There comes a point in time at which you should be improving. That point is largely dependent upon all the factors involved, which are many and varied, but eventually we all get there.
If you stay in your dark place – not improving – longer than you ‘should’, people’s reactions to your pain change. It stops being sympathetic, and starts being worried.
Me? I can’t handle the worried reactions. I feel like I have to constantly reassure people, make them feel better. That’s a lot harder if I’ve revealed how I really am than it is if I just fake being better.
There’s nothing anyone can do. There’s no magic cure for this devastation. And so it gets awkward. I can’t stand awkward situations, so I avoid them.
It’s not that people don’t care. It’s not that I don’t think they care. It’s just that I can’t bring myself to tell other people who knew and cared about Ian, and were also hurt by this that no, I’m not ok. I spent all day yesterday crying at various intervals, and couldn’t sleep more than 6 hours at a time all week because I was so stressed and tense that my body hurt. I can’t tell the people who are already so hurt that I’m still lucky if I eat two meals a day.
It’s even harder with the people who didn’t know Ian much, and so all their worry is focused on me. If I admit how I really am, they want nothing more than to fix it…. and they get scared. I can’t begin to cope with that, because I feel the need to help them, to make their lives easier, to make sure they’re ok. I can’t do that if they’re aware of how broken I really am.
So I don’t say anything. Because the fallout of saying something is far more difficult for me to deal with than just grieving alone. Is it lonely? Yes. But no more lonely than I am anyway because my person is dead.
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