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Grief and Escapism

Old 06-10-2017, 07:57 AM
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Grief and Escapism

Im going through it.

Last night I lay on the couch to realize that there is nothing to fill the space that I am in. There was nothing that could take away the underlying grief that I feel. At that moment, and even now, I know there is a lot of internal work to do. Truth: Alcohol was not thought of. Food was not thought of. I couldnt reach for anything. Staring at the ceiling. Complete void.

I am exactly the same age as when my sister died. 37 1/2. I realize that I took to alcohol to relieve a lot of the grief I was in during her illness and for one year after.

Even though it doesnt make sense to drink yourself into oblivion every night, this was what I did. I dont like that aspect of myself. I dont like that I abused alcohol and I couldn't or wouldn't deal with it on a healthy level.

For most of my life, I have dealt with hard emotions or troubles in this way.......through escape, through using something. Not all use was due to grief. This past year has been different.

So, after laying there last night feeling empty I picked up the computer and ordered a book. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. A friend/ co-worker spoke of this book a year ago. I am ready to really get through this "stuff" and to come into a better understanding of myself and the dying process. Perhaps the book and opening up can lead me into a slightly better place within myself? It wont fix it but I have to do something and take baby steps into something else.

I fear death. Immensely. I was once a person who accepted the next journey as a gift and felt like I knew the truth about it or I felt like my belief system was solid enough to give comfort for what is unknown.

Somewhere along the road of my sisters illness and her death my beliefs went into a place of uncertainty and fear.

For me, its not just about removing the alcohol and maintaining this decision. Like all of us, there is work to be done after we stop hurting ourselves. Yes, I am an alcoholic. Yes, I have struggled with self care on a healthy level. Yes, I quit and now I am living a sober life. I am so grateful.

I am grateful that I allowed myself the time to lay on the couch and feel completely empty and dare I say lost. I didnt reach for anything to comfort me. Honestly, I didnt want to. There was nothing to fill that void and I knew it. Nothing can fill it but time. I see that as growth.

Im working on it. I really am.



And...my feline family member has been missing for almost 48 hrs. He took off and has not resurfaced yet. I dont know how worried I am over this? He was strictly indoor and then became really vocal about the great outdoors. He is on an adventure......or something else. The something else is troubling but I wont go there yet. His sister is now vocalizing and roaming through the house...

Posters later, maybe. Ill give him a few more hours to get his butt home.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:25 AM
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This is a very thoughtful and moving post, (((Mizzuno)))

I think there is great value in sitting with our tough feelings instead of rushing around trying to find ways to push them away.

I am sending positive "find the kitty" vibes
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:39 AM
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Miz- I have had my fair share of death. The fear of fear....kind of loike people who are scared of the pain of needles- before getting that pain.
Grief will seep- thru- booze or no. Good you are seeing things differently. Buddhism also talks about being in an 'empty' space- free of thought. Mindfulness, perhaps this is where you are leading. Good for you.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:39 AM
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Mizzuno,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I don't have any words of wisdom for how to get through the emptiness, other than feeling called to say that it's a gift simply to be able to feel this way, deeply. You aren't numbing emotions anymore. Experiencing them is part of the mystery and gift of human life, to feel and know grief, joy, heartache, beauty, wonder.

I pray your kitty makes his way home soon. I'm sure he's just on an adventure and will be back to rest and love on you soon.

<3
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PhoenixJ View Post
Miz- I have had my fair share of death. The fear of fear....kind of loike people who are scared of the pain of needles- before getting that pain.
Grief will seep- thru- booze or no. Good you are seeing things differently. Buddhism also talks about being in an 'empty' space- free of thought. Mindfulness, perhaps this is where you are leading. Good for you.
PJ,
Can I call you, PJ? Its a bit easier.

I was thinking about the fear of death yesterday and why I landed in this peculiar place? The fear of it. Perhaps it is due to literally seeing my sister die and her being so young? Not metaphorically but the literal act.

I was researching quotes on the web from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and the first thing that come up was something along the lines of "The reason we are so afraid of death......." Not verbatim but you get my drift. I wanted to do a little homework before embarking on the novel.

My time is not now. I have much to learn. (Maybe its five minutes from now, who really knows these things?) But geez.....never in a million years would I imagine that my sister was going to take flight at such a young age. Half a life.

So, mindfulness is what I seek and I am ready to see what that is about. Whatever I have been doing (not being mindful) is not working any longer. Im hurting. That is okay. I welcome this........even if it painful.

Thanks, PJ. I appreciate the thoughts and understanding on this matter. It helps to hear from another.

I know you have experienced a great deal of pain in your life and i know that you can relate.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:00 AM
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Miz- thank you for sharing this post. I've for sure been there too, where I felt like there was an endless abyss in me and I didn't know how to analyze it or what to do. Good for you for not reaching for the bottle - many would have, and as most of us know, that just deeps the void on top of adding a sense of misplaced urgency/anxiety/fears.

Re: your kitty, I'm sure he will return! Cats are very resourceful and can find their way home even when a great distance away. I have an indoor cat, but friends of mine have outdoor ones and sometimes they stay away for days, even weeks on adventures. Hugs and thanks for this post :-)
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:29 AM
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Great post, Mizzuno.
One of the most challenging aspects of sobriety (believe I have posted this before, so forgive if it's redundant) is to sit with an emotion that is uncomfortable.
In past, I would have stuffed it by drinking.
Re: kitty. Mine are indoor outdoor and stay close. Cats are pretty territorial. He is probably nearby. Hope so.
Peace.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:29 AM
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The journey is one we will all take. Before she moved on, in the moments when she could speak, she told me that a car was waiting for her out back. She told me "a little bird said I am going on a journey and I dont want to go" ........AY YI YI! My heart dropped into my stomach. My brain was screaming in the literal silence of the house as she lay there. I mean, It was ******* horribly painful. I wanted to get a megaphone and demand to speak to the creator of all of this and demand a ******* answer right now. I needed answers and I was pissed. My head and its nonsense during that week.

We are all warriors and we are all given strength in times when we think we are going to completely drown into madness.

I would have it no other way. She made it safely and peacefully onto her next chapter.

This is the real "meat" of life.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by tealily View Post
Mizzuno,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I don't have any words of wisdom for how to get through the emptiness, other than feeling called to say that it's a gift simply to be able to feel this way, deeply. You aren't numbing emotions anymore. Experiencing them is part of the mystery and gift of human life, to feel and know grief, joy, heartache, beauty, wonder.

I pray your kitty makes his way home soon. I'm sure he's just on an adventure and will be back to rest and love on you soon.

<3
Thank You, tealily. feelings. Yes, feelings. Such a gift. Such a nuisance at times. Better to get them out and move through it than to be destructive and unhealthy. Lots of work on the horizon.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:56 AM
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I sent you something by pm, Mizz.
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:28 PM
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I'm sorry for your grief Mizz but I glad you're readying yourself to deal with it.

I consider that my life started again when I began to engage with things and deal with them. Turns out I was stronger and more capable than I ever knew.

I hope your cat turns up too - sometimes they get themselves trapped in other peoples garages for the weekend or something or they temporarily adopt a new family with lots of yummy food

Hoping for a good outcome
D
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:34 PM
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I'm so sorry for the grief and loss you are feeling. I hope that, over time, you will be able to find some peace.

I do hope your cat returns home and that he agrees to be an indoor cat.
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:36 PM
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Mizzuno, there's a good book you might like called Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh. It's a short book and easy to read, but it really changed my attitude.
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
I'm so sorry for the grief and loss you are feeling. I hope that, over time, you will be able to find some peace.

I do hope your cat returns home and that he agrees to be an indoor cat.
Anna,
Agrees. Yes, this is the operative word.
For 5 years he was content and then he became very vocal about wanting to get out. Howling through the house at 4 am or earlier. Under the bed crying. Scratching at the door.

I know a little better than he does in regards to keeping him safe, fed, protecting the birds, fleas, injuries etc....

I am worried that he has not eaten in two days. He must be starved by now. He is so skittish of other humans, due to his house life, that I fear he is hiding under something and will not come out.

His sister is completely indifferent to the outdoor life. She can take it or leave it.

Least,
I will check out this book. I have a few good reads by Thich Nhat Hanh. I should not miss this one.

Dee,
Yes, its a whole new world of opportunity and life. I am excited. It aint over till its over.

Side note: If my boy adopted a new family ......well, no one will love him like we do. Our felines have the life of a King and Queen. No wonder his sister just stays on the porch and keeps close by. She knows how good she has it.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:50 PM
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What a wonderful journey, Mizzuno. A wonderful journey for us all. Jack Kornfield says that one must learn three things in life - how to live well, love well, and learn to let go. I am so sorry for your loss, too.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:01 PM
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Mizz- I AM PJ.. Much easier, I sound like a bit character in a 70's crime drama. Or pyjama's. Mindfulness- watching others die and contemplating our own existence...you are moving out of the concrete world of just drinking. There has to be more to it.. I believe. Maybe not Gandalf sitting on a white cloud promising an eternity of joy for one lifetime of being 'good'.
Whether it is fact, a truism, just a distorted mem. or a hallucination induced nightmare from the pain and drugs- I have tasted my own mortality. I do not find it to be a scary place- it is is 'just is' place. I will keep doing reruns (flashbacks?) and trying to accept that I will never truly understand. Connecting dots....why? To understand a journey in such definitive terms- needs a place of origin- a destination and a route. I have none of those. However 3 phases in life- birth, death and that grey area in the middle.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:31 AM
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Thank you for your beautiful posts Mizzuno. I've been struggling with the full force of sober grief and recently joined a local mindfulness class. I'm finding it extremely helpful. Now I try to meditate for 10 minutes every day and even though my mind keeps wandering off all over the place, I definitely feel more calm. More accepting of how things are.

I really hope your cat turns up soon. I'm willing him to find his way home.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:02 AM
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Prayers for you, and for your boy. Xx
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:16 AM
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My boy is home!

He smells like a dog. I think you were right, Dee. He must of found his way into someones garage or some dogs bed and stayed there for a few days. He looks good. He is now posted up behind me on the couch cushion like nothing ever happened. What a ham.

As soon as he is rested up from his partying we are going to have a long talk. It will look like this

Mizzuno: "You cannot leave for days on end. This is unacceptable behavior.

Fluffy Cat: Stares at person talking to him

Mizzuno: "I am serious. Dont give me that look. There was a lot of worry for your well being."

Fluffy Cat: Rolls over to expose belly for petting.

Mizzuno: "Jerk"

Have a good Sunday Ya'll.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Mizzuno View Post
My boy is home!

He smells like a dog. I think you were right, Dee. He must of found his way into someones garage or some dogs bed and stayed there for a few days. He looks good. He is now posted up behind me on the couch cushion like nothing ever happened. What a ham.

As soon as he is rested up from his partying we are going to have a long talk. It will look like this

Mizzuno: "You cannot leave for days on end. This is unacceptable behavior.

Fluffy Cat: Stares at person talking to him

Mizzuno: "I am serious. Dont give me that look. There was a lot of worry for your well being."

Fluffy Cat: Rolls over to expose belly for petting.

Mizzuno: "Jerk"

Have a good Sunday Ya'll.


Great conversation, Mizz.

Glad that he is home!
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