Sometimes I can predict where it's going to pop up- kid's clothing department, restaurants, hospitals, anniversaries, late at night. But lately, I am surpised where my anxiety shows up or how intense it is. Family gatherings and parties are a nightmare. Before Ellie died, I loved this kind of stuff but now, all I know is that Ellie isn't there and Max doesn't like being there. The larger the group of people- the worse it is. Anxiety starts building days before. The anticipation is the worst part.
I've been try to pinpoint why I feel like this- why this part isn't getting any better. And I think it's because I feel like I don't fit in now. I am a different person than I was before Ellie died. My views are different and my focus has shifted. It's harder for me to pay attention to and follow conversations- my mind wanders. My attention span is shorter and my multi-tasking abilities have all but disappeared. I imagine that this is similar to what Max feels like when he is these sort of situations.
It's hard to sit through a meal with people talking about their every day life and all the great things going on in their lives. It's not that I'm not happy for them, I just don't have the energy for small talk. I just want to be at home. Most people understand this and don't push. Others don't. Other compare my grief to losing their sibling or parent. These are not the same things. They are losses and represent pain but they are not the same.
After returning home from Ellie's funeral, I didn't want to walk through the door. I didn't want to come in and start our lives over without her. But now, I prefer to be here. I prefer to be where she was, where her things are. Where people understand. And where it's ok to act how I feel. Going out into the world means acting like society wants me to act. Which a lot of times, means pretending everything is ok. Slowly the anxiety is getting less but it definitely still there. And it's changed. It's more like a surprise attack. My energy for dealing with it, for just staring it down, for just facing is dwindling. Now it just want to avoid it.
Remembering March 14th, 2010
Around this time Max was very excited to share all the animal noises he knew with anyone that was interested. Actually it didn't matter if you were interested or not- he would still tell you. While watching him "GOBBLE GOBBLE" like a turkey was pretty cute, the best was the kitty. For weeks, every time he said "meow" he would close his eyes like this. Too cute.
Funny Peanut Faces:
Ellie looks so tiny in the big double stroller.