Journey

Mental Health Day

No, it wasn't the ending that was caused my grief, it was the beginning that I mourned.

My first husband used the term often. I think it was actually in his benefit plan. He worked at the Board of Options and stress was part of the job. Sometimes, you just need to decompress, and when that time came he took a “Mental Health Day”.

I could feel the momentum building. Things got stuck to the point that I knew I needed to talk them through. I made the call Monday and I was able to get in to see my therapist yesterday. It was the first time in a couple of months. The crux of my grief was not the one year anniversary of the divorce. No, it wasn’t the ending that was caused my grief, it was the beginning that I mourned. Yesterday would have been my 15th wedding anniversary if I was still married.

This week, as part of this month that is filled with one anniversary after the next, is taking its toll on my mental health.  Just like my cousin, Kim,  told me Tuesday, Janet reiterated last night, acknowledging anniversaries is part of the grieving process. She told me it’s ok. I told Janet that writing through the anniversaries and also attending Al-Anon is exhausting me. I feel and fear I sound like an old lady saying “I am so tired” but Janet assured me that grieving is healthy and being tired from it is perfectly normal. Being authentic and living in your truth apparently expends a lot of energy? I felt better after we talked through the last couple of months; hernia repair, grounded from yoga and walks, Christmas Day, Al-Anon, Step 11, Improv, career changes, interviews, a maturing daughter, money worries, loneliness, and then all of the anniversaries. Phew,  it was a busy hour.  And looking at that long sentence, it was a busy couple of months.

When I finished up with Janet, I ran home, ate a sandwich, let the dogs out, and then took off again. I picked up my friend Karin, who asked me to be her guest for Bunco.

“How long have you ladies been playing Bunco together?” I asked shortly after arriving and introductions.

The query fueled discussion the entire night, through all three rounds, that by the time the evening ended we estimated the gathering was soon approaching its 25th anniversary. Wow! Twenty-five years of women gathering one night a month, when one woman hosts and another brings all the food and drink, and everybody throws in $12 dollars. The pot gets divvied among those who rolled big Buncos (I rolled three) and the player, or in last night’s case two players (tie), with the greatest number of wins.  I went home $7 ahead.

I listened to the chatter about some players who had come and gone, typical discussion about the passage of time. I never once witnessed anything but fondness and respect from these women for one another. I felt honored to be in the company of women who had shared so much with one another over the years. One player told my friend Karin that she bought a gift certificate for her husband to Westside Improv after she learned that Karin took the class. He’s now in the intro class with our friend Linda.

As we readied to leave, I thanked all of the women for their lovely company. I told them that I was married on this day, and it was a pleasant surprise to spend the evening with them.

Today I struggled to finish a post that I have been working on about my move from Portland, Maine to Springfield, IL. That happened the first week of February in 2001. I walked away from it about 3 p.m. I ran to Mariano’s with every other person who stocked up on groceries in preparation for the storm. Bridget’s school district called on the way to the store, school is canceled tomorrow. I came home and made dinner, my mind nagged me about making good on my writing commitment of 90 days. Then I remembered “Mental Health Days”.

I know my silver linings are aplenty and am grateful beyond measure. That’s evidenced by the messages from friends who I have not seen nor spoken to in decades to new friends I have met and made connections with because of this blog. All of you fill my cup. This week and month’s anniversaries have filled my mind and weighted my heart. As Janet told me last night, I won’t fully be able to deal with all of this until I get some space this weekend when Bridget is with her father. Then I can have a long, needed cry. So I’m taking a mental health day, today. This wasn’t what I intended to write but I guess what I needed to write. And I am so grateful for the channel through which I can do it, and more importantly the audience who I can share it with.

 

2 comments on “Mental Health Day

  1. Debbie Rydberg

    Karen,
    I want you to know I really respect how open you have been in your writing. I don’t think I could ever do that. The good, bad and the completely ugly. My heart has laughed, cried and been broken for you. You are a strong women who has kicked some serious ass and will continue to do so. I could go on and on and bore the hell of of both of us but I won’t. Stay strong and give yourself a pat on the back once in a while and a big hug. Lots of hugs. Love ya 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just about to go to sleep when I read this. Thank you Debbie. Your mom is so present in all of her daughters. Your comment brought me to tears, and I have to wait until 5:30 tomorrow to really wail. I love you. And I am so grateful for your presence and support.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Emerging From The Dark Night

Working through the Dark Night of the Soul to emerge as me.

YogaAmazon

Top 10 Best Yoga Mat Reviews of 2018

Thin spiral notebook

My journal of big words and pretty pictures

True

weekly conversations on the world of telling true stories, by Proximity

Mansi Choksi

Freelance Writer

Entrepreneurship @ Berkeley

Entrepreneurial Goings On At Haas and the Rest of UC Berkeley

Charley Speakes

Quietly shouting in a world of noise - exposing a nerve.

Mahipal

Never Quit, Never Fail

Stories & Movement

The Sum of a Life

The Sailboat Tara

A sailboat, a couple, and their little dog too.

dawn2dawn photography

Tall Tales From The Field

This Beautiful Life

Find yourself, and be just that

Life After 50

Life at any age can be amazing! We only need to grab hold & experience it!

Lucille’s Lively Letters

Dating Over 50, Awkward Situations, Laughter and Misfires

Smile

Because You're Beautiful.. :)

%d bloggers like this: