Missing my Dysfunctional Self (#17)

I’ve made a commitment to share my fears in hopes that there is some thin veil of a lesson.  How easy it is when I share from retrospect.  It’s censored.  It’s safe.  However, I’m not a fan of safe.  How can I grow if I stay with what is comforting rather than what challenges me?  Oh, yah, I can’t.  So, here I am sharing my thoughts and experiences as I face my greatest fear, the death of my mother, my best friend and most certainly, a soulmate. 

Although the death is excruciatingly painful, it pales to the ache of the actual loss.  Many weird thoughts have sprung to mind over the last several weeks.  I liken it to a pin ball game, hard to keep track with the ball bouncing to and fro at rapid speeds.  What I have noticed with such crystal clarity is despite my erratic emotional state, which I’m told is normal for the grief process, I have not been falling apart.  I continue to maintain the core of who I am.

Don’t get me wrong, I collapsed in my tears; I shook my fists and stomped my feet in fervent child-like tantrums.  I’ve never felt this type of anguish on any type of level before.  And, it pisses me off!  Despite all the emotional heave-ho, I can’t help noticing that I am still whole and not in pieces. 

This solidarity is not effortless.  It seems that my passionate responses have disabled my healthy habits.  Most certainly, they are no longer on autopilot.  It’s been up to me to make the conscious decision that I will wake up and shower.  I will finish the arrangements; make the appropriate phone calls, and all the other, nondescript duties that are needed at a loved one’s death.

Recently, I have had to compose new conscious choices: to not wallow in my sadness, to write my thoughts, and most difficult of all, to keep myself from crawling back under the covers.  When I feel the crushing mass of my sorrow, I meditate rather than crumple under the weight of my depression.  It’s tough to find the energy to make these choices.  However, I cannot go back to my dysfunctional self.  It no longer fits comfortably. 

I’m embarrassed for all the other times that I’ve fallen apart prior to this.  I have a history.  Only now, though, do I actually have an excuse to break down into a jumbled hysterical mess and I am no longer able to.  No one tells you that once you account for your dysfunctional self, there’s no returning to that state of ignorance.  The tool that cloaks unhealthy habits, denial will be stripped forever. 

Don’t get me wrong, nothing is stopping a person from returning, per say but the dysfunction will not bring the same level of comfort as it once did.  It will ceaselessly nag at you.  Why?  Because once you taste healthy, you know that it exists.  That it is real and not a pipe dream.  What you realize is that the dysfunction is the dream, or more accurately, the self-created nightmare.  You can’t shake off this type of knowledge so readily.

Truth be told, there’s a part of me that misses my dysfunctional self.  Sometimes, I wish that I wasn’t so strong; that I could hurl myself into the abyss of my loss, but like I said, I simply can’t. 

I guess a piece of me died along with my mother.  At first, I thought it was an innocence, but that’s not quite right.  And, it’s not the dysfunction, itself or it wouldn’t be so gosh darn hard to make healthy choices.  Taking a second look, it appears to be more of an ignorance that died.

The problem that I’m encountering is that I knew what to expect with my dysfunction.  Remember, healthy is all new ground for me so I have no idea what lies ahead and that’s pretty scary.  But then, a reality of who I am hits me; I am not partial to safe. 

“Standing upon this precipice, I peer into the horizon, into the unknown.  My wizened soul glimpses something new, something unclear before.  When the expanse is not fixed, it lays open before you, limitless.”- Jacqui Wood