I woke up to the doorbell ringing. It was 9:45 at night, I don’t usually get visitors at all especially at this time of the night. I had not slept the night before. It was the 22nd. It was my Dad’s birthday, he had passed away in May of 2004 yet I still can hear the sound of his voice if close my eyes and listen really hard. That wonderful soft southern drawl. Of course the 22nd is the day Konnor passed and it never goes unnoticed nor does it come up quietly, it comes in like a storm.
All the emotion of the day prior had worn me out and I must have fallen asleep before nine. When the doorbell woke me I was startled. My son came up to my room and asked, “Did you hear it too?” It was so abnormal it took a moment for us both to realize it actually had rang. After carefully looking out the windows it was determined nobody was outside. Strange. However, this one stupid incident set my mind into a tailspin of “what if’s” and “could have’s.” My night of makeup sleep had now been catapulted into another night of mindless upset.
What if I wasn’t home and my son was subjected to a break-in? What if the person at the door tried to get in?? Would my son have called 911? Could something have happened??
In truth I have always been a panicked mother. I worry, I am over-protective. But now there is death. Death has worked its way into my life and into my head and planted it’s morbid self there. Death has changed me. Death has turned me into a maniac.
I have my son checking in when he gets to work, when he gets to any destination really. Bless this kid because he understands my obsession and complies with it. But at night the monsters come out and they are real.
There is no cure for grief or the aftermath. No cure for the panic and fear that arise from the sudden death of one close to you. Daylight has distractions and noise. Night falls and my along with the quiet of the night my mind becomes noisy with thoughts. Thoughts of death and tragedy as I lay there alone in the dark. These thoughts in the darkness are bleak and alarming, I become unnerved.
I medicate myself if need be. Xanax is my drug of choice. When I can’t talk myself out of the bizarre thoughts after hours of lying there, I give in and take a pill. There is no other way out of my head. The catastrophes in my mind are real. They are feasible, they are dark and they are disturbing. I cannot stop these thoughts from racing through my mind the moment I put my head to pillow.
During the day I can meditate, practice yoga, eat healthy. I read before I go to sleep yet nothing can prepare me enough to block out the endless, unreasonable, tragic and graphic scenes that play out in my mind. Anything bad that can happen will manifest itself in my head. Certainly this does not pertain to this decade either. My mind will replay something that happened when I was seventeen years old, I am now fifty-four. I wonder if I am slowly losing my mind.
The loss of sleep affects me in my daily life. I struggle with speech. I clearly know what I wish to say but what comes out is not even close to what I wanted to say. I am more than forgetful, I cannot remember anything. Anything other than horrible things, painful things, tragic things. Lastly, I am tired. Tired because I can’t sleep. The demons in my head won’t let me be.
I know what I think is irrational, I know what has been done is done. I tell myself all these things to quiet my mind. Yet it does not matter. My mind is still thinking, still working through conversations of yesterday, conversations that may never be. My mind imagines circumstances and scenarios. I am helpless to my thoughts. My demon is my mind, my thoughts, my own brain. A mind that is still grieving.
Grief is a monster. It carries it’s own energy. It attacks you from the inside out. It has nearly taken all of my heart and now it is working on my mind. Thoughts in my head can be very dark. I want to believe they are a product of my imagination and of my grief. I try hard to believe.
But in the dark all the monsters are real.