“When you are up against a wall, put down roots like a tree, until clarity comes from deeper sources to see over that wall and grow.” -Carl Jung
Last week was rough. I’ve taken the three days of bereavement leave my company provides. And my vacation/sick leave had dwindled down to next to nothing, leaving me in no position to take any more time off. So, ready or not, last week was my first full week back at work since my father died.
I would like to tell you that I made it through the entire week without having a meltdown; that I was on time each day and remained productive and clear-headed, but that, my friends, would be a big fat lie.
I spent half the time just blankly staring at my computer screen. I sat at my desk, foggy-headed and nearly missed a huge deadline. I forgot about an appointment which resulted in angering a potential donor, who called my boss to yell at him–and then my boss yelled at me. I messed up. I get it. My boss said, “It’s partly my fault. I know you’re grieving, I should have checked in with you.”
He’s a good guy. I know he was trying to be supportive. But it was also clear he was telling me: “Pull your shit together.”
I’m trying. In fact, I thought I had. But everything came crashing down on me last week, which is bullshit, if you ask me. This process should be much more linear.
Come Friday, I was definitely ready for the week to end. I actually managed to leave work at work, and Michael and I went to Shabbat services with friends. I haven’t been to synagogue since my dad died, and I am glad we went. I felt happy during “L’cha Dodi” (Come my Beloved), and I made it through the Mourner’s Kaddish, well enough. It was a good night. I gave myself permission to put the week behind me, and enjoy myself with my friends.
I’m trying to surround myself with my low maintenance friends. Friends who aren’t going to freak out when I am emotionally ambushed and burst into tears when something reminds me that part of my foundation has been ripped away from me. Friends who understand that I am just not the same person I was three weeks ago. I might be again, at some point, but right now, I’m not. And that needs to be okay.
I see my shrink in two weeks. I suspect we’ll up my dose of Lamictal, since I’m on a pretty low dose, anyway, but I realize that won’t fill this void I’m feeling. Or make my heart hurt less. Or make it easier to plan the wedding my father won’t attend. I suppose quitting my job and becoming a dog trainer won’t, either, although I am sorely tempted to do so.
What’s the saying? There’s no way around it, only through it?
I guess they don’t make a pill for grief.
My goals for next week:
Each day, I will…
- Wake up
- Take my meds
- Go to work
- Cross something off my to-do list
- Remember to eat
- Give myself permission to find joy in some activity
Small, achievable goals.
I’ll just continue putting one foot in front of the other, until I stumble upon whatever lesson I’m suppose to learn from all of this. Or, at least until I manage to pull my shit together.