Call it winter blues, a sump, depression or whatever else describes feeling like I’ve been feeling. The last couple of months have been a struggle for me. I know deep down it is all part of the “new me” that was created as part of losing Katie and Noah, but I still don’t like it.
I am nowhere near as deep in this shit storm as I was for years after their death, but it still impacts how I live my life. The last six months I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride that consists of the old me highs to the new me lows and can’t seem to find a place in the middle that creates a level of peace. I feel like I am constantly searching for that one thing that will bring me happiness but I can’t seem to find it and when I do, it doesn’t last.
I have always been an idea guy and get very excited when I come up with ideas that no one else has thought of and turn it into something. It ranges from inventions, business models or public service initiatives. I have had a lot of them over the last year but I can’t seem to hold on to any one of them long enough to follow through with it.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to “perform” and lately all I’ve been doing is going to work, coming home and sitting in front of the television or reading a book. I know its ok to recharge and have some down time, but I can’t seem to allow myself to do it.
There have been a lot of changes in my mental health, personality, view of the world since the loss of Katie and Noah. Some are good, some not so much. I would say the two negatives are the emotional roller coaster rides and my inability to focus for long periods of time. Before their deaths I was always full speed ahead and very focused on whatever it was I was trying to conquer at the time.
I know I’ve accomplished a lot over the last couple of years with publishing my book, this blog and starting the Parental Bereavement Act of 2013. I did these things to honor Katie and Noah as well as to help others through the aftermath. I didn’t do them for monetary gain, I had a different motive, to do something that Katie and Noah would have been proud of their dad for doing.
The following is a snippet from the “My Story” section of my blog when I started Grieving Dads back in 2009. I haven’t felt that way in a while and need to find a way to get back to that mindset:
“I look and feel different now. The stress of their deaths has sprinkled some gray into my hair and lines on my face. It has taken a part of me that I know I will never get back. My definition of success has changed. I no longer feel like I am rushing around all of the time trying to prove myself to the world. I am no longer the go-to guy at work. I do my job, but I don’t do it as if I want to run the company someday. I could easily be persuaded to run off to a simpler way of life. I know Katie and Noah would want me to make a positive impact on other’s lives, which this project has allowed me to do. The idea of helping others helps me. Material things do not hold much meaning to me anymore. Spending time with my wife and my dog Buddy is much more satisfying than working long hours to acquire material items that do not provide happiness. I now know that it’s okay to show emotions and that it’s not a sign of weakness. I prefer a quiet and peaceful life. To be quite honest, I am fairly confident that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t maintain the same pace as before the losses, but I now know that’s okay.”
Seems as if I’ve lost the “I now know that’s okay” mindset and I trying to get it back.
How about you? What kind of struggles have you’ve dealt with since the death of your child?