Grief exhaustion is a very real thing. I have learned to recognize it when it is attacking me. I didn’t catch it over Christmas though because I didn’t know that what I felt or what was happening to me was grief exhaustion.
It’s very real. It is debilitating.
Christmas was on a Wednesday and I barely remember Thursday, Friday or Saturday. I was immobilized. Shock waves had washed over me Christmas night and after a long crying session I just went to bed. I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t do it any longer, and I am a big believer in things looking better in the morning.
Except they didn’t really look better. I would take care of Willie and go right back to bed and sleep. This is not me.
I got up and tried to do life, I walked from room to room, I might have thrown a load of laundry in the washing machine and I might have remembered to put it in the dryer too.
There was no heart in me to propel me through the days after Christmas.
I faked it. I was pissed off. I yelled at inanimate objects.
I was numb, dazed, fatigued, exhausted because I thought erroneously that I could keep the “Carole Traditions of Christmas” happening. That thinking was fucked up.
Now here I am again – I am grief exhausted. I recognize the signs this time.
First of all, I had a long conversation with someone whose career I respect. She told me to follow my nurse’s gut and I have been doing that for about 6 weeks now when I realized that the timeline of that night was skewed and I started to ask questions.
I know and I understand that nothing can change the outcome, Larry died, there is no bringing him back however, there are questions and I need answers.
This is exhausting me.
Then I went for my annual Chest CT because I am in a study, and this was the first time in 8 years that I went all by myself. There was no lunch afterwards at our favorite Vietnamese Restaurant. I also get to wait for my results to come in the mail. We always opened that envelope together.
This afternoon I couldn’t work on my story. My brain is just not cooperating.
I know when it is happening because I cry more often and I just go through the motions of my day.
I lost my phone today. I almost had a nervous breakdown. I dropped everything and went back to Publix and as I ran in the customer service person asked “Did you lose an iPhone?” I almost fell to my knees. I unlocked it to prove it was mine using facial ID and left the store sobbing.