It’s been quiet on the blog lately and while I’ve wanted to write I haven’t been able to find the willpower or concentration to sit down and do so – until today.
I’m not certain when it first began but I definitely noticed it after I returned from India: I haven’t been in a great head space for quite some time. In the first few days after my trip, I chalked it up to post-vacation blues but as the days turned into weeks and I found myself increasingly more despondent I realized that something wasn’t right. I couldn’t really pinpoint what was bothering me however. And then one day, in a very unspectacular moment I saw clearly that for the past few weeks or possibly months, I’ve been struggling, and a lot of what I’ve done has been to try and mask my true experience.
For all my efforts, my grief has turned into something ugly and I haven’t been able to “snap out of it” “buck up” or put myself into a better mood, at least not on my own. It eventually dawned on me that I needed guidance and so I reached out and found Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO), a community service that helps those who are grieving. Operating from their local chapters, each location offers open and closed group meetings, one-on-one counselling, and tries to best accommodate your needs with their focused groups (parental loss, spousal loss, and loss of a child). And even though I’ve just started, I already feel like this group is becoming a lifeline to my future. I feel better – not in the sense of “being better” like getting over the flu or a cold but better than I have felt in a long time. While books and online resources have been wonderful and taken me quite far, I’ve found that what I need is human interaction. Each week when I meet with the other members of my group in the dimly lit room, we share stories, cry, laugh (I never thought I would laugh so much in a grief counselling group), and I start to feel a little more human again.
For me, it was never about having “bad” days; I had a balance of both the good and the bad and while the bad days seemed monumental at the time, I always knew that I could get through it. No, that wasn’t my problem. What troubled me however, were the days between the good and the bad, the days when I felt numb and truthfully, aimless. It was strange because this sense of indifference and numbness was what actually introduced the most chaos in my life.
Admittedly, these meetings are hard. After my first one I felt pained both emotionally and physically but a few days later, as the emotions levelled out I started to see things a little more clearly. My next meeting went better and tonight, we meet again. I’m not sure how things will turn out but I’m looking forward to it. Between my meetings, week by week the numbness is becoming less acute. It’s still there at times but it’s not constant and that is, at this time, enough for me, that and the hope and promise that things can get better.