The holidays are a difficult time of year for many people, and not just people who are dealing with loss. The forced frivolity, tv commercials showing smiling happy families, which don’t resemble most stressed families I know, the added expense of gift buying when you are already maxed out with expenses, and just the overall frenetic pace we seem to operate at these days. We seem to have forgotten that Christmas is really a celebration of Jesus birthday.
It is especially difficult for those who are grieving lost loved ones. I was just moving along, feeling pretty good. I got through Mikes death anniversary, drove 8 hours by myself on our anniversary in a great mood, gave thanks on Thanksgiving, and was feeling pretty good.
Fast forward to December, and depression that brought me to my knees. I happen to be in retail, so having debilitating depression during the busiest time of the year is inconvenient to say the least. This month has been day after day of sadness so deep that I didn’t leave my pajamas for 3 days. This coincided with my experiment with aluminum free deodorant, and the 5th month straight of my 1200 calorie a day diet. If you can picture a crazy, stinky hungry fake blonde working an ecommerce company 14 hours a day then you have a good idea what has been going on at the chateau Sabatos.
I finally showered and went to my Dr and we discussed various options including a short term antidepressant, and something new called a weighted blanket. I left with a B-12 shot,script for an antidepressant, and I’m sure my Dr was doing shots at his desk at lunchtime after I left. Or maybe that was me? I digress.
I’m sure that having the expense of two houses for 6 months, combined with everything else, and this emotionally charged month created the perfect storm, and back down the grief hole I go.One of the icky parts of debilitating sadness is that it makes insomnia worse. I am almost sure that I only need 4 hours of sleep now, if only it could be continuous I’d be set. I mean my bags under my eyes have bags now, and Delta is going to charge $30 for me to fly with them. They are that bad!
Introducing the weighted blanket.. This is a real blanket, and has bricks or something inside it. From the insert included with the blanket the deep pressure from the weight resting on top of you causes the body to produce serotonin and endorphins, which improve your mood and promote restful sleep. You know how we swaddle babies with blankets? It’s the same kind of thing with a weighted blanket. Wrapping the body with this blanket can help with a lot of things according to the insert. I got it to promote sleep, and reduce anxiety.
So you lay down, and pull this heavy blanket up around you. My mom gave me my weighted blanket, and she was here the first night I tried it. When I went to bed that night I was weepy. My mom came into my bedroom, just like she did when I was a child. She pulled it up, tucked it in around me, and kissed me on my forehead. Ok, I made up the forehead part. I barely had the energy left after an ugly cry to thank her. I had a weird dream that night, that my mom was laying on me, and I kept saying mom, “get off me,” just proving that as a mom you really can’t win.
Fast forward 5 days or so using the weighted blanket. It’s heavy peeps. It’s also hot, and I’ve woken up with it thrown off a few times. I wonder if that would qualify as weight training? I’m not sure if it is working or not. I’m sure the creators don’t recommend sleeping with a laptop, cell phone, and answering Amazon customer service emails with the blanket up around you, but I’ll keep you posted as I get a few more nights sleep under it.
Grief is messy. It isn’t linear. I am reminding you, as I remind myself. This sucks, but is normal from everything I’ve heard. We have to be patient with ourselves.
I feel very vulnerable right now. I feel like I have slid backwards. I didn’t really want to share this with you. My person reminded me though of how far I’ve come, and that I achieved big bold things this year. I’ve sold my house, moved away from my community, church, and familiar surroundings. I grew my business up over 400% from last year. I know that stuff. I just really wanted to be able to come, and give you this happy update on how I’m doing. Real life doesn’t work like that.
If you have used one of these weighted blankets, I am curious what you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll share mine on it as I go along as well.
Finally, if you are feeling the holiday blues, feel free to reach out to me.