Support group felt a little strange this week. I wondered if the addition of one facilitator changed the dynamics a bit. On the other hand, it could have just been the three weeks of between sessions, OR maybe it was just ME.
Part of the weirdness was due to the fact that I was there after having a good day. Yes, I had a “good” day. It was a sharp contrast to the rest of the members of the group. It had been a productive day at work where I accomplished the same amount of work in that one day as I did in all of last week. Being busy provided me with a good distraction from the feelings that usually cloud my days.
Our first exercise was to circle faces representing the different emotions we’d experienced in the day. I was done in a couple of minutes and watched the rest as they continued making circle after circle. By the time we were done I had a total of five emotions circled, while my fellow groupies had 14-21 different emotions. I was certainly the odd man out.
By the time my turn in the discussion occurred, I had more to discuss than just my day. It was the contrast of night and day that I talked about. I explained that while my day was generally good, the worst was yet to come as evenings are the hardest part of the day for me. I went on to provide an example for them, describing a night that I made soup from a can for my children’s dinner AGAIN and then ate a piece of bread. I realize that I could do worse. My kids actually love Chicken Noodle Soup. What bothers me most has less to do with my dinner short-cuts, and more to do with my lack of motivation to feed my kids properly. Providing healthy, well-balanced meals is my job! It is just so hard to cook healthy meals when I have no appetite of my own. I eat out of duty, not based on hunger. Consequently, I eat whatever is around. If we are out of something, I figure out a substitute to avoid going to the store unless absolutely necessary.
It may sound strange to you. It might even worry you. But the thing is nobody in the group was at all surprised. We’ve all been experiencing tough times. Some members in the group are years past their loss. For each, this journey is different but much of the background (inability to focus, lack of motivation, exhaustion, lack of or excessive appetite, loneliness) is similar, if not the same. I took comfort in knowing that I am not the only one. I left group and went straight to the store and didn’t leave until I had the required ingredients for three whole dinners.