Why grieve?

So things are improving.  I am stronger but still not completely strong.  I think I am mostly back to my regular weird self.  I have weird low grade fevers and rashes and can’t sleep at night sometimes:Yup, that’s me!

I am still trying to put my shattered PTSD brain back together.  It turns out that mental trauma healing takes as long or longer than physical healing. .  My therapist explained that I am still in fight or flight mode to some degree.  It takes some time to get that super vigilance to stop and it eats up a lot of energy.

It also turns out that under all that PTSD is a big, fat emotion called grief.  I have never really given grief or all the other negative conseques of being chronically sick, a lot of room in my head.  I have been on the “pop back up, dust off your pants and keep going” train.  However, I am realizing now that grief is really something I can’t avoid.

What do I mean by grief?  I guess it would be a lot of things.  There are things in my life that I want to do, desperately, and I haven’t got the fortitude to do with  work amd the rest of my life .  As I have said here before, I want to go back to a choir.  I also want to find a congregational home. I want to exercise more often and for some reason 3 times a week is all I can do. I wear out and I get down that this life of curtailed activities will never end.  I try hard to NOT think about what will happen to me next, because I have no control over it anyway.  But, I am human and I do think about it.

I think about when I was in my 20’s and 30’s even 40’s  as I went full tilt, all the time. At least that is what it feels like I did.  I feel sad that this ability to do what I want whenever I want is simply gone. I am grieving the freedom I had when I wasn’t permanently  sick.

I didn’t know it was a gift at the time,  but it was.

I do plenty of things now and am by no means retired or retiring.  That is just not me.  But, I recognize the stages of grief and feel like if I can call them out for what they are, maybe I will land in a better place.

Some specialists say there are 5 stages of grief and some argue for 7.  At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter but while I was reviewing those steps I looked at sadness, which apparently occurs long after the thing you are grieving has happened.  I would say that I am at that stage: sadness.

I am not bitter or particularly into bargaining and shock or even depression anymore.  I am just sad that I can’t always join in when I want to.  Instead, I have to be reasonable about my level of energy so that I can save the energy to do the thing or things I have prioritized for that particular day or week. Things could be a lot worse.  In fact, I know intimately how things can be worse. So, I try to keep that in mind and not chafe against my restrictions.  It just makes me sad sometimes.

It is best, I think,  to simply take each day as it comes and not think too much about tomorrow or later this week or a few months from now.  At least that is the goal I find most appropriate.  The problem is that I seem incapable of confining my thoughts to one day at a time.  I have a feeling this is common for a lot of people, those  with and those without some sort of chronic illness.

So, today I just want to aknowlege that I am sad about some things but I am also grateful and happy that today may be slow because yesterday was very fast but the important thing is that I show up, every day, for the fight.