Six months since I lost my Daddy.
Three months since I started therapy.
One month since I brought Mia home.
And about two weeks since I noticed I was FEELING things again.
Feels. So many feels.
When I say “noticed I was feeling…” I mean the following:
- I feel something,… but I don’t know what.
- I feel angry and am not sure if it’s justified.
- I feel sad, and I absolutely know that’s justified.
- I feel happy! Like, carefree!
- Now I feel guilty for feeling happy…
- But how can I be happy, if reality is my Daddy’s dead? Now I feel stunned and confused.
- I feel so many things right now, there is no one discernible feeling I can identify.
And that shit is exhausting.
I mean that literally, by the way. Feeling things, rotating emotions like cycling through a fucking rolodex in your heart, will wear you out.
The worst part, I think, is genuinely NOT knowing WHAT I am feeling. It’s like waking up and truly having no idea where you are.
As I told my therapist, there are things I expect to not know, like… the future.
But I kind of expect to know what I’m feeling at a given moment.
That, however, is not a luxury I am provided at this stage of the process.
I compare myself to a computer that finally finished downloading and installing a new OS (Sudden Daddyless Daughter v1.0). I’ve rebooted but everything is all scrambled. Programs have to be reinstalled. Login and passwords have to be changed. The poor ol’ box is confused and has to reconfig everything.
Basically my emotions are back up and running for the first time but my system is all scrambled. And even if the emotion I’m feeling at a given moment is appropriate, there’s a chance I’m feeling it too strongly or not strongly enough for the situation.
And so I throw myself into my work, I hoop my ass off, and I started doing other things too. And not just on auto-pilot or by force (see: most of the posts I’ve written lately). I mean, I am actively participating, present, and accounted for.
- I saw a movie, IN A MOVIE THEATER!
- I bought a new freakin’ car!
- I had friends come stay, in my house, for many days in a row and we went to Blue Springs to swim and got pedi’s and drank beer and laughed, a LOT!
- I drafted this post, saw my erroneous tense changes and other grammatical errors, and PUBLISHED IT ANYWAY!
But with great feelings, come great burdens….?
(yes I just made that up, whatever I needed to break this post up)
However, my Daddy and his sudden loss were in the back of my mind almost the whole time.
While I might take solace in feeling good (read: any) things again, I must also deal with feeling very deep, bleak things. Painful, awful feelings that I experience stronger than ever.
I described my grief to Grace last weekend and it went like this:
The girl I was before February 23rd died with her Daddy. That Ali was naive and so blissfully ignorant of true devastation and pain. This new me, well, I know now how truly dark life can be.
This new me has a hole in my heart and it is huge. It’s this giant, gaping, empty hole and my subconscious spends all of its waking moments dancing on the the edges of that hole. Sometimes I fall in and those are the times I cry so hard I feel like my heart is being ripped out and I don’t think I can ever be anyone besides That Girl Whose Daddy Died Far Too Young, Far Too Suddenly, While She Was On The Other Side Of The Country. Otherwise known as The Girl Who Lost The Person Who Loved Her Best. Or, The Girl Who Lost Her Only Parent That Cared.
The good news is that I don’t live in the big, dark hole… anymore. I’m giving myself permission to fall in, on occasion, and therapy is helping me remember how to even WANT to come out.
(Side Note: I’ve spent days, weeks, months even, hiding inside of that hole and refusing to come out. There’s something about the pain that becomes comforting after awhile. In a way, the pain becomes a symbol of how much you loved that person and how deeply you grieve them. And it’s very hard, sometimes, to let it go.)
My therapist says I’m one of the lucky few who have enough self awareness to recognize these things, and it’s up to me to choose what to do with this new awareness.
For what it’s worth, I haven’t chosen yet. Right now I’m marveling at what it feels like to feel again. It’s overwhelming and disorienting, but the old me loved life so much,… to feel strongly about things again, in a way it feels like coming home.
And hopefully as a result my next few posts about life and activities won’t feel quite so forced.