Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

Scales of Happiness: Haunted by my mother’s death (not her ghost, this isn’t the SciFi network)

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

I bet I’ll be getting lots of hits for mentioning the Sci Fi Network in my title.

The 9 or so months leading up to my mother’s passing were characterized, at least on my part, by manic-depressive-like mood swings. I’m by no means bi-polar (not that it’s anything to be ashamed of), but this sudden swing between extreme moods left me confused and, for the most part, unhappy.

On a general scale of 1-10, where 10 was unachievable happiness in the face of the events surrounding my life, during those 9 months or so I would have given myself an average happiness grade of 5, where some days were 2 and others could even be an 8. My last 8 was probably when my niece was born, several days after my mother’s second brain surgery for tumor #2, and just days before tumor #3, The Paralyzer.

7s were usually my dance classes, where for some inexplicable reason I was able to temporarily forget the outside world, and random occurrences such as my friend Shanainai coming to visit from Houston or a friend’s birthday party. My dance class 7s, however, only lasted until the December’s Turn for the Worse when my mother was given weeks to live. Until about a week ago, I hadn’t seen anything above a 6, and that’s really pushing it.

Putting aside virtual friends, those who I have yet to meet face to face, I have made many great friends during these past 10 months. I’m not entirely sure how, considering the fact that I have not been myself in almost a year – 2 years if you count the entirety of my mother’s illness.

Nonetheless, these new friendships that I have forged have lead me to believe that, while I have not felt like my old pre-mother’s-cancer self for almost a year now, it seems that there have been flashes of my actual personality, though I have been completely incapable of seeing them.

About half a year ago, while talking to my friend The Pirouette, I lamented the disappearance of my personality. She said, “THIS is who you are right now. It may not be you want to be, but it is you and your personality.” I love The Pirouette dearly, but what she said only angered and saddened me more.

I didn’t want to be this depressed person. I didn’t want to be unpredictable as far as mood is concerned. I didn’t want to be this needy person who could randomly cry at the drop of a hat.

But, unfortunately, that’s who I was.

My hope was that when it all ended and my mother died, things would be back to “normal,” not that I remember what that’s like at this point. I didn’t expect to be back to my carefree self of 2006; I’m not naive enough to think the last two years haven’t had a huge impact on me.

However, I did naively expect the mood swings to stop. I saw my sadness as a bell curve, where the top of the bell curve was the worst, that is my mother’s death, with the sadness slowly decreasing until maintaining a certain stability. Instead, I should have known/thought/assumed/(insert other verb here) that it would be a lot more wavy. At least, that is what I am now finding out.

I was hoping that my mother’s death would be the beginning of healing, but it doesn’t quite feel that way. A few days ago I mentioned that I had an amazing week that basically made me temporarily forget everything, but that isn’t realistic.

Reality is, my mother died 6 weeks ago, and I guess the sadness will always come in waves, just instead of tsunamis, they will eventually subside to small tidal waves.

For now, on average, I’m at a 6.5, with definite peaks at 8, and not just my dance classes (which I just returned to).

 

I bet I’ll be getting lots of hits for mentioning the Sci Fi Network in my title.

The 9 or so months leading up to my mother’s passing were characterized, at least on my part, by manic-depressive-like mood swings. I’m by no means bi-polar (not that it’s anything to be ashamed of), but this sudden swing between extreme moods left me confused and, for the most part, unhappy.

On a general scale of 1-10, where 10 was unachievable happiness in the face of the events surrounding my life, during those 9 months or so I would have given myself an average happiness grade of 5, where some days were 2 and others could even be an 8. My last 8 was probably when my niece was born, several days after my mother’s second brain surgery for tumor #2, and just days before tumor #3, The Paralyzer.

7s were usually my dance classes, where for some inexplicable reason I was able to temporarily forget the outside world, and random occurrences such as my friend Shanainai coming to visit from Houston or a friend’s birthday party. My dance class 7s, however, only lasted until the December’s Turn for the Worse when my mother was given weeks to live. Until about a week ago, I hadn’t seen anything above a 6, and that’s really pushing it.

Putting aside virtual friends, those who I have yet to meet face to face, I have made many great friends during these past 10 months. I’m not entirely sure how, considering the fact that I have not been myself in almost a year – 2 years if you count the entirety of my mother’s illness.

Nonetheless, these new friendships that I have forged have lead me to believe that, while I have not felt like my old pre-mother’s-cancer self for almost a year now, it seems that there have been flashes of my actual personality, though I have been completely incapable of seeing them.

About half a year ago, while talking to my friend The Pirouette, I lamented the disappearance of my personality. She said, “THIS is who you are right now. It may not be you want to be, but it is you and your personality.” I love The Pirouette dearly, but what she said only angered and saddened me more.

I didn’t want to be this depressed person. I didn’t want to be unpredictable as far as mood is concerned. I didn’t want to be this needy person who could randomly cry at the drop of a hat.

But, unfortunately, that’s who I was.

My hope was that when it all ended and my mother died, things would be back to “normal,” not that I remember what that’s like at this point. I didn’t expect to be back to my carefree self of 2006; I’m not naive enough to think the last two years haven’t had a huge impact on me.

However, I did naively expect the mood swings to stop. I saw my sadness as a bell curve, where the top of the bell curve was the worst, that is my mother’s death, with the sadness slowly decreasing until maintaining a certain stability. Instead, I should have known/thought/assumed/(insert other verb here) that it would be a lot more wavy. At least, that is what I am now finding out.

I was hoping that my mother’s death would be the beginning of healing, but it doesn’t quite feel that way. A few days ago I mentioned that I had an amazing week that basically made me temporarily forget everything, but that isn’t realistic.

Reality is, my mother died 6 weeks ago, and I guess the sadness will always come in waves, just instead of tsunamis, they will eventually subside to small tidal waves.

For now, on average, I’m at a 6.5, with definite peaks at 8, and not just my dance classes (which I just returned to).

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches