“I have become comfortably numb.”

Way back in 1979, Pink Floyd sang these words. I’m sure they had no idea how perfectly they would nail the emotions of a then 13 year old girl who has now become an almost 50 year old woman. But, nail them they did. Roger Waters, the song writer has said that the song is about feeling detached from reality. And again, they’ve totally nailed my emotional state.

“Hello…is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?”

In recent months, I have repeatedly felt numb. Detached. On the outside looking in. Not because my family isn’t amazing and supportive. No, this is a feeling of my own making. It is, I’m sure, a way to deal with life and the enormous Peyton-shaped hole in my heart. Because, while I may seem to be holding everything together, the reality is that I am terrified of the depth of emotion that I haven’t scratched the surface of yet.

“There is no pain, you are receding. A distant ship smoke on the horizon.”

Instead of dealing with the all the feelings, pain and heartache, I pretend that everything is ok. My whole life, I’ve been a “fake it ‘till you make it” kind of person. Most of the time, the “make it” part rarely happened, but I could still fake it pretty well. Now, I’ve become an expert. Seriously, some of my performances are near Oscar-worthy. Sometimes, many times, I feel like I’ve lost part of who I am to all of this pretending. But, I continue to do so because to do otherwise – to show the world how destroyed I still am after a year – would make the world too uncomfortable. It would invite in too many arm-chair psychiatrists who think they know what I should be doing or how I should be doing it. To hide the real me on the horizon is just easier for everyone.

“You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

It’s narcissistic to say that no one knows how I feel, but it’s true. Even other moms who have lost their children to suicide still don’t know exactly how I feel – but they have some sort of idea. There are just no words to describe how it feels. There are no words to convince myself that this is real. Even though I wake up to that fact every single day, it still knocks the wind out of me over and over again. I can’t explain it, not even to myself. I mean, logically, I know Peyton is gone. But my heart just can’t grasp that reality. Then, at the most odd times, that truth comes along and takes my breath away. And it feels just like it did that first day. There’s a lurching in my heart, as if it’s skipped a beat. My breath catches in my throat and for a moment, I can’t breathe. Then, once I’ve pushed it out of my mind, I find my way back to that detached place and can continue.

“I have become comfortably numb.”

In the last year, I found ways to cope. I’ve learned to self-medicate with television and Facebook. I’ve held myself at arm’s length so I don’t have to deal with my own underbelly. And I’ve settled into a routine. Sometimes I wish I could go out and do social things, but usually it’s just too much trouble and effort to even get dressed. So, I make excuses and crawl back into my burrow to revel in the numbness. And, while it’s not particularly joyful, it is, in a word, comfortable. And, for now, that’s all I can ask for.