I tend to do my best crying on the rug in my bathroom. I don’t know why. I have always hated that rug. It’s from Costco and made of recycled plastic bottles. Its smells perfumey like bath and body works and hair products and yet time and time again that’s where I find myself with snot coming out my nose, red, puffy eyes, surrounded by wads of questionable Kleenexes.
I didn’t always find time for my rug so easily, even though it beckoned me in all its recycled plastic glory. I saw my rug every day, but I would ignore it.
Head up, eyes forward and a Mary Poppins like cheery disposition.
Kind of willing myself to not be broken. I will not be broken. I will not be broken. I will not come undone. Maybe if I ignore “it”, I won’t have to grieve and things won’t change..
Here’s the thing my now 10 year older self would say to my younger self. IT’S OK. It’s Ok to have a bad day. It’s ok to be broken. It’s ok to come undone. It’s ok to cry ugly. You don’t have to be so strong for everyone else.
Emotions are real and we were given emotions for a reason. They are supposed to make us better humans but they can cripple us. So let’s get to the kicker….grief, the not so fun, totally normal, feeling.
The fact is simple, if we, as humans, don’t make time for our grief, whatever it may be, it will sneak up on us when we don’t expect it too. Like anything else if we don’t take care of it and don’t take care of ourselves it can be debilitating. Grief is usually associated with death but not always. Some researchers say you can even grieve over not attaining your dreams. Grief looks different for every person so you should never use someone else as a barometer for where you should be on the journey.
I only recently started talking about my grief and that’s when I found out I was grieving in multiple facets of life. I never talked about it a lot because I am a crier and not just a crier, an ugly crier. But the complex number of emotions that can make up grief requires that we talk or share about this feeling. The emotions can be fear, anger, longing for loved ones, heartbreak, guilt and isolation. It’s all heavy, hard hitting stuff that we can easily ignore for the convenience of it. It is after all more fun to deal with the lighter things in life.
I am, now days, making a conscious effort every week to sit down and remember. I do this so that in this busy world I can work it out in my brain. When I did my tough guy routine and did not take the time to do this before, I could see myself on the edge of a looming sadness and I couldn’t understand why. I also always felt tired all the time. That’s the funny thing about this particular feeling. It can have physical ramifications like tiredness, headaches, loss of appetite and even loss of hair. We’ll talk about symptoms at a later date.
So my pain looks different today than it did 10 years ago. It so freeing as your pain evolves too. I think I will never be pain or grief free but if I keep working on it maybe I will be happier. I am happier.
This speaks to me on so many levels. Today has been challenging, this week has been hard to say the least. I am pushing down tears right now. My son just lost it with me. I have much grief.. about life, dreams, goals for me, dreams for my children, loss of loved ones, loss in my own marriage of 19 years… what it was, what it now isn’t… what will it be when the kids are gone. I feel like if I give in to the grief I will never come out of it. I can’t even bring myself to write a letter to my brother that my counselor suggested to come to the reality that he is gone. Even thinking about him makes my chest hurt. (And I had to quit counseling due to finances and anxiety). Thank you for sharing your heart.
This is amazing Jeba. Thank you for your words. You really inspire me. Thanks for being you and sharing your thoughts with us.
Wow. This just seemed to hit home with me. I have yet to go to a therapist and sort myself out but this all rings so true. I was always very abandoned and abused over and over as a child. I seen things no chikd ever should but I have always ,being the only child, been there for both my parents. The situation caused me to have to leave home kn my own at barely 15 years old, sequence of events I had to quit school so on and so on. It has basically been just a loss of myself for so long taking care of them and when it was just me I just pushe all the bad jn the back of my mind and took it as it is what it is , no changing it so I kept trying to do all I could and to be a “good daughter” . Now as a Mother and a Wife I have alot of resentment and just as you said alot of grief for what I COULD have down and what I COULD be right now for my children. I have alot more feelings and issues tying into all this now but the biggest I believe is just the grief, and not knowing how to fix it.
Maybe one day I will learn to proofread hahah