This is bit of a long post so here we go:
First off, I need to thank you all for your kind and encouraging words. I've been thinking alot about each post and the other topics on the board as well. Your words mean more than I can possibly say.
Before I go any further I have to tell you that I have had some pre-existing mental and emotional issues long before my grandmother got sick. I am officially diagnosed as having Obsessive Complusive Disorder, Dysthemic Depression, and Tourette's-like symptoms. Because of some unsual other features of my mental and emotional makeup my psychiatrist thought I might have something resembling Asperger's (which would explain alot of disparate phenomena) and am prone to panic attacks and general anxiety as well.
I have to say all this out loud because I'm trying (and failing) to understand the increasing bizarre character of my grief. This last month has been both the best and worst since her death which is very disorienting.
In the last month (well, really two months) I have had more panic attacks than I can remember having in the last 2 years. I find myself becoming depressed/distraught/anxious at the drop of a hat -- especially when something reminds me of her--which is often. Almost two years ago my family was kind and generous enough to support me as I have been fighting for social security disability to get help for my mental disorders and as a result of that I spent almost every day with my grandmother during that time and now find myself with a large amount of alone time and its grinding me down. I seize any opportunity to visit someone or go out for fresh air or work on some activity but I am still left with some much time alone (and when I'm alone the sad memories of her feel always close by). And every now and then I just explode with tears, raw emotion, and panic and its a horrible experience. I'm not generally someone who fights back tears in general and I don't believe in emotional repression--I don't object to the tears and emotions as they come and yet sometimes they still explode like a sleeping volcano I didn't know was there.
And yet, in spite of all that, some very good things have happened to. Beyond the start of a new relationship with someone I really like, I can't explain it but it like I can see the dawn coming over the horizon--I am beginning to be able to see that my life is just beginning and one day I will reach a new kind of happiness--but its just the contours, I can't see what that happiness and new life will be like. Above all what I began feeling several times this month was a sense of real hope. And I know, know without doubt, that that is what my grandmother wanted for me and that somehow she's watching and is happy for me. But still it makes the tremendous grief I've felt (which seems to grow with each month) all the worse.
Her sudden death came after years of her dealing with what seemed like a fair number of minor health issues and then suddenly one of them was the one that killed her. Her death has not only taught me again how precious life is but its all over much too fast. It's created a renewed fear of illness and death in me that I have no precedent for. I don't want it to become an obsession that cripples the slow prgress I'm making. I wake up with the fear of a panic attack or deep despair before its even happened this last week and its scarying the hell out of me. This sadness is like waking up with a buzzard on my shoulder which I'm trying my damnedest to not always pay attention to but its very hard.
Having said so much and unburdened myself I do want to say I am still going to grief counseling (who has agreed I am on a genuine and healthy path of grief and am making real progress) and my personal physician and this week and trying to restart my treatment at the psyhiatric and counseling center I used to attend. So I am determined to get help but I'm just so mentally tired and confused.
Anyway, thank you all for listening and again for your good advice.
"Its okay to hold onto grief, just as long as you make room for other things." ~ Bubbles from "The Wire"