Mental Masturbation

Lately, I’ve been stuck!

I haven’t wanted to write or work. I haven’t wanted to do anything… other than feel sorry for myself. I’ve become really good at hiding my pain, putting on the mask, and muddling my way through life. I’m not really sure of who I am anymore. What do I want for the future? I can’t even imagine a future. Before Dillon died I had a plan, we (my husband and I) had a plan. We would build up our business, sell it, build our dream house, travel the world, and live happily ever after. My “happily ever after” ended when Dillon was killed. Now, thinking about the future seems futile. Dillon had a future. He had plans, hopes, dreams, goals that will never be realized. Our lives are not promised, they are fragile and they end… sometimes abruptly. 

So, do I sell my house, throw all caution to the wind, and live life fast and hard? Do I let the demons creep in, sink into a hole, throw my hands up in the air, and give up? Do I continue waking up, talking myself out of my pain, keep moving forward and trying to create a plan for the future? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m tired. I’m tired of the emotional pain and I’m tired of the physical pain. My body and my mind have not been connected. After waking up in the middle of the night with leg and back pain the last couple of weeks I knew I had to make a change. The last time I felt like this was about 6 months after Dillon died. The fog had lifted just enough that I was able to pay some attention to my body… and it ached. It ached so bad that I wondered if there was something wrong. I went to the doctor, had blood work, a CT scan of my head, and a complete physical. The good news, everything was normal. The bad news, everything was NORMAL! But I wasn’t “normal”…. Life as I knew it had ended and I needed to make some changes.

So once again, it’s time to make some changes.

I’ve been doing so much emotional work to process this pain that I’ve been stuck in my head. Therapy, hypnotherapy, process writing, etc. I haven’t been paying much attention to my body and it is pissed! I haven’t honored by body, I haven’t even acknowledged my body and the pain it has endured. I’ve been so focused on my emotional trauma that I have ignored my physical pain. It’s an interesting dilemma… my body hurts so I don’t feel like moving, but it’s because I’m not moving that my body hurts.

It has been a couple of months since I’ve swam and I didn’t know how I would feel, but i forced myself to put on my swimsuit, and drive myself to the pool. I got into the water and I just started…. Head in, legs kicking, arms flowing. I remembered how much I love the pool. The sound of the water swooshing with each stroke of my arms. My goal is to swim a mile. I’m tired after the first few laps and I keep waiting for the rhythm to kick in, talking to myself the entire time. “You can do this. Just keep going. Don’t stop. One, one, one, one, two, two, two.” I count to distract myself. “I’m tired. Maybe I’ll just do half a mile. I really need to get the accounting done. Did I put he clothes in the dryer? Oh crap, I lost count. What lap am I on now? Doesn’t matter, just keep going. Oh wow, I’m past the half way mark. I think I can do this. I wonder what time it is? The water is so beautiful with the sun shining through. I wonder if it’s beautiful like this where Dillon is? I miss him so much. I have to keep going. I have to get into a routine. Oh my God, only 2 more laps to go. Just keep going. Fuck, my arms hurt. My lungs hurt. I think I’m almost done…. I did it!”

My husband calls this mind game “Mental Masturbation”.

Whether it’s going to the gym, showing up for work, or dealing with the loss of my son, it’s all just mental masturbation. The crazy conversations that I have with myself, how my thought pattern jumps from negative to positive and then back to neutral. I can talk myself into and out of most everything. It can be scary at times when I can’t seem to get out of the dark place. 

Those thoughts sound more like this, “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to be here. It’s not fair that Dillon died and I’m still here. What’s the meaning in all of this? Does everything happen for a reason? What’s the fucking reason? Why does that asshole get to live and Dillon had to die? I can’t believe I’ve survived this long. I have to be strong for Kyle. If I give up, then where does that leave everyone else? There are others who have gone through worse. Find the meaning in all of this. I told myself I would never survive if one of my kids died, so why are you still here? I wish I could be with Dillon. I’m jealous that (insert name) died, that means they get to reunite with Dillon before me. I wonder how much longer I have to be here? When will it be my turn? Do I have a purpose? What is it? Why did Dillon only get 24 years when I’m at 53? I just want to go to sleep. I want the pain to stop. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. How dare you not live. You have to live double, for Dillon. Stop being so weak. Put on your big girl panties. Mary, get your ass out of bed. Fuck my body hurts! I need to make another therapy appointment. Maybe I should give acupuncture another try. Jesus, fucking Christ… go to the pool!”

“One, one, one, two, two two…”

Thank you for taking the time to read and to witness my journey. I hope you will share yours as well.

All my love,



  1. No advice. Just know I’m listening to you and thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

Comments are closed.