Since losing my son in October, I’ve often felt like I was losing my mind. There’s the things you’d expect; his lingering scent on a bandana sent me into a complete meltdown just yesterday. Seeing commercials for movies he was excited about cuts down to my soul. I spent Mother’s Day in bed crying and his birthday at the cemetery.
What’s unexpected is the little triggers. A shoe on the roadside reminds he that was wearing new shoes when he died. I spent months hung up and obsessed with shoes. Police and ambulance lights never fail to bring on a panic attack. I have an ashtray hidden in a drawer in my house that still has his cigarettes butts in it. The thought has crossed my mind that his DNA is on them and I need to keep them.
So yeah, maybe I am crazy. A suicidal night in the psych ward certainly made me feel that way.
But I’m coming to realize that I’m not crazy. I’m deeply mired in depression. And it’s normal and natural. And anyone who doesn’t understand and can’t bring themselves to be supportive can suck it.
I know I’m going to catch some backlash for what I’m about to say but I also know that I’m strong enough to take it.
Your hangover and flat tire “bad day” is not even on the same plane of existence as my dead son’s birthday “bad day”. Not even close. A little compassion and understanding is what a friend is supposed to bring to the table. Sorry if I don’t feel like partying, or being around crowds, and especially not around alcohol. Alcohol has the funny tendency to make me suicidal. So I abstain from many things for my mental health and when I know that I’m too deeply depressed to do something, I don’t do it. These are decisions that I must make to keep myself plodding ahead every day.
If that keeps me from being able to maintain important, long term friendships, so be it. I still have one son, the most important person in all the world, and I have to be strong and healthy for him. I have Tim and my dogs, my amazing mother and a tiny handful of friends who love and support me.
I might, hell I definitely, miss people but I’m choosing to be selfish because it’s the right thing for me. So maybe I’m not crazy after all.