The Five Stages of Grief, Updated
A little over a week ago, I wrote about my dealings with grief since my mom's passing. She died one month ago today. Grief, this thing, this fucker (got as far as typing "mothe-" before realizing my mistake), is still very-much unlike anything like I've ever experienced.
Grieving a parent is so much worse than I imagined. I've watched many friends experience it over the years and always had the thought "oh God, I can't even imagine." Now I'm here. The "imagine" is real. I'm in it. The mere prospect that I will have to do this again at some point in my lifetime makes me sick to my stomach.
My first post was three weeks out. I'd hoped, upon week four, that I would be getting better. Just a little better. Sadly, it has gotten worse. The more time passes, the less people reach out, the harder it gets. The more I feel myself feeling energetic and happy, the more guilty I feel. I thought I could withstand "dead mom" stuff in entertainment mediums, and I did for the first few weeks. Now I turn it off.
But I'm an actor - I need to embrace these things. It's a goldmine for my craft.
Nah. Sorry. Not now.
I privately coached an actor on an audition for a popular hospital show - the first private session I've done since of her death. And, what do you know, it was a "mom is dying in the hospital" scene. I coached my heart out for an hour, gave this actor everything I had and more - then logged off of Zoom and cried myself into a three-hour nap.
Speaking of naps - I saw my mom in a dream for the first time since it happened. I was in a locker room (where I have a boatload of childhood trauma), with my best friend since 4th grade. She opened the door and just looked at me. Said nothing. Instead of embracing her, I screamed and cowered in the corner while howling with tears.
When I woke up, my body was soaked with sweat, like I had just been in a sauna wearing a peacoat for two hours. (I sleep with the air conditioner on full blast and a powerful fan directly over me, for context.)
Anyway, why did I sit down to write this? I didn't reread my previous post, where I laid out where I was in this whole "Five Stages of Grief" thing. I kind of blacked out as I wrote it, to be honest.
So, I just want to write it out again, one week removed, to show how much can change in a single week:
Fuck me, man. I get hit with things. It's weird. I'm constantly reminded, all the fucking time, everywhere and anywhere. All at once.
Sometimes it hides in a corner and jumps out at me. I mean, every god damn pair of socks I own were purchased by her. (Football fans, a reference - remember when you were a kid, and getting socked for Christmas sucked? I now think of getting good socks as a gift is like your favorite team getting a great offensive lineman... not flashy or exciting, but might be the most useful and important part of your... fucking... body team or something.)
Anyway. Yeah. Denial. Still can't deny it. It's all too fucking real.
Self-anger. I know I've felt less anger towards others lately. But I can't help but wage war on myself. I find myself fantasizing about breaking every piece of glass in my kitchen while calling myself a "fat fucking loser".
That last part, the loser thing, actually happened (all of my dishes are in tact... can't compromise my cooking show lolz). And I was stone-cold sober I said it. I woke up the next morning with a sick feeling, like I had gotten drunk and said it to one of my friends. I hate myself for saying it aloud. With all the work I've done on my mental health, I'm so beyond that bullshit.
But I said it. It happened. I've had some bad luck career stuff happen recently, which, of course, will result in some self-doubt and insecurities. That, however, was out of character for me.
So, yeah, maybe instead of screaming at a rude MTA employee, that's the anger I'm experiencing.
Yeah, still not going to bring God into this. I'm dealing with enough ghosts. Hard pass.
Oh isn't my little friend just having the time of his life! You want another balloon, or maybe a hot dog, little hell-raising, life-threatening friend?!?
I will say - I've adjusted my medication, and it has given me the energy to exercise and be more active. I've been to the gym three times this week. I hadn't exercised three times in a week since before the pandemic.
Okay, dear reader. there's your PRECIOUS little piece of positivity.
I still have days where I don't get out of bed till 4. So, while I am starting to find my way out of it at times, depression will always be a part of me. I have accepted that...
Ohhhhh look at that Segway!!!
To be continued.