Friday, January 30, 2009

Living In A Fog

These last few days have been difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what is going on in my head. I really have felt like I am in a continuous fog. I felt this way at the beginning of last year after we buried Larson. Just trying to figure out what was going on. It has been a year now and it doesn't seem to be going away. I new I would not be the same, but I definitely thought some things would go back to how I was. I thought by now I would have clearer thoughts, I wouldn't be so overwhelmed and anxious. What I am realizing is my normal will never be what it was before. Although I feel like I am really fighting this. Back at the beginning of this blog I did a post on feeling like a puzzle...

I feel as though I have found many of the pieces to my puzzle although they just don't make sense as to where they go in the picture that still seems so fuzzy I believe I have also found some new pieces. I guess that I still have some of the old Corie. I look the same and many parts feel the same, but so much has changed.

I honestly feel like part of my brain has been fried/damaged/been taken out! Whatever you want to say. I know I was not in an accident of any kind, but I do feel like I have had trauma to my brain. I hope this post can sound even half-way clear, because quite frankly...I don't feel like I have any clear thoughts at all. I really don't even know how to explain what I am feeling.

Sometime things feel comfortable...other times they don't. Sometimes all I want is to be at home...other times I want to avoid home at all cost because its not the home I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong. I do have an amazing husband and 4 beautiful children. But things remind me of what was or could have been. I realize that it will never be that way, but my mind wonders. I've never felt so much intense spiritual battle. God has kept me and continues to...but I am still living in the flesh and tempted by so much.

Before we began this journey, I was an out-going person. I loved people...still do!...but I could handle crowds, somewhat to the point of controlled chaos. I loved having people to my house often, play dates, birthday parties, you name it! I would plan it and enjoy planning it. I could do this while also keeping up with my daily task as wife and mother of 4 children in which I had in 5 years. Yes this sounds so great...right? I really probably looked like I had it all together. Well I didn't and now it is even worse. Just know its more obvious. I think and look more like a scatterbrain. I have even been driving and forgotten where I was going. Yes I know..freaky!

Before all of this...I loved to cook. Now just going to the grocery store can be overwhelming. Too many choices and what if what I bought no longer sounds good when I get home? What if I forget an ingredient...which I usually do with even when I have a list? I feel like I go to the grocery store everyday.

Now..I'd rather not be in big groups. Having a bazillion children running around and tearing apart my house makes me crazy because all I think about is how much work it will be to get my house back in order. I never enjoyed cleaning and now it is just plain and simply overwhelming to me. I don't know where to start cleaning and therefore it seems like a never-ending task.

NOW...I like to be around people I am comfortable with and who are comfortable around me. The ones who don't feel like they have to fix me, analyze me and give me the perfect advice. The ones who don't freak out that I still cry at times and STILL want to talk about my son. I like the freedom to be around people who don't expect me to be the old Corie, but are embracing the new one. The ones who ask about how I am doing...AND MEAN IT and don't try to "cheer" me up.

And my kids....with 3 in school, there is so much homework that I don't even know where to begin. I used to be a 2nd grade teacher. I could handle this. I could get 24children in order, talk to parents and run my house and now I can't figure out homework for 3? Where has my mind gone? I can't get my 1st graders homework in on time. There is such a list of things to do and although it may be 4 feels like 30.

I find that instead of doing my laundry or cleaning or office work or whatever...I avoid it because I just get overwhelmed by it.

I'm sharing this to help my Friends and family understand me. I am sure you may be thinking...its been a year, what is up with her? Well I really am trying. Trying to return emails and phone call and texts. Trying to set up time with people, cook dinner and do my kids homework. And well...I fail everyday at this. It just seems like a lot of work.

As I write this I want to let you know it may sound like Im despaired, maybe depressed, maybe defeated...but I'm not. I am just being real. I am fightening this like you wouldn't believe. Not fightening alone thats for sure! Christ is right there is front of me. What an amazing Sheperd He is. This is battle and well...I'm staying in the battle. I am not giving up. I won't give up! This battle is what continually takes me to the Eternity. A great place to be forsure. The best place to be and therefore a reason to keep fighting this great battle.

For those readers who have gone through the loss of a child...I would love to hear if you struggled with this at all. If you did...did your brain come back? How did you function? I really am missing the go-getter Corie, but have also learned to embrace the God who is molding me into what He so desires. If you have no advice...I would seriously LOVE your prayers. I mean it.


kristy said...

Oh Corie, how this resonated with me. I too used to be so organized. Now even simple tasks more than overwhelm me...and the grocery store! Forget it! Ugh! My brain hasn't come back yet and I too wonder if it will. Maybe we can work on getting them back together! I love you girl! I so enjoyed talking with you the other night.



Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

I don't know your full story, but I have had a soft spot for you and your family since the day I did read your blog. I surely have no answers and wont try to cheer you up. I do read and try to understand you....because I am sure it is just as frustrating as you.

The first thing that came to mind is that you said "its been a year, whats wrong with her." Um.... hello... who puts a time limit on a loss of such kind. My aunt lost my cousin many years ago, and still to this day she will sit there and seem as though she is in a fog. She will cry out of no where and or just wake up sometimes and be depressed....other days she seems like the old aunt kay, laughing, life of the party...but never to the full like she use to be.

When I have talked with her..... she says that most of the days its a forced choice that she has to make for herself. To get up and go out and live and not walk around half dead and not give her other kids, grandkids (now) and husband the attention and love they deserve. They often felt like they weren't as loved as much as Angel who had died, because Angel consumed so much of her thoughts, emotions, time and energy.... it was sad to see. The stress has also aged my aunt a great deal. She and my mom are closest in age by 14 months or so, but my aunt looks many years older than my mom. A broken heart over a loss child is something that is a HUGE TRAUMA to the mind, heart and soul. I heart knowing that you have this experience and pain in your life. I am thankful you believe and have God to walk with you through this. hang on to that at all cost , it will be your saving grace.

Do you keep a journal? I know you are already busy with so much with homework, household stuff and so on and so on..... I have just learned that often writing out your feelings as they come, you can start to look back and see a pattern of yourself and that if you start to better know yourself the NEW you, it will maybe become less foggy. I don't know...its just a thought. But what ever you do.... don't ever feel that you have to stop hurting in any amount of time. There is no rule that you are not allowed to totally get rid of that pain....but I do pray that God helps in the healing and allows it to soften on you so that you can better enjoy your good days you and have more of them...and also better understand and accept the bad days you will always have and be able to embrace them with clear mind.

Praying for you

God Bless.

Joyce said...

I havent lost a child but grieved the loss of children - one particularly close to me which in no way equals your loss or grief right now.
When i read your post - i wondered have you ever heard of Flylady - im not sure of her management with grief but she has a website about managing chaos and it sounded like she may have some stategies to help not to get overwhlemed - not that you sound like you are in chaos :) but she has simple strategies like doing things 15 minutes at the time. Im not sure if its worth signing up for the numerous emails - I found that overwhelming - but just getting her simple strategies down could help with the little steps which make the bigger steps easier.

Just a thought along with hugs going your way

The Asquad said...

not sure how you found me, but it must be a God thing!!

Yes, this is so completely 'normal', the new normal!! it will get easier eventually. you may have read, i lost 2 boys in 5 years. it was so much easier the first time. not sure if it was because of being able to conceive and have another healthy baby soon after or not, but it is just not as easy this 2nd time around. i pray that you will continue to accept and learn from the new normal. Yes it is normal, just not the same normal, but the new normal.

so nice to 'meet' you, i'd love to walk this journey with and support you.

Carrie said...

I have not lost a child but have felt the same feelings the last 5 years as you are feeling. Ever since my youngest child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. I have days when I feel normal but then other days I don't. I also used to love to entertain now I avoid it at all cost. I am positive most days and I have faith that my son will live a long life. But still there are days when I just don't think that I deal well with it all. I just get tired and overwhelmed with ll there is to do...his treatments, meds, and three other kids as well. Just know that you are not alone. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child. One year is not long....especially with what you have had to deal with. It has been 5 years since my sons diagnosis and I still have my days.

Linda said...

Everything you write about is so familiar. Our timetable is a little different, and I am perhaps "further down the road," so I'll tell you what I've learned so far. First of all, it's been six years (1/1/2003) since I lost my oldest son, and my youngest son would have turned 5 on 5/3/2004. It was this Thanksgiving (2008) that I woke up to feel like I could actually enjoy Christmas again. I literally woke up one morning and felt ready to decorate and bake and try to make things as festive as they used to be. Now, that's not to say that I really accomplished all of these lofty goals, but something really had changed inside of me. I waited day after day for those old feelings to overtake me, and they just didn't. I did have some tear filled days in January, but even then it was different somehow. I knew that God had allowed me to be a survivor. The fog had just lifted off of me a bit.

I don't think I'll be a real happy-go-lucky person ever again, but that part doesn't concern me too much. I think I have grown deeper and am more caring than I used to be, and I thank God for those gifts. You already have those qualities, Corie, and I know you are an inspiration to many.

I do think you'll be able to collect your thoughts again and think clearer. My husband and I both talked often about how disconbobulated (sp?) we felt. We both wondered if we would ever remember things clearly and be able to think without a great deal of effort. It really did come back, but it was very gradual and it took a long time. I still have days when I have highly stressed, and the cloudiness and effort to think is a struggle. I have learned to write myself a million notes and reminders.

I too used to love to cook, and I prided myself on cooking largely from scratch. Not so anymore. I fix decent meals, but they are much quicker, and I use pre-package items more than not. Cooking a large dinner such as Thanksgiving has become difficult and taxes my thought process greatly.

I don't like large groups either, and that part still hasn't changed. The best part of my day is when everyone is in bed and the house is picked up, and I can just think (or not think) alone and quietly for a little while. Selfish? Maybe, but it is my sanity, and I need it very much.

I wish I could tell you how long it will take, but I think everyone is on a very personal journey when it comes to grief. My husband had the worst Christmas he has had to date this year, so while I was feeling pretty good about my milestone, he broke down several times in tears. I hate it when I cannot cheer him up. - sigh. Don't be hard on yourself, and keep doing the things you're doing. I'm proud of you for trying to reach out to other people and find normal again. You are doing great. If you ever want to talk with me directly, please feel free to e-mail or even call (I will give you my phone number if you request it.) rl shoemate @ (no spaces)

etrhodes said...

I just wanted to thank you for your post. Just reading what you wrote put words to my feelings. This last week I have felt overwhelmed, anxious and completely unproductive! I couldn't even bother with starting any tasks because the motivation wasn't there and just the thought would overwhelm me. I try to remember that this is just a season in my life. But I completely understand how daunting it is to wonder how long it will last. Praying you on today!

Shannon said...

Hi Corie. Not sure you'll even get this since this was a January post but I though I'd say "hi" and thank you for the telling of Larsons beautiful story.

This post both encourages me, and freaks me out at the same time. I've only been without Josie for almost four months now and definately feel this way. It's so weird. I like to call my new self Helga because I just don't get it/her. But I do like her, some of her....anyway, I too hate the fog. I don't know how to get used to it though if it's here to stay. Another thing on God's list to heal in me, or to at least help me to accept. I know I can't do it.

Thanks again for sharing. I am praying for you. XO