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Monday, May 27, 2013

Grief and the BRAIN...dealing continues

“Activity—any activity—helps against sadness. You take up life’s reins again. When you do something, you engage your brain and deprive it of the opportunity to go down thought’s darker paths.”

—Stefan Klein, The Science of Happiness

I continue to grieve but chose to fill my weekend as best I could. I hope all my children saw was normality. Again that word that never can truly apply to my life. I will settle on an attempt at normality. I found myself pensive here and there but pulled myself back. I want my tattoo artist to have a drama free night rather than a blithering, swollen eyed mess to deal with. How wonderful that the unravelling is happening with time for me to pull myself together for a difficult day. So the need to process draws me here. What have I been learning about this "process" and its many aspects?

After an eight day headache and crying until my eyes swelled, I continue to work out the emotional catastrophe surrounding my loss. How irrevocable the change in my life is is daunting to face and I find it necessary to switch to a scientific look at what is happening in my brain. I am amazed at the studies that have been done and will give a grueling (just kidding) look at the amygdala and its surrounding biochemical feedback system associated with grief. I also scanned a few studies on the use of alcohol on the same system but that is for another time.

"Although there was increased brain activity in many regions associated with sadness, they also had much less activity in the brain region associated with emotion, motivation, and attention – the amygdala."

And thus starts the lesson.

(I just question, "if it is in my brain, then why does my heart hurt so much?")

And a call from a crying mother just ended the research for a moment or four.

And, sadly I cannot find the seminal research I read on the subject as I was using my tablet in my room to surf the web. Unsure of the engine I was using. The saga continues.