Irritable, moody, and flustered

Coping with Charles’ birthday month has been different this year (he would have been 24 on April 26). Just a few days in, I’m sad sometimes but more often just plain agitated.

Sleep is weird but I’m following Karla Helbert’s breathing techniques which are helping. I’m doing a lot of my self-talk (alter ego conversations) because I get into destructive negative thinking patterns and I have to tell my other self that there are enough people who will put me down and I don’t need to be one of them. I do follow my own advice on that one but it doesn’t mean I don’t wrestle with it.

I don’t feel comfortable in my skin as if I’ve borrowed it and the right one will be returned soon. When did my skin leave only to be replaced by the one I’m in right now?

A number of times, I’ve gone back to my own book to read aloud some of the precious memories I have wrapped up and folded into my mental theatre. The story about Charles coming home from the music studio and playing his first album for all of us surrounded by friends is particularly soothing. Reading this passage does bring me peace.

Everything lately is hard and takes more effort.

Normally, when I hear an idea, I’m on it like syrup on pancakes. But right now, my brain says, “Are you up to all that?” To which I unconvincingly say, “Yes I am,” knowing that even though my brain is in sloth mode, the energy will return and the state I’m in right then is not permanent. Feelings never are. Even the good ones. I’ll get my full mojo back, it’s just in partial hibernation right now and whiny brain is taking up residence.

So far, no itchy rashes like I’ve had in the past. By this time last year, I had raised welts on my face and neck, funky droopy redness on my eyelids. I hope by saying that it doesn’t jinx me and I wake up tomorrow looking like a dermatology poster parent.

Deep breathing, mindfulness, exercise, positive self talk, writing and cuddling up with memories of my boy who died by suicide are helping me manage. It’s taking a lot more of all of those things right now. But after years of this, at least I have the tools.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

12 thoughts on “Irritable, moody, and flustered”

  1. Today, April 5th would have been my granddaughter, Elizabeth Bryan Jarrard’s 28th birthday. She died by suicide. So I’m also shaky, physically hurting in her birthday month. But trying to keep it together and do something to honor her. I’ve talked to her and looked out my dining room window (with a bird feeder attached)
    and there was a beautiful red male cardinal feeding. I know she hears me and that bird momentarily lifted my grief. Happy Birthday dear Elizabeth.
    Your GiGi
    Betty Bryan Schnellenberger

  2. Please take time to take care of you. You deserve it. And you cannot give away what you don’t have. You have to replenish your vessel. This grief thing is hard, so hard. This is the hardest thing. You need to take care of yourself. (((((((HUGS))))))))) Sending you so much love.

  3. You are a treasure, Anne Moss. ❤️ Your honesty and sharing the techniques that have worked for you are helping others. Sending love to you in this season…

  4. My heart goes out to you. I am glad you are taking time to care for yourself. It’s hard being strong sometimes.

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