How do you fill a hole?
Can you ever fill the hole left by the child you thought you'd see graduate from school, hopefully marry some nice girl, perhaps produce multiple grandchildren, and maybe even change the world?
When everything you've taken for granted (and not in a bad way, just in a 'nothing's going to get in the way of a normal life progression way) suddenly disappears, how do you adapt?
I know it's early days yet, and really, I can't be thinking too hard about adapting to this massive change in my life when, like I said, I still don't fully accept that it has happened. But that hasn't stop me adopting compulsive behaviours which, in the long run, are probably not going to be very good for me.
Lie down on the couch now miss...
I've got one of those addictive personalities. Actually, I think if I tried to analyse my personality my brain might well explode, but I do tend to get wrapped up in things very easily.
When I was younger, I smoked. I knew it was unhealthy, but I did it anyway. I've always eaten too much, particularly when stressed (there's a story for another day), and have, at various times, gotten too involved in eating, shopping, exercising, drinking too much and spending far too much time on the internet.
So when I found myself in a new world of pain and suffering, I turned to some of my old vices. I honestly think it was because I was trying to fill this great hole that had suddenly appeared in my life. Perhaps because I'm afraid of what will happen if I let the grief take over? Is that somewhere I want to go? Would I be able to return?
I have tried a few different things, unconsciously I think, with varying degrees of success:
Food - old faithful
I know I'm not the only person in the world with an eating problem. My problem is that I like food. So it was number one on the list of things I used for comfort. Needless to say I've packed on a few kilos. But, I've recognised now that it's really not helping, and while I know from experience it will take me a while to get back into good habits, at least I've acknowledged it.
Stay tuned for another exciting episode of 'Mel goes on a health kick!'
Is never going to be a big problem for me. I can say that with absolute certainty. However that hasn't stopped me from hooking in just a wee little bit over the past few weeks.
In the first week, I couldn't go near it. I wanted a clear head and had no desire at all to drink. After the funeral though, I didn't mind a drink or two. In fact in the first few days after the funeral I found that a small glass of whiskey (beautiful, old, expensive Japanese whiskey given to me by my lovely friend Dallas) was very therapeutic. I was getting (and still occasionally do get) terrible headaches - I think from a combination of stress, lack of sleep and stored tears - and a small glass helped me relax.
I've also had a few drinks with friends and family. We have had many more visitors than usual, and many of these visits have involved some kind of beverage consumption. Not that I mind of course, I've enjoyed the fantastic company!
Like almost every other woman on the planet (forgive my generalisation, girls!) I take great pleasure in buying stuff. For some people it's shoes, for others it's movies or CDs or clothes, for me it's, well, anything! I dearly love buying things for other people, but I don't mind buying things for me either. Funnily enough I don't have a particular item, I can get excited about anything from a nice pen to tea towels or a new bike (one of which I did buy with some money I had received for my birthday, and a very nice bike it is!)
In the past, if I was stressed or unhappy about something, a trip to the shops would generally put it right, or at least make me feel a bit better. I've been out a few times now, and I've gotta say it's not doing it for me any more. I just can't get into it like I used to, and in fact while I used to wander around, or go from shop to shop checking for the best price, I've found myself adopting the 'get in-find what you need-buy it-get out' policy more often than not.
Well it was going to be pretty hard for me to write a blog without going on the interweb, but I am actually pretty surprised at how much I have not been overdoing it. One of my other personality flaws is chronic procrastination, and I have always used the web to avoid doing stuff. During report writing time is when I'm particularly active on Facebook. Gotta do some housework? There's a few new blogs I simply have to check out. You get the picture. I doesn't help that I'm a massive NERD!
But, as with the shopping thing, it wasn't doing it for me. At first I stopped Facebook all together, but then found out about Sam's group, so I had to go back on. But I've been fairly restrained in my usage.
Someone to talk to.
One thing that I have done on the internet is a bit of searching for support groups and like-minded people to talk to, but the results haven't been overly encouraging. Mostly because I wanted to be able to talk to people who know what I have been through. Don't get me wrong, I love talking to my friends and family, and they have been immensely comforting and supportive, this desire is at a different level. And I don't actually mind talking to strangers. Some people have a real problem with it, but I never have, provided we have something in common, something to talk about.
Sadly, I have not had much luck on this level. Oh, there have been a couple I have found - but on the whole, there wasn't much out there. Well, not in Australia anyway. One site I joined was a Legacy site. It's OK, but way too many religious types on there. I am an atheist, more so since Samuel left us (once again, another story for another day), and the last thing I want to see or hear is "I'm praying for you" or "God does these things for a reason". PIG'S ARSE he does!!!
(sorry, I will compose myself now. I don't begrudge anyone else the right to take comfort in whatever they need to take comfort in, but by gum I'm going to exercise my right to NOT believe).
There are some very lovely people on Essential Baby, a website/forum I joined many years ago when Oliver was born, and I have found some comfort there, but on the whole there's not much out there.
Which brings us to...
And so it's me out here in blogland, spouting my (whatever it is) out into the cyberverse, in the hope that if it doesn't mean something to someone else, it will at least make me feel better. So far, so good.