She is incomplete

This week I forego Mom Hacks because I would be phoning it in.  The mom who started that column seems to have packed a bag and left. 

March marks the 8th anniversary of my Father’s death, March 19th to be exact.  This a huge weight on my chest and when I think about it I can’t breathe.  It cannot, CANNOT have been 8 years since I last spoke to my Dad.

But it has. It’s been nearly 8 years since we chatted on old-school cell phones or shared a raspberry coffee cake after a long Sunday morning of delivering newspapers.

After his funeral I had no idea what grieving looked like for me so I focused on healing and survival. I napped a lot and threw all the funeral flowers off the balcony of my apartment to get rid of “that funeral home smell.”

I refused to drink alcohol, I didn’t want to rely on it to see me through, no matter what.  I feared dependency. I refused antidepressants and sleeping pills as well, there was something within me that needed to prove to myself that I could make it on blood sweat and tears alone, that God could heal even this au natural.

I talked about my loss, wrote about it and went to counseling for the first time in years, I knew I needed a guide for the grieving journey.

I distinctly remember a session of therapy a few months after my Father’s funeral that will forever haunt me. I sat across the room from my trusted therapist of 2 months and listened as she explained to me her opinion that I suffered from moderate bipolar disorder.  She suggested I see a psychiatrist and get on a lifelong med regimen to counteract my seasons of mania and depression. This come out of nowhere for me, I wasn’t even aware I was living in such a cycle, I thought I was just grieving.

I was beyond crushed, I was looking for help with grief, not a lifelong diagnosis.   Continue reading