Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blogging to work through grief and depression

Well it happened. Dad died. Two months ago.

Dad had been sick for a long time - over 2 and a half years, but he still died 'suddenly', of a heart attack one night. I always thought I would be there with him when he died, so to receive the phone call in the middle of the night, that dad had passed away, was beyond a shock. I felt like I was living in a surreal dream-world where everything moved slowly and sights and sounds were brighter and louder. I just haven't woken up from the dream yet.

Maybe I went back to work too soon? I helped arrange the funeral and went back to work a few days later. I took off the day of the funeral and ended up needing the next 2 days off too. It took way more out of me than I'd anticipated, and still the dream continues.

Six weeks later, and I've been working every day except for the odd day I've had to go home early (crying too much to work) and once I took a day off after having nightmares about my dad all night. I just don't feel like I'm getting any 'better'.

The overwhelming urge is to go away, just to pack a bag, leave the house and drive off into the sunset with my dogs. That isn't a practical solution, even at the best of times, let alone when you are so stuck you can't even figure out how to dress in the morning. I need a change though. SOMETHING has to change. I feel like I'm going through the motions of life - get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, walk the dogs, have dinner, go to bed... without being present for any of it.

So how to make a change? I'm due to go on holiday in a month but that feels like a lifetime away. And I don't see how 2 weeks in a foreign land is supposed to shake this feeling anyway?!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Alone in the City

So to catchup. My partner and I separated over the Christmas break. I've spent the last few weeks just getting accustomed to the idea. I am turning 40 this year, and am single for the first time in 15 years.

For full openness, we have separated but are still dating, and have decided and to see other people. As my sibling puts it, we are polyamorous! That implies we are already seeing other people, but the possibility is certainly open to us. The future is both terrifying and exciting.

Tonight was possibly my first true experience of being a single person, out alone in the city. I met a friend for dinner, and she dropped me at the train to get home. Of course my train terminated in town and I had a thirty minute wait for the connecting train... with the festival bars on the train station doorstep.

I was gagging for a cigarette so I headed over to the bars to look for a chat (and to bum a fag). It took ages to even find another smoker - two women who were happy to give me a cigarette but who immediately turned back to their private conversation. I thanked them and moved on.

So of course I smoked the cigarette on my own and went back to the train. The thing is,  I really felt like I was trying to spark up a conversation with anyone. I was making eye contact, smiling, probably looking awkward. What else does someone do?

I don't even remember HOW to meet strangers. Were we ever taught this stuff in school? Or are we expected to remain friends with the handful of people we meet in school and never meet anyone else?

The thing is, I'm trying to quit smoking - I even chewed off 6 of 10 fingernails tonight trying NOT to smoke, and yet, it was the only reason I could think of to approach a stranger. How do people DO this?!

Going forward, I think this will be my version of the SATC blog... except my version is Alone In The City. I am OK being alone in general, but I still like to chat every now and again... so...

What are YOUR methods for approaching strangers in a crowd?