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December 02, 2008



Coping strategies for when I want to cry but shouldn't (such as at work): 1) Distract myself with pain. Usually bite my finger or my lip until I nearly draw blood. 2) Let the overflow happen. Do this only if you think five minutes of silent sobs in the ladies room will give you some relief. 3)Go into your car at lunchtime, drive to someplace where no one you know will see you, and bawl. Come back into the office, take some antihistamines, wash your face and put on fresh makeup. If you don't wear makeup, maybe now is the time to start.

But honestly, considering how great your mom was and how much you love her, it's going to take a long time before this worst part is over.

Um, and dare I say? Antidepressants?


So what are you counting down?

I agree with #3...you gotta mix it up...different foods, different alcohol.

I recommend $50 of cheese, spending weekends in your PJs, getting a roommate (oh wait, you have Gary), seeing lots of movies, and gourmet beers.

Of course now I'm busy in the gym trying to work off all that cheese and beer.

No, you don't ever stop being sad. Just distracted.


i am a ruminator. . . which is a pretty maladaptive coping strategy cause you cant exactly ruminate the sadness out, luckily the romanticiser(sp)in me is a bit more adaptive. . .in the line of work im in, some days i feel like a sponge for my clients sadness but theres also an ethical and personal distance i must keep but on the more spongelike days the injustice and the suffering really get to me it feels like there arent enough tears in the world, or enough energy to cry them. . .as for other strategies, music's always been a rock for me: in happiness and sadness (probably not much of a surprise either :) )

Amy in StL

Okay, I'm a crier. Yup, I'm the one who just tears up and lets it flow. However, if I'm at work I might go down and get a candy bar or sometimes I do some online shopping to make it better. Because that's the coping strategy I was taught by my mom. She shops her stress away. My best friend, boxes her stress away. It doesn't really work for me, but it helps work off the candy bars. Plus even I, the spokesperson for non-athleticism, do find punching something to be a little cathartic.


unfortunately i'm the same way... *sigh*

Crystal (Bratcw)

Have you tried anger? It can be a refreshing change. When my mom died, I did the sad thing for a nice long time. Then I grew bored and decided to be really pissed off at the world for taking my mom away. Somehow it was just more satisfying than being sad. Plus, you have a theme song in "Angry People".


I hear you on the drinking and eating. And my mother's not dead yet. I am way stressing about Christmas, because it's always been her holiday - the one done big, with 1000s of presents and two trees and a huge party. But now she lives in a hospital bed in the spot the tree is supposed to go.
On another happier note, though, Amazon is giving away a free BNL song: Elf's Lament (but your blog doesn't let me do HTML so I can't give you the link, and what is your email address anyway?)


It should be noted I'm neither encouraging or discouraging binge eating/alcohol consumption as means to cope. There is no doubt, however, that the first year is filled with milestones of pain and reminders about who's no longer here. It hurts like fuck-all else.

Crying isn't going to give you any kind of instant emotional reward, but it *is* good. Crying in the company of friends who've been there is much better.


Well, I have tried becoming bitter and cynical and wallowing in feelings that life is cruel and meaningless. I don't really recommend it.

Lately I have been trying to do stuff in her memory that she would like. I went to See's Candy and got 2 pieces of butterscotch squares and ate them even before I got to the car on her birthday. It was actually the day before her birthday, but she would not have waited either.

Stuff like that.


You are remarkably introspective!

I listen to country music while driving and cry. It's unclear whether the tears are over me or over the songs, but when they're over, they're done.

I've also taken to demanding hugs and criticizing the quality of the squeezing.

I agree with "boxing the stress away," but it has to be boxing where you make repeated contact with a big, heavy bag. Cardio boxercise doesn't do it.

What about massages? A friend has a massage therapist with theories about memories and emotions getting (literally) bound up in your muscles, such that when you massage them out, you actually release the memories and emotions too.


You're right- you never get over it. You just learn to live with it. I don't have any coping skills to recommend except crying when you feel the need to cry. How am I for helpful? ;)

Best wishes to you this holiday season, my dear.


It's been more than 5 years since he died. I'm still sad, but I no longer cry with body-quaking sobs. You're right that you will always miss her, but it won't always hurt like it does now.


Losing someone is like being hit by a car. The bleeding stops and the cuts heal but you're always going to walk a little differently and you're never going to cross the street the way you did before.

I'm kind of a fan of extreme temperatures, although I definitely favor cold over hot. If I'm in that crying place and I need to get out of it fast I usually make a bowl of ice water and stick my hands in it. I challenge myself to see how long I can keep them there. If there is no ice water available I can usually distract myself by reciting the preamble in my head and if that doesn't work I try to list the number of letters in each of the words (We the people of the United States of America=2 3 6 2 3 6 2 7).


Crystal - I like the angry thing!! I like to curse at people while I'm driving and drive really fast. I also kicked butt when I played football one year because I was so pissed off and wanted to kill everyone.

Erin - I like the car wreck analogy. My body isn't broken but something in my head definitely snapped and it's not going to go back together anymore.

Today was not a good one...didn't get off the couch to get to the gym, and I forgot about my friend's concert.

I think you just try to have more good days than bad ones and if you have a bad one, you hope tomorrow is a good one.


Becs - I've decided to reserve the antidpressants for when I go crazy and blame myself for the lack of world peace. Just sad now, not crazy.
.75 - counting down? You couldn't wait a few more days?
Keri - I played my guitar per your suggestion, that was a good distraction.
Amy in StL - Shooopping! Yes! I did that today too.($100 at Pottery Barn for something to hang photo frames on) That was good while it was happening, much like the guitar.
Sue - it's starting to sound like we all are ...
Crystal - I could do the Angry People dance! Doo-be-do-be-doo
Magpie - Oy, indeed! I remember Dad in the hospital bed in the living room. And of course I have Elf's Lament, but I reccommend everyone who doesnt have it get the free copy off amazon at
3 - I have never in my life had such a fascination with alcohol. Gary brought me the last of the Baileys with my dinner. And of course I ate all the food in the house today.
suebob - Waaahhhh! Every year for her birthday I bought her the summer collection at Sees Candy. Waaahhh! Waaa - oh, yea, and she would give me a piece-by-piece review every year of every way each piece was found wanting.
Tasterspoon - The massage idea would involve: 1) me being touched 2) by a stranger 3) who would then see me cry. I'm afraid country music sounds better than that. Then again, what I'm doing is thinking about the limoncello.
Yookie - Your best wishes were helpful!
stephanie - So, I should trust that time will cause the progress I'm trying to rush. Five years? I'm holding you to that!
Erin - you have no idea how the MS readers are cringing at that! (People with MS are supposed to avoid extremes of heat and cold.)
,75 - I'm sure tomorrow will be better. Thank you.


I'm definitely a crier, but when I won't "let" myself cry, it's alcohol. If there's no alcohol around, then it's food. No food around, then it's a cigarette, or several. No cigs? I'm screwed.


Food. Books. Writing.

I officially 'got over' my mom's death about 15 years after she died. She isn't forgotten. I just can't pick the scab off that wound anymore. Sometimes it throbs a bit, but not so much. 26 years now.

My dad, on the other hand, has only been gone for 8 years. I still cry looking at the Christmas displays at Lowes, but only for a few minutes. Stupid fucking commercials on TV with Dads and kids, or Dad gifts, tear me up.

Crying never made me feel better. All I got were badly inflamed eyes. Time helps, though.

We orphans should stick together.


Abby - Smoking! I never even though of smoking. Donuts did the trick this morning.
Sherri - That's right! You did get inflamed eyes! I remember you said that:


Argh! I repeat myself!

Well, I have reason, as I have slightly inflamed eyes today. Same reason, different cause, still uncomfortable and equally useless toward feeling better. Don't know why I do it.

Hot Mom

Can't help ya, babe. Five years, four months - still sad.

I do continue to live my life though. And, eventually the self-destructive because-it-makes-me-feel-better-that's-why behavior should slacken off. Eventually. (Of course, I'm still on anti-depressants, so what do I know?)

Stop trying to rationalize your way out of grieving for your mom.


Sherri - No, it was nice to place who had the inflamed eyes. I think of that every time after I wake up from a good night of crying.
Hot Mom - I guess I'm trying to grieve safely. Two limoncellos tonight.


On this somber date, the third anniversary of my father's death, I agree with you wholeheartedly: fried chicken sounds freaking AWESOME.


Elsa - Just tonight as I was crying Gary said, "Have something to eat, you'll feel better." But, he went with Taco Bell.

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