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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Tidd

I'm on the Verge

I'm writing this on my back porch. I'm trying to make myself feel better, so I've got a glass of wine, candle lit, a little classical music on...

See? Not too bad, right? Of course, I realized what I REALLY wanted was some nice cheese and a few crackers to go with this and I had that craving just as I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot. So, now I have some American cheese left over from the kids and a mix of crackers in a ziploc bag that I think is from a party I gave about 5 months ago.

Let's expand that view.

That's how I roll these days.

That's because right now I'm trying to anything and everything I can to make myself feel better. And if it's Kraft singles and stale be it.

This is such an ugly time of the year for me - and not just because I'm constantly sweaty and my hair is about twice its normal size. I'm in the middle of my month of anniversaries and this year, it's really sucking the life out of me.

Last night I was just about to fall asleep when I realized that this anniversary equals the same amount of years we were married; after this anniversary, I will be without him longer than we were husband and wife.

I couldn't catch my breath.

As I was leaving the grocery store tonight (after buying Gatorade and saltines for the THIRD sick kid), I just felt so defeated. This isn't a new feeling, but it's FRUSTRATING me more than ever this year. I can't explain to people that I feel sad, exhausted, and full of anger and adrenaline all at the same time.

There just aren't words for it, are there? I mean, Brad died 11 years ago this month and I can't think of any other way to describe it other than grief - but that's just so inadequate. It's like trying to describe childbirth to someone by saying, "It hurts."

I'm yawning constantly, but can't sleep. I'm cranky, but still expect people to be understanding. I want someone to hold me and still give me space.

SERIOUSLY. What is that??????


So, back to the car and the grocery store. I sat there and just felt so pent up, you know? Like I could just explode out of my car if I had the energy. And I thought, "I'm on the verge of..." and I couldn't finish the sentence.

Crying? Collapsing? Quitting? Wailing? Screaming? WHAT?????

I still don't know because I just want to do it all at once.

Grief - and especially old grief that's been with you for a long time - does more than drain your body when it comes back full force. It does more than deplete your mental resources. It's an exhaustion of the spirit - like I wish I could give my very soul a vacation. My spirit is tired. It's been through 11 years of this and knows it has a lifetime to go. It's worked so hard to keep us going, so I wish I could give it a little all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas while we work to get over this hump and get on with life.

My therapist asked me the other day what I could do to make myself feel better, how I could do more self-care. And, yes, I need a break from work and even a little quiet time away from the kids. But honestly...I just didn't have an answer for her.

I couldn't come up with one thing that would make me feel better right now.

I know that sounds a little like depression, but it's not. Believe me - I know what depression feels like. This is like just coming to terms with the fact that the next few weeks are going to truly suck and no amount of massages, pedicures, or outings with friends will really make that go away - even if I had the time to do it.

And chances are I'm going through the really hard part right now. My grief is so weird...I feel much worse the weeks leading up to a milestone than I do the actual day.

I know I've made it through the other side when I have my feet soaking and my ass in a vibrating chair.

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