Monday, February 10, 2014
When it has been a few days (since I have written on this subject) I become very antsy. I can hardly sit still until I can get something out again. Just now, before I sat down to my little netbook, you would have seen me literally pacing the length of my apartment in my sweatpants and bathrobe. If anyone saw me they might think I look either neurotic, disturbed or riddled with anxiety. I walk around doing little chores like giving the cats their nightly dry food, preparing the coffee maker for the morning, doing dishes, laundry and sometimes forgetting what I was going to do on the way. I pace trying to think of what I was doing when I got up out of my seat. Where was I going? What was I going to do? This behavior actually has a name: polyphasic behavior. I have read in Dr. Alan Wolfelt's book, Understanding Your Suicide Grief, that this is something that can make a grieving person feel like they are "crazy." He explains it as, "...you start doing something and then, right in the middle of it, you forget what you were doing and start doing something else." I cannot begin to count how often this has happened to me when I am at the grocery store. I would be there for a only a few items, and while walking around get so distracted that I could not remember what I came into the store to purchase. I have tried to get into the habit of writing a list before I go, otherwise I wander aimlessly from section to section trying to remember what I need and picking up things that I don't need. And there have been times when I have aborted the trip altogether while driving to the store.
I have been doing these polyphasic behaviors since R died. For months I did not know what to do with myself, even though I had hours of nursing schoolwork to do. Every moment of my free time could have been filled with some kind of nursing schoolwork. School will be a sure-way to keep myself from thinking about what has happened. Going to school is the only way I can survive right now. I have to have a reason to get out of bed everyday. My son. I need to do this for my son. I need to go to school to show him that I can still function and not completely fall apart. I floated around my apartment doing a little here, stopping, and moving to something else. I just could not sit down and stay on task for more than about 15 minutes at a time. I would get up and continue my little chores: straightening up the couch, cleaning up toys, the bathroom, my bedroom, and do some pacing in between. To an outsider I may have looked like a very busy person. I suppose that would be true. My mind was so busy sorting through things that I could not focus on any one thing for very long. I did not realize this until a few weeks ago. After all this time, and reading through the book so much, you would think I could recognize my own behavior. Nope. I have become a student of grief and specifically suicide grief, learning things about myself as my mind slowly returns back to what it was before this trauma happened. Perhaps my brain will never be the same. I am beginning to accept that. I am a new person now. I have undergone a transformation that was forced upon me, but transformed for the better, I think.