Each Day Brings New Opportunity With Old Memories
Things are intense these days. Each day feels like it will never end and yet the weeks seem to fly by. I have been contemplating things with my own mental health lately and to be frank, I am in a place that I never believed that I would be. I knew when I lost Adeline that it would be hard. I knew that it would take every bit of power that I had within me to continue on, but what I did not know was how it was going to feel when I didn't feel like I could carry on, when I didn't feel like I could hang on to life and when I felt like life was going to roll me over.
(Six years ago my little angel was starting preschool. Her favorite song was Jolene and she loved making sand angels (like snow angels but in the sand). She loved eating apple sauce and loved reading Bambi. She loved listening to Taylor Swift and watching Angelina Ballerina. This was our life. I am so thankful that I got to be home with her and spend so much of her life with her.)
There are some things that I feel very strong about and feel as though I can do....that I can accomplish them, but then there are other days when I feel the weight of the world and can barely hold on. I went back to work weeks after losing my girl. I thought that getting out of the house would be good for me. I work in an environment where it is calm, tranquil, and peaceful and I thought that this would bring me something....but it is not serving me in the way that I believed that it would. I feel so bad that I cannot be the me that I was before, that I cannot work full time, that I can barely work a couple of shifts for a few hours each week. However, this is where I am. I am learning to be graceful with myself and am learning to meet myself in the middle. I am trying to stick to the new schedule which is basically just 2 1/2 days each week, but I won't lie...even that feels unbearable and like the weight of the world is on me.
Work is not the problem. It is my mental health. To hold it together while I have clients coming in an out of the workplace is overwhelming. To hold it together when people talk about their children is unbearable. It's not that I do not want to celebrate the lives of other people's children....it is just that it is so hard since my own baby girl is not here with me. Having the mental strength to turn off the sorrow and sadness, to work through the pain is something that overwhelms me and exhausts me. I feel so depleted after I leave work and I am not working that long. I am so exhausted that I need naps and need to lay down after only a few hours of relaxing. It is so hard for me to manage this. I feel as though I am constantly failing and this makes life feel so hard for me. So, here I am contemplating working and not working...trying to figure out how we will be able to actually continue to have a great life if I do not work, especially with the student loan debt that I have from my Master's program that is still not completed.
School is another huge issue. Doing the yoga training is natural to me. It is time consuming and I need to put way more in than I have been, but I knew that would be the case when the kids went back to school. However, finishing my Master's feels like an impossible task and I don't know why. I don't even understand why I can't focus or why I can't seem to get my life together at this point. I think that part of it is knowing how. proud of me that Adeline was when I was going to school...knowing that I can't graduate now, that I can't walk down that isle because my little girl will not be there cheering for me. I just don't want to have these big life moments without her. I think that this is what is pushing my procrastination and making me feel as though I can't do this...it is all of the little things that are associated with school and my education, the process of not being able to be with my girl through these moments. I can't fathom having big life moments without her and each time that we have one, it feels like my soul is being ripped from my body all over again.
I want to be happy and excited for the other kids. I want to be able to celebrate when they accomplish things and be happy for them...but each accomplishment brings with it the reminder that Adeline will never be able to have that accomplishment, that her entire life was taken from her and from us way too soon. I hear Althea make comments when we see things about sisters, about how she knows that she had a sister but that she doesn't any longer. I talk to her about how Adeline is with her and how she can use Adeline to inspire her. For dance, I got her a small band that is stamped with WWAD...what would Adeline do? The main reason for this is that Adeline was fearless, she got out there and gave it her all when she did anything. Looking back now, I think that she knew that her life would be shorter than ours and that she wanted to live every moment as though it was her last. She truly did this. Althea used to have a lot of nerves going into things like auditions, she would mess up because of being nervous, and then would have a lot of feelings afterwards because she was upset with herself for not doing her best. We have since talked about Adeline always gave everything her all and this little ring in a reminder to her that if Adeline was here she would be giving it her all.
(Three years ago we were promising the kids that they'd go see Phish the next summer with us...but the pandemic took that opportunity away from us. However, we did do many dinner and a movie with her while she got to watch Phish live on the TV. Three years ago I could have never imagined that we would just be returning to see Phish live and that it would be without our littlest love....that we would be making a trip to California as a family with two less kids to do the one thing that we had planned on doing with all four of them. Life has a funny way of changing and making you doubt everything you thought that you knew, of changing plans and the best intentions into something different that you might not have been aware it could be. For this, I will simply state that life happens but I will always cherish these beautiful moments and these amazing memories of life with my littlest love.)
So, here I sit contemplating life. Contemplating why and how I will continue. I am over living in this constant mental torment and that is what losing a child is...constant mental torment. I called for a mental health appointment as a new patient with a psychiatrist. I was expecting to have to wait a long time. I am going to the appointment in less than two weeks, less than two weeks from the day that I called because I explained how I felt, what was going on with me, and how I needed help while sobbing to the receptionist who promised to call if an appointment will open sooner. I am sad that my life is so overwhelming, that my brain won't shut off, that I can't sleep, and that I am all types of mess to the point that the psychiatrist office knew it enough to get me in quickly. This has become my life. I once thrived, did well, had interests and passions, and everything in life feels so unimportant now that Adeline is gone. I am not suicidal. I am not depressed. I am sad. I am angry. I am confused. I am overwhelmed. I have tried some medications but nothing helps with the fact that I do not sleep, that I get up each morning feeling tired and almost hungover, that I live each day in a fog where I don't feel like I am really living but instead feel as though I am a marionette being pulled by strings, and I am scared...scared to have to live life without my littlest love, scared of what I will forget, what I will remember, scared of never seeing her again or never being able to hold her little hand in mine, scared the I can't see her grow up or that she won't recognize me when I get to Heaven. I can't do things that I normally would have done with ease. I can't cut my hair because then I won't have the hair that she last ran her fingers through the morning of the fire. I realize that at one point my hair is going to look awful, but I will never again be able to cut it. I can't change my make up or try new things like I always used to enjoy doing, I want everything as plain as possible, the same products, etc so that I feel as close to the same as I did before the fire.
There are so many things that feel debilitating, life feels so big sometimes. Today I saw the picture from her very first day of preschool. Man, how I wish that I could turn back the clocks to those years...to have that life again where I got to spend all of my extra time with my amazing little girl. I would have certainly done things differently if I had known or had an inkling for even one second that my little girl would not have come down those stairs in that fire. I would have NEVER left her to run ahead. I would have made different choices. I hate that this is my life now, that I can't be the same happy go lucky mom that I was before. I hate that I have to live in this eternal pain forever and always and that it is never going to end. I feel terrible and one day soon I hope that life can change and that I might just be able to be successful at something, because for now success feels like an offbeat path that is impossible to navigate. I know that I have to be gentle with myself that it has not been a year yet, but I also know that I want to be able to be happy...to have the life that I dreamed of and to have the life that I used to live. In a world where so few things feel right, there is a daily struggle to feel the things that I used to and to have the life that I always dreamed of. The problem is that none of those dreams can ever come true as Adeline is not here with us. She was a part of every single dream and hope that I had for my future. Now, it all feels wrong..
I know that I have been rambling and if you have stayed with me this long, thank you. The struggles are real and happen each and every day. The things that I am dealing with related to the PTSD are intense and make me feel so overwhelmed, so out of sorts and out of place in the world around me, etc. I am hopeful that I will find the right doctor who will work with me to get me to a mental place where I can feel better. For now, my writing is what helps me the most and being persistent in my efforts to do better is what keeps me going. I don't want to be on a pill that will make me feel worse or make me not feel. It is okay that I am sad. It is okay that I feel the way that I do because those big feelings are a part of my grief and the loss of a little girl who meant the world to me. Without those big feelings her life would not have the same meaning as it does now.
Now for a moment to say a little something to Adeline. Adeline, mommy imagines you reading these blog posts. She thinks of what you would have been doing every day, how you would be living and thriving, and tries so hard to live life to the fullest as I am sure that you would have.On the days when the weight of sorrow feels the deepest and the hardest to control...I cling to the memories that we shared. I cling to the videos that I still have and I look at pictures of your beautiful smile. I think of what a beautiful soul that you are and how you would have done everything in your power to comfort mommy when I was having a bad day. Perhaps not having that comfort is what hits me the hardest and hurts me the most.