one step, then the next, then the next…

The brain is such a strange thing.  Thinking back over these last few months and tracing my decline – that’s what comes to mind – how strangely the brain works, and how things are stored there and what prompts them to come up.  It is a mystery.

In the last several days I’ve noticed I continue to feel a sense of anxiety, which bothers me because I thought I had gotten to the root of what was wrong.  I thought that realizing the feelings I was experiencing were due to the loss of security I felt when JJ died so suddenly, leaving me floating in space; unanchored, lost.  I was reminded that I gave my security away to him when we got married.  In exchange for my independence and self sufficiency I expected him to deliver comfort and safety and security.  And I trusted him enough to have a child with him.  Something I was terrified to do, because I knew it would be the hardest thing for me to do.  And then he died.  He took my comfort and safety and security with him and left me alone.

Through some intensive therapy I realized this, and I also remembered that before JJ I was competent and happily independent.  So if I was before, it stands to reason I still am now.  I even have proof – in how far I’ve come, what I’ve managed to live through, and even now finally managing to develop some plans for the future.  It’s actually pretty badass, in all honesty.

So why in the hell am I so nervous?  I have been noticing that my anxiety levels seem strongest in the morning.  Generally after lunch I notice that I calm down and the rest of the day seems ok.  It occurred to me tonight that I felt similarly in the first days/weeks/months after JJ died.  Each day seemed to have an undercurrent of dread, but the timing was the opposite – as the day got longer I became more and more anxious.  The evening hours – sunset – were the worst.  The long, dark, lonely night was approaching and because that was the time when I would normally be looking forward to his return from work.  Sundowner’s Syndrome, my aunt called it.  I don’t know what this revelation means but it seems important.  Maybe I am supposed to be remembering this so that it’s in the forefront of my mind, forcing me to write it and share it.

I fear that there is more to uncover.  If the feelings I’m having are here to tell me something, they’re not done talking because they haven’t gone away.  Either that or there’s a biological reason.  Maybe both.  Whatever it is I am 1.  Bummed that I still am not easy in my own skin; and 2.  Impatient to get through it so I can feel better.

I recently told someone that pain is a great motivator.  Well damned if I’m not living that statement right now.  Awareness is the first step, then on to Acceptance, and finally – Action.  One thing at a time, one moment at a time, and all will be revealed.

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