good retirement together, especially when our grandson was born and we had two years of traveling to visit him (and his mom & dad, too). The planning, the actual visit, the remembering, looking at all the pictures he took. Those were our last two years together. Now I've started to learn to take pictures. Next I'm learning to crop, edit, print. Never had to do that before. Had the best photographer to do it.

    But the aloneness is overwhelming.

  13. I cry everyday , Four months ago my husband died of esophageal cancer. We had been together 33 years, I need to see him again , but it will not happen . Where is he?

  14. My beloved died 3 months ago of kidney cancer. We were together 34 years. He was 62 and his cancer took him after 13 months. I am glad I found this site as today the sadness is raw. Most days it happens for short periods of time but today I feel so sad. Perhaps it's because I have been changing the house and car ownership and looking at the deeds with both our names on them makes we want to scream, Why?????