I had another breakdown last night. This one might have been worse than the one I had a couple of days ago.
I definitely know what the trigger was for the one last night. Last night was the night four years ago that a baseball sized tumor on Jeff's adrenal gland we didn't even know was there burst and started bleeding into his abdomen. He was in enormous pain but we didn't know at the time what was causing the pain. I wanted to take him to the ER but he told me that he didn't want to go. I called his mom and she demanded that I call an ambulance if he refused to go to the hospital. Jeff told me he would never forgive me if I made him go to the hospital that night. He got into bed and said he just wanted to lay in bed and try to sleep. I was so distraught that I needed to take anti-anxiety medicine in order to avoid a panic attack.
I woke up in the morning and started getting ready for work while Jeff was sleeping. As I was leaving for work he told me he was ready to go to the hospital. He was in the hospital for a little over a week. We got him home right before Christmas Eve. He died December 29th.
Last night the dog I adopted right after Jeff and I married was acting very strange. She was crying out frequently any time I tried to pick her up or move her if she was sleeping near or on me. I was very distraught because I couldn't figure out why she was crying. I kept feeling around her stomach, ribs, legs, paws to see what was causing her pain and she wouldn't cry out while I was palpating but any time I tried to move her or make her move, she would cry out sharply. I couldn't decide if I should take her to the emergency veterinarian or not and it brought back the same anxiety as I felt exactly four years ago with Jeff. It was like I was reliving that moment over again.
Luckily, Wyoming was there to help with the situation. He decided it was best to let my dog sleep in her kennel and see how she was in the morning. I told him I was afraid that when we went to check on her in the morning that she would be dead. He was confident she would be fine.
This morning, I found out that he barely slept. He checked on her throughout the night to make sure she was doing ok. He said that he took her out to go potty and she didn't cry and didn't limp. This morning she seemed fine.
I am exhausted this morning from crying and worrying. I try and separate the incident with Jeff and my dog but my emotions get the best of me and it's all I can do to calm myself down and not have a full blown panic attack.
My dog means so much to me. She is the last remaining living thing I have of Jeff. Since Jeff's family broke all contact with me over three years ago, she is the last piece of Jeff I feel I have left. He named her. She was there while he was home, keeping him company while he was on disability and going through radiation and chemotherapy. She wouldn't leave his side when he came home from the hospital the six days before he died. He actually told me that he wanted her ashes with him. He didn't care where my ashes went but he definitely wanted our dog's ashes with him.
I know my dog will die one day. It's inevitable. But all I could think about last night was how I just couldn't handle her dying the month Jeff died and over the first holidays without my mom.
Wyoming says I'm strong and can handle anything but he also admits I may need some extra help. So I scheduled a bereavement group meeting and am going back to some of the coping skills I used right when Jeff died. I was hyper-vigilant when Jeff died about taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and mentally. I know I've been lax about taking care of myself since Mom died. I am sure there is a correlation, which is causing me to have such a hard time right now.
Just like physically taking care of myself by eating well and working out, I need to take care of myself emotionally and mentally by doing the same grief work I did right after Jeff died.
It's depressing to think that even after four years, I still have to work so hard. I wonder if Mom hadn't died if I would be struggling this much right now. But I guess it doesn't really matter, I am where I am. It is what it is.
I can either lay down and let the misery of grief suffocate me, or I can stand up to my grief, face it head on and do the work required to overcome it. I'm just tired of feeling panic and sadness these last couple of weeks so it's time to do something about it.
I know what needs to be done so I just need to do it.