I've been going to counseling regularly since January. As I got closer to the second anniversary of Dad's death, I didn't feel as advanced in my grief as I felt I should be. In addition to that, I had noticed a disturbing trend of getting close to women in dating situations, then backing away like they were on fire. I had an emotional wall that would go up like a blast door on a space ship. Sometimes it went up brick-by-brick, other times it appeared suddenly and fully. I know it was frustrating for the people it affected; it was frustrating for me, to be sure.
Today I went to my appointment and felt pretty good about it. I talked about my experiences at Dragon*Con with my friends, which were universally good. I talked about a dinner I had with my ex-wife several weeks ago, which was a goodbye of sorts as she was moving out of state. It was a non-event emotionally, which is progress. I helped Mom through her back surgery, which she is recovering nicely from. I talked about my brother's divorce, now final, and his subsequent adjustment to divorced life...which he is handling completely different than I have. I talked about work; our software conversion is finally starting to calm down and life is getting less stressful there. I talked about how I felt stable emotionally through all of this.
I talked about how Brewburger closed last week and how that was one of the last places Dad and I ate together and that the closing was a sad event for me. Not crying upset, but still sad. I talked about the march of time and how both of the last restaurants Dad and I went to were now gone and I had less and less to remember him by. I have many things, sure, but every loss is felt because there's no replacing it with anything else. She suggested I find a new ritual for him; something I did have control over. That's a good idea...I'm going to have to think about what that is going to be.
I also talked about my relationship issues. Although I have greater stability, I'm not sure how much of that is true and how much is just keeping busy. I spent the last two days pretty much non-stop watching Breaking Bad with a friend; now that the house is empty I'm not sure how I feel about it. My friends that went to the Con with me talk about Post-Con Depression, as do many other attendees on Facebook and other social outlets. I haven't suffered that in the past; I am sorry that Dragon*Con has to end, sure, but I'm also happy to return to regular life.
I have the rest of this week off and will be taking another trip this weekend, this time to Guthrie to camp and see a few concerts. I'm eager to see these bands and spend some time with a friend I haven't been able to hang with in a while. Fun? Yes. Helpful to my emotional well-being? Yes...but is it just temporary? Will my return home be met with me looking for some other event to fill the space? I wonder about sustainability. I worry about the shadows returning to my mind. The doubt, the self-loathing. The incessant over-analysis of everything in my life. It's been quiet for a while, but I can never believe it's gone. It's just part of who I am. But...I can't shake the feeling that I'm hiding from something.