Bad things happen in threes.

I wrote a post earlier this week lamenting the worsening of my psoriasis. It was a bit too much of a pity-party for me to post, so I’ve held off for a couple of days hoping that the embarrassment would wear off with time. At 11:00am this morning my mom texted me that my grandmother (her mom) passed away, and I couldn’t post it anymore.


This week has been hard for a few reasons.

1. My diagnoses for the P changed from ‘it’ll probably go away’ to chronic & incurable. That was tough. I’ll go into detail another time when I feel like it matters again.

2. My grandmother had been slowly dying for a few years now. It’s probably a blessing that she was finally able to let go because she is no longer suffering, but still it is painful because of it’s finality.

I feel as if someone took an enormous melon-baller and scooped out the parts of me that should feel sad.

The same thing happened to me two years ago when my grandfather suddenly passed.

I understood that I should feel sad, but I didn’t. I felt sad when I watched my father cry (which made me cry), but to connect my own self to the loss was hollow and impossible. One day my grandfather was there, facetiming with me, and the next he was gone. That’s it.

The seven stages of grief outlines the ‘normal’ process, and yet I feel that my own starts and ends with nothing – just an increasing feeling that someone takes pieces of me away without returning them.

In place of nothing, I find comfort in creating a mental checklist of things I have to do. Errands to run. Tasks to complete. I find peace in going through shallow tasks like re-stocking my face lotion, peeling fruit, arranging and re-arranging my stuffed toys in the few moments that I’m not doing something work related. Ideally, I will keep my schedule full from morning til right before bed – and then repeating this process for as long as it takes until I feel that everything is proper again.

Just like that time then, I find myself shutting down emotions and turning up the efficiency dial. I can feel things later. Right now there are things to do. April is pretty jam packed already. Maybe I can feel in May. And as I rationalize putting off my feelings until later, I feel this shadow growing behind me – following me, is it growing larger? Creeping closer? I must continue moving or I fear I won’t have anywhere else to go.

Sometimes when I drink too much wine these memories from the past come spilling out – anger, grief, loss, and fear finally materializing at an improper time and place to my companion’s bewilderment. Yet in those moments there’s a sense of relief – something was real enough to mean something.

But I don’t drink anymore.


3. Bad things always come in threes so I will wait for #3. It’s probably around the corner. My Prozac is ready and I have a prescription for Ativan too. I’ll be ok.


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One thought on “Bad things happen in threes.

  1. I don’t think it’s that you don’t feel anything (i.e. sadness) because the fact that you have to turn up an efficiency dial means something is emotionally unbalanced.

    That shadow you believe is lurking behind you may be all the sadness you’ve stored away until now. Your sentence about “an increasing feeling that someone takes pieces of me away without returning them” seems more to be about yourself, as in you are the one taking away pieces of yourself and not returning them, and you are doing so by not successfully dealing with negative emotions. This may have caused you to feel empty/numb at any new negative experiences.

    If your coping mechanism is to become super productive, then that’s fine too. It’s important not to feel guilty about not feeling something, whether that is sadness or something else. Remind yourself that you are just doing the best you can under your own circumstances!

    Bad things happen and you have bad days, but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad life.


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