Cognitive dissonance

So yeah. Four days of getting up before lunchtime. Of doing a couple of hours of work. And today, of even managing a session on the spin bike. So I guess my ‘new routine’ is continuing. Is it making me feel any better? Hell no.

Being asleep, being busy, working, reading, means my brain is relatively distracted. Sometimes even properly so. It goes back to the place where this is what I did, when life was normal. It gets lost in the work, in the good story, in the conversation, the TV programme. Whatever. And time passes a little faster. Which is all great.

But you wake up. You wake up from sleep, or from wherever your brain has gone, and for a brief moment you’re still there where life was ok…and then whoop there it is, the slap round the face of reality. And some days reality sees fit to use you as a punch bag. Over and over and over again it hits you. And once you’re down for the count, you can’t even distract yourself anymore. Reality is now standing between you and anything and everything, and nothing works anymore. It’s just tears until bedtime.

And no-one even notices when I cry anymore here. Ok, that’s a little unfair, sometimes one of the offspring will notice, and proffer solutions (which is not what I want or need – you can’t just fix me), or do that ‘she’s off again’ thing and kinda smile sympathetically and wait for me to stop again, or find they have somewhere else to be. No-one gives me a hug and just lets me cry it out. So the grief and those tears kind of build, like a pressure cooker with no proper release valve. Sitting in an out of the way corner with those tears running down your cheeks is not enough. It’s too quiet, and too restrained, and too British.

A couple of days ago a good friend of mine let me go and hang out in her field, and I just let it all out to the sky and grass and the trees, however noisy or messy that was. Which makes it sound like letting go was a choice. It wasn’t. I felt like I was going to explode if I didn’t. It was primal. And cathartic. I think I’m going to need to do that again. I don’t feel like I can do it here, but I know it’s something I need to do. Bottling things up is not something that works well for me. I shut down, and shut people, and the world out. I withdraw. And my thoughts go to places that aren’t helpful, and my mood spirals downwards, and there I am falling down the rabbit hole again. Gazing into the abyss as it gazes back at me. None of which is conducive to healthy grieving, or healthy living.

I’ve just had to cancel the small gathering I had planned later this month to scatter my half of Matt’s ashes. Because you know, Covid. And, let’s be brutally honest, I am really not in a good place right now, and so it’s probably a blessing in disguise, as it’s probably not the right time to do it. When I do do it, it needs to be right, and I need to be able to cope with it, and ┬áit’s not like there’s really any rush is there? It was a good plan, a good date…but I guess another one will come along, right? Cancelling still upset me though. Another straw for the camel’s back.

Apparently this reality still hasn’t properly taken root in my brain. It still takes me by surprise. I still can’t believe it’s all happened. It’s still all just too surreal. I think it’s maybe some sort of a self-protection device that clearly doesn’t work very well, as the dissonance between then and now resonates painfully through me again and again. It doesn’t stop the pain. Only if it wasn’t there, and I had to feel all the feelings at once, as they say, I think I might crack. Maybe there’s a slow drip, drip, drip of it trickling through in the background, and slowly all this will become something I have come to terms with, bit by bit, one day at a time, without noticing.

They‘ say it gets better/easier with time. Personally I reckon that’s b*ll*cks, since it sure as hell hasn’t yet, but I guess I’ll find out won’t I? I hope ‘they‘ are right.

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