Now that I am approaching the four month anniversary of my husband’s death, things are different than the first month. Often I can push back the waives of sadness for a little while, never indefinitely, and the waves that hit tend to hit longer and harder, but for a bit there are real ways that I can distract myself and hold tears at bay. I would not say that things are easier, but only that I have had more practice mourning.
Generally, I don’t want to numb the pain or be distracted. I want to dive right into the middle of this,find the truth and see the spiritual. It is why my favorite book during this time as been Through the Eyes of the Lion by Levi Lusko. He did the same when his five year old daughter died.
I do understand those that want to numb the pain all the time, or at least for a little while. To seek the truth you must first have faith that the Truth will be something more powerful than the pain you feel and that is a tall order.
Even with the desire to dive into the pain, read every book, think every thought, there are times that I just need to numb the pain. I need a break. Grief is EXHAUSTING! Recreation and restoration and relief are needed. Plus, bills have to be paid, work done, and rooms cleaned.
But there is a big difference between taking a break with temporary relief and anything that becomes and addiction. One can be positive and restorative and the other can be completely destructive.
Alcohol and drugs have never been my vice, though I understand why it so easily could be. I just can’t ever forget how dried out I will feel in the morning with alcohol and I’m a rule follower to the extreme so drugs just aren’t my vice.
Food has never been my thing, before now. I’ve never actually wanted to eat a gallon of ice cream. However, recently Oreos and milk have become a major part of my evening. But I have a few, smile, appreciate life, and am satisfied.
Exercise has never been my vice either, though I know it can be as addicting as any other. I know people think it’s a better addiction than others, but really, addiction is addiction. It’s not better than any other. I currently am in love with running. I wouldn’t be doing nearly so well if I wasn’t training for a half-marathon. However, it isn’t my addiction. I get a high, but I don’t have to do it, it doesn’t distract from my focus, my life, my friends, or my child.
ON THE OTHER HAND, my real numbing go-to is currently Candy Crush and it has pure controlling addictive powers over me. If I could control it, like alcohol, where every now and then I decide that I’m going to go have a drink, relax and laugh, and appreciate fine conversation, it would be fine. But instead, once I start playing, I do not quit. Suddenly, it’s late, really late, I’ve ignored Zoya while she fell asleep, I’ve skipped bedtime prayers and reading, and I missed so much sleep that I’ll feel bad all day the next day. I think about it while I’m sleeping. I sneak away to play games during the day. I tell Ariel I’m paying bills when I’m really playing
Once or twice I’ve used it “appropriately,” I’m in a happy place, God is good, I feel the tears coming and I want a break for a night. I’ve played two games and then put it away.
But that is RARE. It is an addiction for me, and it is as “bad” as any other. It has all of the same controlling affects as any addiction. It steals my life, the same as any addiction. It takes from others, the same as any other addiction. I’m not being all self-righteous here. I really think we don’t properly recognize the danger in all addictions. Just think of the generation of young men who fail to live their lives and accomplish anything because of a gaming addiction, and end up in their parent’s basement.
I think I need to accept the fact that Candy Crush just isn’t for me and find other ways to hold tears at bay.
So for my list of good ways to pause the tears for today:
- Savoring iced mint tea
- Dancing while I clean my office and listen to Hamilton – I know I’m not the only one who dances in the office
- Watching the Office
- Staring at this photo and smiling