Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Anger, Alcohol, and Sheep

One week. It's been a week since my universe got turned upside-down. Even though I prepared for it for 6 months, I am in shock. 

We are living with Bill's sister and her husband, and their two adorable (no, seriously…you don't understand how adorable) little girls. We love them dearly, and have always felt a sweet, easy connection to them. They have been gracious and have plenty of space for us, my boys are thriving and making fast friends of their cousins, and Bill is about to start the best job we could hope for.

And I hate everything.

I hate being with people, I hate being alone too long. (unless I'm sleeping) I hate the heat, I hate the rain, I hate the trees, I hate the flowers, I hate the memories of this place (we lived here for 4 and a half years while Bill went to school). I hate getting out of bed, making my kids food…walking…breathing. Like I said. Everything.

I have found peace in sleeping. So I do that a lot. Then I feel guilty for it. Then I hate it too. 

I am grieving. I was reminded about the stages of grief, and some of the things I could expect from myself and suddenly remembered that I am not a horribly ungrateful, negative, unsupportive person. I'm just grieving. 

Bill asked me today if I knew of anything that would help - if there were absolutely no obstacles. I said going back to Anderson. Not exactly a fair answer. But it's the thing I KNOW would help. I don't know what will help. I don't have a practical answer. I'm trying. 

This is where Alcohol would have entered in full force in the past. I haven't walked through the grief without medicating before, and without things getting much, much darker. I have been living in dread of that darkness, sensing it looming right above me, right next to me, reaching out and brushing me with icy despair. 

I'm finding myself relating most to the denial (shock) and anger stages of grief. I feel sometimes like I don't understand where I am. Like I will wake up at "home" and the unfamiliarity of this place will be because it wasn't real. I often look around and say to myself "What did we just do?" Not in a despairing tone - in a genuine…"what the heck?" tone. 

And then there is the anger. See the "I hate everything" paragraph above. It's so rarely about anything that is actually happening. It emanates from me. It could be, "I hate it when Aiden screams like that", or "I hate that cup", or " when the gentle breeze shook that branch a second ago, I hated that". This is not a pleasant place to be inside myself, nor is it a place I want to invite people. "Hey you, want to come into this really hot, stinky, bug infested place inside my soul?" 

Ironically, that seems to be the answer. And it actually does help a little. 

Right before we moved (um…so like a week ago) we were in a study about sheep in our Sunday School class. The teacher (love her) was taking a look at the significance of the rod and the staff. In a book written by a shepherd he said the staff (the one with the hook on the end) could be used to keep a sheep close, near the shepherd as they walk. Maybe particularly in rough terrain, or unknown territory, where the sheep might be prone to bolt, or wander too far. 

The picture that has created in my mind is something I'm holding on to. It was perfect timing for me to hear that, as I left the pasture I loved and claimed as my own. His rod, and His staff really do comfort me. As I hate everything and try to believe I'll wake up at home, and sleep every chance I get, I can also feel my Shepherd's staff around me, pulling me close, and I'm leaning in.