Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Downward Spiral, Then Getting Back Up

It started with a minor annoyance, a pair of missing goggles right before swim practice, and my mood began to spiral downward. I hate the feeling of knowing that I'm starting to lose it, but I'm trying so hard not to. It is doubly bad because there is the original stress, then the stress of knowing I'm going to have a meltdown and trying to stop it.  It culminated in me sobbing in a parking lot and saying "I just want my sister!  I just want her to come back!  I'm so sick of this and it isn't fair!"

My mom was there.  She gets it.

We are all trying so hard, trying to do all the right things. Sometimes I wish there was a book called, "What to do When Your Sister Dies, A Step-by-Step Guide" because I would follow that thing to the letter.  I would totally get an "A" in grieving.

I fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself.  I tell myself that nobody has it worse than me.  I say that if only she was alive, my life would be perfect.

But you know what?  That is all crap.  Because when she was alive my life wasn't perfect.  In fact, I can't think of a single time in my life when it was perfect.  There is no such thing.  Every single person is dealing with something.  There are many, many, MANY people who are dealing with hard, horrible problems. There are people dealing with small problems. There are people all around me, everywhere I look who are hurting in hundreds of different ways. Pain is universal.

Or I'll say it the way my dear old Dad said it:

Everybody gets a bite of the shit sandwich*

So I let myself sob.  But then I took some deep breaths.  I reminded myself of what I tell my kids when they worry about me, "Crying is part of healing, it just has to be done."  Then I went home and rested, because sometimes the bad meltdowns come when I'm trying to do everything and feel like I'm falling short on it all.

I'm trying to be kind to myself in these moments.  I'm only 8 months into this missing-my-sister thing, so I can't have it all figured out yet.  I'll keep working on it, because if I don't, and I stay sad for too long, I'm kind of scared she will come beat the crap out of me for wasting some of my precious time on earth.  That's just the kind of person she was.

It helps a lot to have these three and their little brother.  They cheer me up all the time.

*Yes, my Dad was the coolest.


  1. You are so wise and so strong and yet sometimes it is still JUST TOO MUCH and so unfair! So you cry, you take a few deep breaths, you rest, you do a reality check and think about others and their problems, you acknowledge all that is good in your life, you pray, you reach out, and you have hope, the reason that you can not find that book is because you are still writing it. When it is published you will indeed get an A+ !

  2. I can not wait for my signed copy of your book. I am also looking forward to accompanying your on book tours or staying with your kids while you go.

  3. You're doing a good job, Andi.

    Yes, "Everybody gets a bite of the shit sandwich,* but that doesn't make it stink any less when you get your mouthful. And, it's not really a bite, is it? It was more like a shovel-ful. A big, whopping bucket of shit that you didn't ask for and didn't deserve. It stinks.

    You are doing a good job, Andi. Many moms have meltdowns just managing day-to-day life. Everyday you don't have a meltdown shows you are doing a great job managing your pain. You are entitled to days off from holding it together.