Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Am I Crazy?

"I'm past the point of going quietly insane.  I'm getting quite noisy about it.  The neighbors must think I'm mad.  The neighbors, for once, think right." -Peter McWilliams, How to Survive the Loss of a Love

About six weeks after Eddie's death, I came to a conclusion - I was most definitely going insane.  I seemed to have lost the ability to do even the simplest things.  I couldn't write a check, address an envelope for a thank you card, make out a grocery list, feed the animals, fold clothes, find the channel I wanted on TV, put on my make-up, fix my breakfast, change a light bulb ... the list goes on and on.  I remember one night in particular when my mother had to help me change the sheets on my bed because I had no idea how to get them on!  I had been doing this basic chore for 30+ years, but suddenly I had no clue how to accomplish the task.  My memory seemed to have disappeared.  On more than one occasion I got lost while driving.  I would either completely forget where I was going, or I would suddenly look around me and have no idea where I was or how I got there.  I couldn't concentrate or think anything through.  I couldn't focus on what was going on around me.  I seemed to be "floating" through each day.  I had no concept of time - my time was measured in how long it had been since Eddie's death (one day since he died, one week since he died, one month since he died). 

I became extremely irritable during this time.  I went from wanting to talk to others about what had happened and how I felt to not wanting to speak to anyone about anything.  I didn't want to answer the phone or go to the door.  I became obsessed with replaying and reliving the events of the day and night that Eddie died.  I went back to denying that he was actually dead.  I believed he was just away on a trip.  I thought I heard his truck in the driveway.  I thought I saw him working in the yard.  I thought I smelled his cologne in the bathroom.  I was paranoid about losing someone else, especially Trey.  By this time he had returned to work and had started doing things occasionally with friends in the evenings.  I couldn't stand the thought of him being out on the road especially after dark.  I paced, prayed, and cried until he came home.  I couldn't find happiness or enjoyment in any activity, even spending time with my granddaughter.  I believed I was suffering from depression beyond what is normal for the grieving process.

I also had increased, intensified physical symptoms.  I was exhausted from a lack of sleep.  I felt sick from not eating right.  I experienced anxiety/panic attacks where my heart would race and I would have trouble breathing.  Sometimes I actually had to remind myself to take the next breath.  My nerves tingled to the point that I couldn't stand for anyone to touch me.  At times I felt like I was literally going to crawl out of my own skin.  I've watched legal shows on TV where people pleaded not guilty to a crime due to temporary insanity.  I began to understand what that meant - I could have done something during this time and not known how or why I did it.  My entire world was turned upside down, and I had no idea how to straighten it out.      

"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

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