“I drag myself out of bed each morning and find there’s no relief in waking” ~~ Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
This is some writing that is long overdue (hence the backdating of the entry) but this miserable existence of a life has had me so busy I have had no time for anything other than school and work. Everyday I’ve wanted to sit down and write, to tell you what a struggle life is, how much the six month anniversary hurt, to get some of my thoughts out into words. But the reality of it is that these aren’t feelings that are going to go away. There is no pressing urgency to get the words typed out because there is no risk of them losing their significance. But here I am sitting, Zach, with fingers poised and ready to say all the things I have been waiting to say. Now I don’t know where to begin.
April 9th. Six months. Half a year.
It blows my mind.
It is indescribable that this much time has passed and how unfair it all still is. This is a repetitive thing to say but I just don’t believe it has been this long. I still expect you to come walking in the door, sweaty, dirty, and exhausted from fishing all day. I still expect my phone to ring saying you’re on your way home from work. I still walk into the house at the end of the day expecting to see you in your chair watching the Braves or some FSU football.
People keep asking me how, or if, anything has changed in regards to my grief. At first it truly irritated me because I felt like they were putting an expiration on grieving, like six months is more than enough to get yourself functioning better. I found it confusing why they would think anything would be getting better or easier in such a short period of time. But I have forced myself to come to the acceptance that they just want to know how I’m doing and by forcing myself to realize this I have realized something else. I guess I can recognize that some things have become fractionally easier over time. Because my endgoal of writing is to maybe one day help someone else on this torturous journey of grief where you feel like you have lost your mind and are the only one feeling this way I am going to try to put into words what those changes have been. But Zach, unfortunately with change comes the pro’s and con’s.
Pro: Eating has fractionally become better as a slight appetite has returned and food no longer tastes like dust making me nauseous. Con: this slight appetite only makes an appearance late at night after a full day of work and school. People seem to be so overjoyed to hear that I bought a few groceries, that I at least eat dinner. But Zach, the reality of it is that I hate cooking for just me. I want to make meals for us, not just for me. There is no joy in preparing a meal, no flavor in the food. Actually I’m fairly sure I should buy stocks in Campbells soup company since that seems to be my go-to meal.
Pro: Sleeping has become less of a struggle after six months of laying awake all night long or only sleeping about 45 minutes a night. Con: sleep is still infrequent, non-restful, and tortured. I still lay awake until the wee hours of the morning crying myself to sleep in our bed aching with loneliness for you. I still have terrible dreams that wake me up in the middle of the night crying wishing I felt your presence with me. Because I don’t want to get stuck in the habit of needing to take the sleeping pills the doctor gave me back in October I choose to stare at the ceiling willing sleep to come. My only hope of getting 4-5 hours of sleep is a result of going to the gym for two hours after being on campus from 8am-7pm at work/school and thoroughly exhausting myself so I can maybe fall asleep at some point.
Pro: driving has become less anxiety filled and I no longer have panic attacks while driving from one place to another. Con: I am still an insanely nervous driver and hate being behind the wheel. I’m still anxious the entire time and non-trusting of all other vehicles on the road. I still get incredibly skittish at the smallest thing. I know it doesn’t make sense. I wasn’t in the wreck. But I have always found it incredibly brave of people to be in a terrible wreck then get up and continue driving. I have always said if I ever (knock on wood) were in a bad car accident I would probably never drive again. With what happened to you and Rob I have truly struggled getting behind the wheel and wanting to be out on the road. But I have no choice. I no longer have you to split the driving with. If I want to go somewhere, I’m stuck. But it has forced me to get back in the car even if it took months of panic attacks and having to pull over to sob/freak out.
Pro: I am out of the house more and have so much going on to keep me busy during the day. Con: I spend all day rushing around and alternating between the three roles I play daily (student, office employee, teacher) that by day’s end I am emotionally and physically wore out. I have now become spread so thin between these three very different roles that I am overwhelmed and feeling the stress of it. Would I trade it to go back to sitting around? No. But nonetheless while it does keep me busy, it is totally draining. And while it does keep me busy during the day I still fall apart every single night as soon as I get home and my nights become focused on missing you.
Pro: I am somewhat accustomed to living in the house alone. Con: I AM SOMEWHAT ACCUSTOMED TO LIVING IN THE HOUSE ALONE. Yes, I know those are the exact same things. Zach, I hate the fact that I am getting used to being alone. I don’t want to get used to that. I want you to be in our house with me. I want to share the home we created with the man I love. I don’t want to get used to waking up alone, going to sleep alone, eating alone, cleaning it alone, paying the bills alone, doing house maintenance alone. I feel selfish but this isn’t what I signed up for. Every single day I still pull in the driveway and have to gather my thoughts in order to have the strength to face it alone. I still sob like a child every morning when I have to make coffee for one. I still mentally make a “Zach To Do” list for the repairs I need done then remember I have no one. I still tell people where “We” live when I give directions then want to curl in a ball and die. I’m still afraid every night, I’m still lonely every second. But I can’t deny the fact that I am somewhat getting used to living alone.
And then there is this last one which probably is the most significant one.
Pro: I find I am able to muster a few smiles during the day, force a few smiles, and actively participate in conversation somewhat better without my eyes glazing over and losing focus. Con: The “public me” has become so good at fooling other people to make it easier on them that I feel I am almost deceiving myself. Every smile is followed by an instant pang of guilt, every laugh is followed by an aching soul. It’s not real, Zach. I had someone tell me the other night, “Krista, its good to see you smiling” and it hit me how good I have become at fooling other people into thinking the horrible pain is not still there. Now when I do have those terrible days where I absolutely don’t have the strength to try and put my mask in place people don’t know what to do. They are shocked. Concerned something happened. I want to scream at them, “No nothing happened. Not today. But my life is hell and I hate every single fucking moment of it just today I’m showing it to you”. I think that is what makes it the worst of all. That people now seem surprised when I show the pain I feel. Do they really think this just goes away? Am I supposed to not miss you with every single moment of every single day?
Zach, there have been some changes in the last six months. I am not blind to that fact. But I question how much is real and how much is forcing myself to do it just to make other people feel better? I still feel in no way have I moved on or that I miss you less. I still in no way feel like life makes sense or that any of this is OK. Six months. God how I wish I could rewind six months and just be with you. Six months may have passed but it is still hell on earth and torture without you.