Monday, August 22, 2011


One of the things that we are learning is that when you are going through grief it is very possible and probable that all of your senses are heightened and your emotions are as well. This means that the normal things that your senses either tune or miss are all of a sudden flooded into your brain. In this case, I can attest to this being the case. It is one of the hardest things and is probably one of reasons why I am having such issues.

I have found out that I can’t sleep in the dark that simply turning off the lights is enough for panic and anxiety to come in. I was feeling silly but we were talking and found out that if all the lights are off then you are relying more on your ears for hearing. Hearing was something that I had to do while Zach was alive. I had to hear the little changes in his body to assure that we could get him help. I had to hear the machines beep, I had to head the medications get done. I simply had to pay attention to every noise. Now I don’t have to and while it is nice my body is used to it. I will still hear things that no one else hears. I have to remind myself that I am not waiting to hear Zach’s machines to go off or for him to gasp or for him to say my name. There is a silence that very few understand.

One night I was sitting in the living room settling down and I looked up to see a man in the hallway… I about freaked till I realized that there wasn’t’ anyone there, that my eyes had seen something that wasn’t there. Again with the lights off I am looking more, I used to be able to look at Zach and tell if there was an issue. I would look at his breathing, look at his feeds, look at his diapers, look at his face. The simplest, that looks off would be enough for us to know that Zach was having issues. So the emotions, the senses, were playing tricks and my body needed to relax and rest. There are nights when my brain is less active till I turn those lights off then I can see things, hear things and react to things that aren’t there. There are nights that I can go to sleep to wake up in pure anxiety. Now people talk about depression, people kinda understand depression, Anxiety however is one that I feel like people are clueless about. I will admit it, I was… it wasn’t like I was trying to be clueless I just didn’t get it.

I don’t know the medical definition is but here is definition by Jen… anxiety: the inability to handle fears, stress, emotions and other actions in the manor which is rational. Sounds kinda like being overwhelmed. Yes but so much more, being overwhelmed does NOT wake up in the middle of the night, anxiety does. Being overwhelmed doesn’t change every part of you while anxiety does. Anxiety will cause you to reevaluate some of the things you do. In my cause it has caused me to want to be isolated. Anxiety has caused me to be nervous in situations that 3 months ago I wouldn’t have batted an eye at. It hard to get people to understand and you (I) begin to wonder what am I doing wrong, what do I need to do, what can I do to get out of the situation, what or better how do I change? I would venture to say that Anxiety is more common than we realize


  1. Jen, I think it's is great that you are putting all of this into words, for others to read. I bet you will not even know how much you may help some others by doing this, and help yourself at the same time. I can totally see how anxiety can take over while experiencing grief....

  2. Jen, Your posts are great. Keep it up. You may not realize that you are helping others as well as yourself. The anxiety is tough, but you will gradually adjust. Your senses will eventually get use to not having to listen for the slightest change in breathing, or the smallest gasp or the on going beeps of the machines. Keep writing and know that you are in my prayers.