Not well, I mean. I get a few hours here and there, but not enough to feel fully functional the next day. I only fall asleep when my mind finally stops out of pure exhaustion, not because my thoughts stop. Has that ever happened to you? Your mind keeps running and running and won't turn off until your body physically can't keep you awake anymore.
Last night, I headed upstairs after 11 and, even though I knew I shouldn't, I kept looking at the clock:
2:38 was the last time I remember seeing...
...until 3:03 when my son yelled for me to walk him to the bathroom. He gets scared at night -- even with the night lights. (I can't blame him. I hate the dark, too.)
When I got back in bed, the whole cycle started over again. I said to my husband earlier in the night that I try not to think and worry about everything, but the only time I'm still all day is when I get in bed.
And it's that stillness I avoid. All. Day. Long.
Stillness brings with it all that uninterrupted time for my innermost thoughts to surface. Stillness makes me think and rethink and try to process and rewind and fast forward. It's not easy to turn your brain off when it's on such a roll.
But when I'm alone with my innermost thoughts, I get sad. Really sad. So sad that I can't sleep, and then the clock-watching begins.
I feel guilty when I shift my thoughts to other things that help me relax, things like lying on the beach, soaking up the sun. I try to get myself in a state of mind where my body and mind can relax. But then the feelings of guilt start. I feel like my thoughts should be with my dog and my grandmother right now.
* * * * *
Before my Nana was moved into hospice, I remember the doctor at the hospital saying that she was actively dying.
Actively dying. Actively dying. What does that even mean?
Technically, we're all actively dying.
Is that morbid or what?
It's kind of like that half full/half empty glass thing. Are we actively dying, or actively living?
It's all about perspective.
But perspective is a hard thing to have when you feel like time isn't on your side. When you feel like you're just waiting for that dreaded phone call. When you feel like today is the last day you may spend with your loved one.
I know so many people go through loss, but that doesn't mean this isn't difficult. It's all difficult. Life is hard.
So, I was going to title my post "Goodbye, 2015... Hello, 2016!"
...but then I thought I should keep things real around here.
Ya know, because that's how I roll.
Let me begin by saying that I hope your holidays did not suck. I hope they were magical and special and memorable.
Personally, I find the latter half of the year to be stressful, depressing, and fast-paced. There is never enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to get done. And the commercials and the Christmas music and the traffic and the storefronts are all reminders of the bustling holiday season that I never feel lives up to the hype that the anticipation creates.
This holidays this year were hard on us. My grandmother had been in and out of the hospital, in a nursing home, in hospice care, and is now back in a nursing home but is receiving hospice care there. She is very sick and there's nothing more that can be done for her. We have been visiting her just about every day because, well, what else can you do? I want to spend as much time as I can with her while we have her here. She was always there for me when I was a child, and so I want to return the favor. I leave there with tears in my eyes, always wondering if that's the last time I'll see her alive. It's morbid to think about it like that, but I can't help it. I just want her to know she is loved.
Then, back in November, our dog started acting weird. We had him in and out of the vet's office getting all kinds of tests, and we found out about a week ago that he has tumors all over his insides. We were told to enjoy the holidays with him and then put him down. Needless to say, we are all a wreck over the news. We still haven't fully digested it. At times, we're in denial; other times, we're incredibly sad... it's like we can't even fully process what we were told, especially because we just lost our other dog back in April.
Our vet gave us some medication for him and, right now, we're taking it day by day, but we don't know how long he will last without being in pain. I can't talk about it too much without getting overwhelmed and breaking down. Between my grandmother and our doggie, this holiday season has been a roller coaster of emotions.
We spent Christmas day avoiding the big family gathering -- we just wanted a quiet Christmas this year. And, to be honest, I'm tired of family drama. So we visited my grandmother and my husband's grandmother in their respective nursing homes, and we made a ham and stayed home.
The past two months, my husband and I have just felt "off." I don't know how else to explain it; we just don't feel ourselves. We're not sleeping well (or very much), we don't really go anywhere except to visit my grandmother because we don't want to leave our dog alone, and we are so unhappy in our jobs.
Lately, I've been on edge, irritable, easily annoyed... you name it. I've been lashing out on my husband and son, neither of whom deserve it. My stress is manifesting itself in so many different ways -- both physically and emotionally.
I didn't plan on this being such a depressing post, but this is a snapshot of our lives right now. And, on this last day of 2015, I look back and think of how much has happened over this past year. I can't believe it's December 31st, but I'm glad it is.
Though I know we have so much to be thankful for, I still hope the new year is better.