Mental Side Effects

When Rory died, I feel like I was changed at the molecular level. That down to my cells, I would never be the same.

I’m not the same, but most of my cells probably are.

I’ve had quite a few mental side effects from the trauma of That Night.

One of them dealt with counting.

Since I was young, when my brain felt overwhelmed or when I was bored I would count things around me. It enabled me to focus in and make sense of my surroundings.

After Rory died, when I would start counting, I would be transported back to That Night. Counting the chest compressions.

What was once a coping mechanism was now a trigger.

I expressed this to our grief counselor. He gave me an exercise to help retrain my brain.

Every time I started counting compressions, I needed to replace the thought with something positive involving Rory.

I counted freckles.

I pictured Rory’s sweet face and would count her precious freckles.

Slowly, I’ve been able to count again. The thought doesn’t alway pop up. It still does sometimes, though.

But then I picture her chubby cheeks and find a small amount of peace.

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