Widowhood is full of heartache and pain and when your brain isn’t functioning at its optimal capacity, it’s frustrating. When you can’t find the right words or you keep forgetting things.
When you find your car keys in the refrigerator or milk in the pantry, you can blame your confusion on a very real condition called ‘widow brain.’
The fog that follows you around makes it extremely difficult to do even simple things because your brain isn’t functioning normally.
Widow brain is real and you’re not crazy, not incompetent, but you are deeply saddened, traumatized and displaced. Who wouldn’t be foggy?
Grief is hard work. That’s about all you can handle right now. Concentration takes effort, so the haze sets in to give your brain a much-needed break from overthinking.
If you get upset and berate yourself for forgetting words or for misplacing keys. Don’t.
You’ve been through an incredible amount of pain and your brain has been going nonstop as you try to absorb your new way of life. Exhaustion arrives daily. The only way to beat exhaustion is to rest.
Notice I didn’t say sleep. I said rest. If you can sleep, great, but I know how elusive sleep can be during your most intense grief episodes.
You can rest yourself and your brain if you just try. Stop multi-tasking for five minutes a day. Longer if you can. But five minutes is a good place to start.
If you’re looking for permission to rest five minutes a day, I officially give you permission. ‘You’re welcome.’
Forgetfulness, inability to complete tasks and irritability are all natural responses to grief, surgery recover, anesthesia, being hit by a huge truck. You’re not incompetent. You are simply overwhelmed. There is a difference.
Family, friends and those who have not ‘Been There’ will push you to be social, do more than you feel comfortable doing. When you experience, divorce, disease and death you are changed and it takes time to adjust. The three D's are traumatic.