Sunday, September 21, 2008

general unease

Argh. Another panic filled night. Trying to calm myself with the rhythmic breathing of the kids. Counting. Trying to relax every part of my body. Then another wave of nauseating nervousness and panic rolls over and smothers me just when I think I've calmed down enough to rest a bit. I want to phone someone. But I don't want to wake anyone. I wish I wasn't here alone. Maybe I could call one of the drunk partying teenagers that I can hear across the marsh in between blasts of their firecrackers and ask them to come hold my hand.
This time of night, when most everyone is deep in their dreams and cozy in their beds is the worst time. I want to sleep. I think I can. And then it happens. I find myslef alone with my WORST fucking thoughts. Am I having a nervous breakdown? Am I losing it?
I had no trouble falling asleep and into the waiting oblivion since only awhile after Jeff died. Now that's all gone. Even 'nap time' for Briar, when I would usually manage to sleep if I had had a bad night hasn't been restful the last two days.
Maybe 'Pretty in Pink' or some other eighties movie is on tv and I can flake out on the couch....Fuck, I miss Jeff. I wish he would just come home. I wish 'normal' would return.


Carle said...

HI Jackie,

Not sure what to say....

.... Guess I want to say I am still here and listening to you.

I send you my love and a wish for a better sleep tonight.

Auntie Em said...

Is there anyone you can ask to spend the night at your house for awhile until you feel better? Your parents if they're close by, (and don't stress you out), a good friend, sibling? You posted Friday that you'd ask for help if you need it..just ask. I know so many of us out here would do it in a heartbeat for you if we were close enough. I know there's people who are close by that love you enough to do this for you. If anyone is close to Jackie, and is reading this...offer to spend the night at Jackie's! (and then say yes, Jackie!) love and peace to you...

darcie said...

Just popping in to say I'm here, and listening. I wish I could make it all go away ~
Sending love your way -
xoxo - darcie

leigh in the sav said...

i wish i could take all this anxiety away. coping for this type of tragedy is not something any of us are prepared for. you have to feel your way around it and out of it. i would so like to be able to offer a wise word on how... until then, please know i and many others are listening and praying/hoping/asking for these waves of of panic to go far, far away.

Kate said...

Night time is so hard. It's like your bad thoughts just wait for the sun to go down. We're here supporting you and listening.

Ms. Pisces said...

Still keeping you in my thoughts & prayers, also I have sort of disappeared from blog-land lately...


PB and Jazz said...


I am going to send you my cell phone number. I know you don't know me but I get your panic at night. My is not the same reason but I have had them. you can call me. A creep I am, but I will listen. I wake up every night at 4 am CST anyway.

TheSingingBird said...

still here Jackie♥

Crash Course Widow said...

I HATED those panic- and thought-filled nights (or naps) when I couldn't fall asleep, when the obsessive, grief-induced thoughts just WOULD. NOT. STOP.

Unfortunately, no, you're not losing it or having a nervous breakdown. In a really twisted way, it might be easier if you were. =( It's just the grief talking, working its way into every fiber of your being and into every single corner of your life.

I had the hardest time sleeping for, gosh, practically 3 years? after Charley died. It's only been this summer, at/around the 3-year mark, when it finally started to get better. It was REALLY bad last year, when the grief was particularly bad.

During the first year after Charley died, I sat on my couch and played a LOT of Freecell (card game) on my laptop until I was drowsy enough to fall asleep on the couch. Then I'd wake up about 3-4 hours later, crawl into bed, and then sleep a few more hours. But I just could NOT face going to bed by myself when Charley wasn't somehow, falling asleep on the couch "by accident," when I technically wasn't trying to fall asleep, didn't seem quite so painful. It wasn't exactly the wisest approach to getting a good night's sleep, but it was the only thing that worked for me that first year after Charley died.

I don't know what your personal feelings are about pharmaceuticals, but you deserve a good night's sleep--especially when you're grieving and still responsible for taking care (but less being school) of two little ones. Don't feel bad about yourself if you end up needing to turn toward a (safe) medication to help you. I stubbornly refused to take an antidepressant that first year after Charley died, and Anna was too young (at 1 year old) for me to feel comfortable taking a sleeping pill or anything. But eventually I had to call surrender to my stubbornness, when I couldn't sleep for a week no matter what I did or tried. I got a prescription for an antianxiety med (since I was still refusing a sleeping pill), which sort of worked the very few times I used it when the sleeplessness and panic got unbearable. Later I had to get a prescription for Ambien because the antianxiety med wouldn't work. And while neither of the meds worked any miracles, at least they helped some.

The grief and panic seem so much worse when you don't even have a decent quota of sleep to fall back on. Be gentle with yourself, and try not to beat yourself up for this. It's just an unfortunately normal side effect of what you're dealing with. =(

Hang in there, and sending lots of slumbering hugs,