The past few weeks have unearthed new layers of sadness and anxiety. It doesn't help that work has been manic. Or that we've had so many additional life stressors thrown our way these last 9+ months. But I haven't slept through the night in weeks. I wake up in the middle of the night to cry, or worry. Sometimes I eventually fall back to sleep. Sometimes I'm done with sleeping for the night. Not surprisingly, I'm exhausted.
I still carry so much sadness, anger, disappointment...and yet most people don't seem to recognize it or ask about it anymore. Everyone comments on how much weight I've lost or how well I look. As if looking good were the same as feeling good. It's true I've lost weight - because ever since my baby died I've barely had an appetite. Its gotten better, I now eat healthily, but I still don't eat much. I also have lost my sweet tooth (except for ice cream!) since losing Ezra. Its really fine, I was above a healthy weight before. But how I look has nothing to do with how I feel.
Ezra feels so far away now. A few weeks ago we picked out the bronze plaque we will have placed on his grave around the 1 year anniversary of his death. I'm happy with what we picked out...though still find it surreal that this is all we can do for our son.
Although we're only a little beyond 9 months, I worry about hitting the 1 year mark. Other than my babylost friends and a few amazing others, almost no one seems to remember Ezra anymore. Almost no one asks how I am feeling and truly sticks around to hear the answer. Almost no one speaks my little boy's name. Will anyone remember Ezra's birthday?
I've been thinking lately that perhaps no one really asks anymore because they read this blog so they think they know how I'm feeling. I wonder if this blog has created a false sense of intimacy so that people are under the impression I've already told them how I feel. But with rare exceptions, it's only my babylost friends who comment on this blog, so I never know who in my day-to-day life is reading. Sometimes friends IRL will mention they read my blog, and it sometimes takes me by surprise because its no longer clear to me if anyone is reading. In the meantime, there's a distance that's grown into so many of my friendships, a chasm that may never again be bridged since there's no way to go back an re-live the past 9 months a different way.
If it sounds like I'm sad and bitter, I am. Many of those middle-of-the-night tears have been shed out of sadness and disappointment at relationships lost or changed immutably. These past 9 months have been the most isolating and alienating of my life.
Because I guess what no one sees because I look so good, is that to the extent possible, I now avoid social situations all together. Formerly an outgoing sociable person, I now experience such acute social anxiety at the most casual of gatherings big or small, that I prefer to just stay home. Not that we really get invited anywhere anymore anyway. My evenings and weekends consist of quiet time to myself and with David. And at this point, that's just how I like it.
Its not that I want every conversation to be about my dead baby. With those few amazing friends who have stuck by me through this entire journey, I talk about plenty of other things. I just don't want the conversation to stop the minute I say his name. Better yet, I wish someone else would say his name. I don't want the topic changed the minute I admit I'm feeling sad or anxious. Or an immediate query about whether I'm still in counseling (of course I am).
Its amazing to me how poorly people deal with the dark emotions. These days they intermingle with the light ones. I can be happy/sad. I can be calm/anxious. I'm not sure I ever envision it being any different. And no that doesn't make me clinically depressed. Every happy moment is a happy moment I have without my son. Every adventure is an adventure he's missed. And every beautiful day...he. is. still. gone.
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