I have taken to calling these thing panic attacks. Not to anyone but myself, because I don’t generally speak about them much if at all. It used to take me out for an entire day… just spent walking, or at least mentally wandering. Painting sometimes. Writing other times. It used to be deeper and more frequent and start when I woke up on some random day, and last until I fell asleep that night. But now it might hit me for a few minutes or a couple of hours.
Sometimes there are triggers, like a birthday, or the anniversary of his death or something that reminds me of Ethan. And sometimes there is no cause I can think of.
And it isn’t panic. It’s some kind of anxiety… but complicated. Sometimes it feels like I am more frustrated than sad, and sometimes it is that feeling of impending disaster. Sometimes I am just confused… lost mentally or that everything is a bit off… colors or flavors or the passage of time. Sometimes it feels like doubt. But it passes now, just a bit more quickly. So I guess that it is better.
Sometimes I can almost forget how bad it all hurts. It does. But the pain is old now and familiar. But it isn’t like I am forgetting that my son is gone… and there really isn’t some kind of limit to sorrow or emptiness or uncertainty. But I don’t always want to write about it. Somedays it just seems easier to not think about it and not connect Ethan’s death those strong moments of confusion or feelings of loneliness, and meaninglessness that swarm over me.
I’m pretty good at pretending now. I walked around for a month on a broken foot and even convinced myself that it was only a sprain… and I would have kept going except that it swelled up and stopped working… so I couldn’t walk. And I guess I do that… ignore pain. Just deny it until it either goes away or gets worse…