I have noticed this strange phenomenon within myself. Whenever I begin to dwell on my mother’s illness and impending decline into nothing, my thoughts immediately revert to something else. In these new thoughts I begin to pick them apart to find a problem and thus creating a new conflict to dwell over. Once I hold a “new chaos” to deal with, my mind forgets about the one that caused the process to begin.
I am certain this is an actual mental disorder related to grief but I don’t have the time nor the patience to do research. (Although, that may help with my need to focus on something else, so maybe I should do that.)
The one thing I learned from my “Ethics of Living and Dying” course in community college is that process of grief is very concrete. In the moments I begin to feel these emotions, if I momentarily remove myself from the situation, I can see what stage I currently reside. Yesterday it was anger. Today’s emotions I don’t know. Denial, most likely.
It is super humorous to me that the ONLY class I received a B grade was the one that has probably impacted my life the most. I learned so much in it that it has carried over into my real life. I see the patterns, I see the human reactions to things to death and dying. It’s truly fascinating. And even in knowing the clinical process of it I still fall right into the same groove. It’s inescapable. It’s human nature at it’s core.
Knowing that I do in fact create fabricated or exaggerated conflicts I can stop myself whenever it becomes too overwhelming. Because even though it is a momentary distraction my thoughts are still consumed by my mother and I have then “successfully” doubled the stress, and I don’t need to do that.