Sometimes the phone rings, and I’m like YAY SOMEONE LIKES ME. But sometimes the phone rings, and my mom’s name pops up on the caller ID and I’m like OH SHIT WHAT HAPPENED OH GOD NOTHING IS SAFE WHAT’S GOING ON and I can barely answer because of the panic.
Today she called to say hi and ask me if I was safe. I almost died of a heart attack receiving that call.
That’s what losing someone does. You will never feel safe again. Trust me. You will think that every time your phone rings, something has happened to someone you love. I don’t keep the ringer on my phone because of this. I have like PTSD or something from phone calls. If my phone rings and either one of my parents’ names pops up, I consider throwing my phone in a lake. Every single time.
I wish I lived by a lake. I’m not kidding. I’d lake that phone so fast, I really would. I’d probably have gone through 50-100 phones by now.
Day 128 – Don’t call me, I’ll call you
We talked it out. Maybe I need to calm myself, but I don’t know how. Other people must be really good at life, because they seem to be succeeded and, even, flourishing.
I don’t get it. I just cycle through panic attacks and in between (and during them), eat a ton of food. So it goes like this: wake up, moan about being awake, start to panic (heart beating fast) so I check my phone to make sure no one has tried to get ahold of me, pee, eat, panic again about the time it took me to pee and eat because I have to get to work, start driving aka constantly panicking (heart beating fast, stomach roiling, sweaty palms, racing thoughts about how everyone is a terrible driver), get to work, panic about everything from parking to the parking attendant to getting inside to sitting down without my stomach popping over my pants to whether or not the coffee creamer I like will still be there, eat second breakfast, panic about work and whether or not I can do it and how much I want to run out the door and get on a plane and fly far away, then snack. It’s now 10 am. This will continue until I attempt to fall asleep.
Day 105 – Anxiety and Coffee
11th of September. Grief is universal. I don’t want anyone to feel what I feel (EVER) but I know for sure that some do. They probably feel the same gnawing fear that (more) people they love will get hurt or sick. They probably experience the same worried turning in their stomachs and frequent heart palpitations that come from nowhere. They probably suffer from insomnia. They probably feel like the world is closing in around them, like an elephant is sitting on their chest, like they will drown in bittersweet memories. Or, more accurately, crushingnostalgicsadlove memories. (That’s not a word, apparently. Microsoft wants me to change it to something else.)
That felt oddly dramatic. Pain is dramatic, but I try to make jokes usually to cover it up. Here’s a fact, not a joke: another woman started working at the same time as me, doing the same job. I went into her office today to figure out what she was doing (because I didn’t want to be wasting time but had no idea what to do) and she was doing a combination of looking for a new apartment and Gchatting her old coworkers about how she wasn’t doing anything. So. I’m not the worst employee?!
I sat back at my desk and with no work distractions, the memories came back. I swiveled in my chair to the memories of Thanksgiving meals with family in Oklahoma and being chased by our puppy when we first got him and how supportive he was when we were playing tennis or doing anything, really.
For once in my life, I was INCREDIBLY thankful when a meeting came up.
Day 93 – Thanks for the memories (I’m crying again)
First day. I put on my big girl pants and faced the world. I’m not gonna lie: pajamas on the couch is much better than pants in the outside world.
As a side note, I tried ridiculously hard not to panic about being unreachable by phone, not to worry that something was going to happen, not to check my phone constantly (thinking I was being sneaky, but I’m about as sneaky as a toddler with pots and pans). I ended up feeling sick with worry all day. What if something happened? What if someone needed me and couldn’t get ahold of me? What if…?
I feel like I’ll never be free of the pain.
Well, shit. It happened again. I got distracted by life. I guess that’s a good thing. It means I was having fun. But in reality it means I was having fun tempered by the 50+ times I checked my phone for texts from my family and worried and sent texts and couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Fun with an edge. Maybe there will be a day where that’s not so present. Where I can just enjoy and not worry or panic or feel bad about enjoying. But maybe that means forgetting… I don’t want to forget.
Day 83 – Happy but sad
No rest for the weary. Got some tough news today from my parents. I mean, it’s not so much the news, which is simply a wait-and-see game, but it’s more the general reaction. My dad tries to control it and gets angry. My mom panics and dumps all of her worries and anxiety on me. And I try to suss out what exactly is going on while mitigating my mom’s panic and trying to get my dad to make sense/stop being angry.
All that’s to say that the grief continues. I’m very worried, but I can’t tell if I should be because my news comes secondhand either from someone who’s too angry and controlling to see what actually should be done or from someone whose anxiety is so high that she can’t think straight (or at all). So either everything is fine or nothing is. I’m not sure.
In other news, I pulled someone else’s hair out of my bathtub drain today and almost puked. Life is fun.
Day 81 – Worry Wart