I feel "raw" "numb" and still in disbelief. I was driving to the West Branch office yesterday and my daughter called, she was so sad and shared some things with me about her Grandpa and the tears easily came, but for the most part.....I mostly just feel my stomach tightening like someone has grabbed a hold of it and is squeezing it, I can feel tears sting my eyes, but they don't necessarily spill out.
I can tell that I am trying to numb the grief. I want to smoke and I haven't smoked since May of 2012. That was my best numbing agent. No, I am not going to smoke. I next favorite numbing agent is sugar. I figure that I may as well use my dad to keep that one at bay as well. Having lost 90 pounds recently, he was proud of me for doing that, so when I think I should buy a box of cookies and sit and eat the entire thing, I remember how proud he was of me for losing the weight and avoid that.
So what am I using to numb? Maybe the better question first is "what do I mean by numbing my grief?" It really is avoidance technique that we all use in some fashion to avoid the pain of any expereince that may cause us pain. By numbing the pain you are supressing it, and doing that is not a healthy thing, because with this type of emotional pain, someday whatever you supress will come up and it may not make any sense of what is going on when it finally does rise.
We are much safer to experience the pain as it occurs. There are times that you need to supress it because it just isn't appropriate to start sobbing. However, in a short while when you do get to a place that it is safe to let that out, you would then allow that to come out.
It really is about being with those thoughts and feelings. About living in the present momement.
So, what am I using to numb? I am trying NOT to numb. So I don't think that I am using anything. Although I must say that I am not fully engaging in life right now either. This is my last year in the PhD program (at least it should be) The fall term has started and I have basically done nothing yet. I have HUGE motivation to finish my program as my father really wanted me to do that. So next week I will reengage with that. I am behind as my first draft of my Preliminary exam was due at the beginning of the term. (and I already was on an aggressive schedule of completion) so I am behind, but I will catch up and as long as I defend my dissertation by May 27th I can still graduate without having to pay for another term. I know that seems far off, just trust me when I say that May 27th is like a blink of an eye when it comes to writing a dissertation, getting it approved to defend, etc......but ohhhh the joy I will feel when I walk for that degree and can raise my head to the sky and say....."I did it daddy".
It makes sense to use that motivation while I have it. Get back to yoga, keep the sugar at bay.....live my life one day at a time....not just one day, but one moment. Each moment in life is precious and when we live in the past or the future moments, we are missing out on our life.
So if anything, I am not fully living in the moments. I am living a lot in the past, or the future....that is likely what I am using to numb.....remembering my father and mostly remembering his last week (which I am so glad that I was there with him that last week) or dreaming of the future and finishing my degree, or losing more weight and how my dad would be so proud of me......yet so far I haven't done anything to get there.
I am not saying that I should spend some time thinking about my dad's last week. He hasn't even been dead a week yet.....I likley have a few things to forgive myself for or just simply reconcile with. It is part of the grieving process. As long as I don't stay there too long. That leads to the next step, which will be the topic tomorrow!
So, what do you use to numb your feelings? Some people use shopping to numb.....that is a dangerous way to numb if you don't have the money to spend! There are many different ways we use to numb and those are the most common, but it could be a number of things. We get ahead of the game by recognizing that we are numbing, once you recognize it.....you are more likely to move away from the numbing. How do we do that? I will talk about that later today........