I recently sat down and generated a list of 30 words that could be used to describe grief. Obviously this list relates to my experience with grief, so I am interested to see if anyone else can relate with some of these words. I plan on doing a series of postings that will not only define these words, but expand on why I thought they would be good descriptors.
The second word I chose was:
Scary: Defined as causing alarm, fear, frightening.
I am not sure about everyone else reading this posting, but grief scared the hell out of me. I experienced things I had never experienced in my 38 years. After the death of my second child, I started experiencing episodes of depression, anxiety attacks, fear, thoughts of dyeing, uncontrollable tears and physically weeping (almost like convulsing) that didn’t produce tears. I also lost many things such as confidence, ability to focus, appetite and my fear of dying. I could go on and on about what I “gained and lost” as part of who I am. My point is that all of these “things” were scary to me because I couldn’t control them. I like being in control, especially when it comes to being able to control myself and my responses to my surroundings.
It took me a while, but I started to regain control, but it required me to do a lot of other scary things in order to start down the path of recapturing the out of control me. I started to go to a counselor, which was very scary to me since I had always thought that counselors were for people who were “crazy”. It was scary for me to admit that I had situational depression as a result my children dying. I had always thought depression as for weak people and I knew I wasn’t weak. Of course now I have a much better understanding of the counseling “stigma” and depression, but for a while, I felt like I was a failure because I didn’t have it under control and that was scary to me.
I could also see the physical impacts that grief was having on me. Because I wasn’t able to eat without gagging or throwing up, I watched myself lose a lot of weight, quickly. When I would look in the mirror, I could see someone, but it didn’t look like me, it looked like someone who was slowly dying. I could actually feel myself dying on the inside and that also scared me.
How about you, what have you found to be scary in your grief journey?