I’ve had my therapists explain to me that grieving is like riding a rollercoaster. That sometimes the bottom just drops out from underneath of you. That is entails a lot of ups and downs and varying speeds and degrees. A pretty good analogy I think.

This ride for me has been one with very few “ups”. Yes, there are parts of days that are not bad and I am a master at being “fine” at work. So great at it, in fact, that it’s now become a real issue… how to be not “ok” when I just simply can’t be anymore… like today.

Blind-sided by emotions today at work. Pressures on me to put together and finalize the year end budget and the proposed operating budget for next year has me spinning. On the third draft now and every time I send it off for review it gets returned within minutes with notations and more needed … supporting tables and calculations needed…. demands for more detail or justification for expenses… projected revenue for proposed new contract staff… it just keeps going on and on. Not normally things that would stump me. But right now…. yes. Far beyond what I am capable of delivering. I sent it off yesterday knowing it wasn’t my best and knowing that it lacked but also knowing that it was the best I could put together. Which I noted. Today’s review resulted in hours more work that’s needed and calculations and tables that are just very simply, overwhelming.

The tears that sprang up after I had closed by office door and was alone were surprising. I do not break down at work. I have cultivated such a facade of being cheerful and normal and level tempered that for me to be anything but that is unimaginable. A few of my staff know what I’m dealing with but none know the depth of it or how it really affects me. I have heard a couple of them have conversations regarding the depression that another staff member is dealing with and the opinion has been voiced that you either “pull yourself together” or just stay away if you can’t be ok at work. That the work environment doesn’t need to be “polluted” by a bad mood. I had interjected at that time that depression is not a “bad mood” that you can just decide to make better but that’s the consensus of some of my staff. Little wonder that I put on the happy face and am always “fine”.

Except for today when I wasn’t. Even then I didn’t let on. I composed myself as best I could, gathered my belongs and made a quick exit after mumbling that I was going out for a walk. Once out, sending emails to advise that I would be working from home for the rest of the day.

So now I sit at home… trying to make my mind grasp numbers and details when all it’s doing is replaying the last time I saw my son…remembering the absolute pit in my soul when the police officer asked me if I had a family member named William as he stood in my driveway… remembering driving to tell his brothers that he was dead… work feels a million miles away.

I know I have to finalize these work issues before end of day tomorrow… logic and ration tell me that. The spiral of grief though is like a concrete wall that I’ve hit.

Rollercoaster my ass, this is a wrecking ball that hits you every time you start to get your footing.


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