Day 160/365 Chronic

In my experience, the “stages of grief” are a real thing…denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Just start reading through my blog from the beginning, and you’ll see them all here in my writing.

I would add, at least for me, it hasn’t been a linear experience.

Sometimes I go through all of the stages in one day, only to start from the top again the next morning.

I recently read where someone had likened grief to a chronic illness. I think this analogy is perfect.

From the onset of the illness, one might experience anything from a dull ache to crippling pain. One may go through long or short stretches of time in which they are not as plagued by the symptoms of their grief…a remission of sorts. Other days the symptoms are brutal, and plentiful.

Lately I have been feeling better. I have been really working on bringing my focus, gratefully, to what I had (a wonderful father) and to what I have (a beautiful life) and away from what (whom) I have lost.

However…

My Chronic Illness will not allow me to believe that a cure is imminent.

In fact, my Chronic Illness wonders why I have the gall to believe I’m well.  It makes a point of reminding me that I will never be free from it.

My Chronic Illness knows that the best place to flare up is in the car…long road trips especially.

It knows I’m trapped.

It whispers…

Bethany…

Don’t you remember what you’ve been through? What you’ve lost?

Don’t you remember that hysterical phone call?

Don’t you remember those nights curled up in the reclining chair because you wouldn’t – couldn’t – leave?

Don’t you remember the neurosurgeon with the smirky nervous tick?

Don’t you remember the cold conference room; the moment they said aloud what you already knew to be true?

Don’t you remember how you foolishly hoped, just for a second, he’d wake up when they took out the breathing tube?

Don’t you remember how he died while your mother had been called out of the room?  How he started breathing again, just for a moment, when she returned?

Don’t you remember holding his warm hand, knowing it was for the last time?

Don’t you remember, Bethy?

THERE.

THERE IT IS.

{Satisfied, My Chronic Illness retreats again…until the next time.}

 

 

 

Day 140/365 Cleansing Myself of Happiness

Lately I have been feeling really unhealthy, physically (we shall leave the discussion of my mental illness for another time).

My dad died back in January, and at some point thereafter I did a 180 from not having any appetite, to wanting to eat pretty much anything that was not strapped down.

I’ll be honest, I felt an extreme sense of entitlement toward bread and sugar of any sort….oh, and wine.

Ah, yes…the good times we had, those three amigos and I.

Alas, I’ve realized that I have to step away from the baked goods and focus a bit on my health.

So, I decided to do a cleanse.

I put that in italics because I feel as though one needs to say that with emphasis.  As if I am highfalutin and my cleanse is very important.

I am doing the world a favor with my cleanse.

(I’m quite sure I’m not doing anyone any favors actually, because…well because I hate everyone who has the audacity to eat food).

You people with your food prep videos on Facebook.  Brutal!

A friend of mine commented that I appear to be cleansing myself of happiness.

I’m kidding. Well, she did say that, actually, but it hasn’t been that bad. The idea is to give my body a re-boot.  To break addictions to unhealthy foods, and to maybe lose a few pounds in the process.

So, I’m on day four of a 10-day liquid diet (don’t worry, it’s all safe and healthy stuff), and I tell you it has been not unlike going through the stages of grief…

Stage 1 – DenialThis won’t be that bad! I can doing anything for 10 days!

Stage 2 – Anger – Why the eff am I doing this anyway?

Stage 3 – Bargaining Just one french fry?  Please?

Stage 4 – DepressionOh God, this is the end, isn’t it? I’m languishing!

{THAT WAS DAY ONE.}

My kids have been with their dad this week, so at least I haven’t had to cook for anyone.  However, they’re coming back tomorrow and unfortunately they will probably expect to be fed…like three times a day.

Unbelievable.

So I ventured to the grocery store earlier to buy a cart full of food I’m not allowed to eat. Wandering the aisles with a crazed look on my face, muttering under my breath, “They’re gonna want Bunny Crackers, aren’t they?  Freakin’ kryptonite.”

I stopped in front of the bread, and heaved a sigh.

“You got me into this, you know,” I whispered.


Six days and only one more stage of grief to go…

Stage 5 – Acceptance – I imagine it’ll be something like…

You’ve made your bed, now you’ve got to lie in it.

(And good luck with that, since you have to pee every twenty minutes).

Pray for me.