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Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


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This is ridiculous: Love is threatening my future.

06 March 2013

I have been with Girlfriend for nearly a year now. Just writing that makes me giddy.

Love is the result of a difficult chemical reaction that happens in your brain. it affects your entire body. Everyone knows the problems of being in love:

Lack of concentration
Obsessing about the other person
Loss of appetite
Feeling sick
Bad sleep

First, here is a mini chemistry lesson.

New relationships go through three stages: Lust, Attraction and Attachment. Each of these stages have their own hormones that wreak havoc with your normal emotions.  Lust is driven by Testosterone and Oestrogens. Attraction is fueled by Adrenaline, Dopamine and Serotonin. And when you move in to the Attachment phase, it is mostly Oxytocin and Vasopressin.

The Attraction phase is when you can not think of anything else but the other person. Not surprising since high levels of Dopamine are associated with heightened attention, short-term memory, hyperactivity, sleeplessness and goal-oriented behavior. Does that sound like AD(H)D to anyone???? But recently, scientists have discovered that people in the Attachment phase have the same low levels of Seratonin in their blood as those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

So it makes perfect sense that all I can think of is HER. I can not concentrate on university work. I can not think of ANYTHING else than of how many hours before I see her again. And if there is the remotest chance of not seeing her at all during a day, I will just go to her house and steal a kiss on the doorstep and go home again (we do live on the same street so this is easy).

But seriously people, I would really like to move on from this. I have a university degree to think of. It is hard enough to make that work with having AD(H)D killing my concentration. But having something else on top of that to distract me even more is just impossible. I sacrifice work time to be with HER. I can not stop checking my phone if there is a message during my shifts at the hospital. I am unable to sleep unless I have seen HER. I can not look at HER with my brain going funny. It physically hurts when I think of the fact that we do not yet live together and that it won't be for a few months until we can be together on a permanent basis.

I am researching, I stray on the the DFS and IKEA websites and pretend I am looking at furniture for our new house. I spend hours looking at houses online that we *could* rent. Every stupid, trite love song suddenly has become deep and meaningful.

Don't get me wrong: I am not saying this love is better than anyone else's. I know everyone feels like this when they are in love. Or at least, they SHOULD feel like this. For a while anyway. But I just can not move away from it. I would like to be able to say: I am going to work for a few hours and then see HER. It is hard enough when I am not in love but having the promise of seeing HER ahead of me makes it impossible to get anything done.

So, here is a request to my hormones: I get it. my feelings for Girlfriend are SERIOUS. I am properly attracted to her. So can I now please move on to the Attachment phase. The one that releases Oxytocin, aka the cuddle hormone. Ironically, Oxytocin is released after orgasms and strengthens the bond between two people. So perhaps the best way to get to the Attachment phase as soon as possible is to have a lot of sex and release a lot of Oxytocin; the hormone that makes it possible to just sit next to her and do homework, instead of sitting next to her and just wanting to melt into one entity, one body and be closer than humanly possible.

Thank you very much on behalf of all the future patients who would really like for me to have concentrated harder at University.

Finally, if you think I am just moaning and should get on with things, watch this fascinating film about people in love, who are put in an MRI scanner whilst thinking about the person they love. Just thinking of their lovers changes their brain function and hormone balance.

PS: Yes, this entire blog post was just another excuse to think about HER for an hour and still feel like I have done something productive.


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