Grief and loss are emotions that I would rather push off of my shoulder then look in the eye and feel.
I have been enmeshed in the grips of the evil bird of depression for three years. I do take medication and I have had three years of therapy working towards dealing with the root of the depression. I can whether most of the emotions. I can feel them, see them and hold them in. I can even look on them with compassion because I know how brave they are for coming out.
It’s a huge thing for me to feel anything. I went through a several year period where I couldn’t cry. I was numb, dull to the abuse that was falling around me. It chased after me and everywhere I went I found myself in a abusive situation. I weathered it, almost died and came out with a baby and an addiction.
I also have years piled on where I experienced abuse at the hands of those that were meant to nurture and teach me the ways to live. Those roots of abuse have dug so deep that at that every window of hope there is a cloud of grief in the way. It’s a heavy and palpable thing. I can feel it building and there are certain things that trigger those feelings.
When I watch anything with levels of loss, from anything to someone being accused of something they didn’t do (real or fictional) or worst, like the beginning of Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy when it got real and the loss became to much. I am crying as I write this because it struck me in a painful way.
So in the first or second episode of the season the guys get busted and Jax, Trig, and Happy all get picked up on manslaughter charges. The sheriffs come to the club house to arrest them Opy beats up a cop so they drag him in also. While they were in Prison the gangster whose daughter trip accidentally killed, wants one of the Son to die in exchange for his daughter life. Jax had to be the one decided. The person was gonna get beat down buy the correction officer and other prisoners. Jax went to jump in and Opy pushed him back, jumped in and said “I got this bro.”
Opy didn’t survive and even though it’s a TV show I had a visceral reaction to his death. It struck a jar of pain and tears that I didn’t realize was really there. Most of the time I was levitating between angry/controlling to fine and happy; I didn’t see how bad everything was internally.
The tears don’t stop coming anymore. Ever since that death I have been crying at the drop of a hat. The tears will come rushing up my gut into my eyes and I can’t control them.
I am learning that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay that I am extra tearful right now. I have my friends who are tear catchers and I have God. And I am really holding onto him lightly, though it’s there.
It’s okay to let the tears fall.
It’s okay to not be okay.
I have people around me who check in my me and encourage me to get out of bed, one friend bribes me to write with the promise of gummy worms and others just love me.
I have one friend, a dear friend who did so much for Abigail and I this summer. Her name is Rachel and on her Instagram once she wrote “I am learning to have compassion for my grief” Reading that was like a balm for my weary soul.
I pinned it next to my bathroom mirror so I can see it every day and remember to do the same thing for my grief. Grief isn’t this big, three toothed hairy monster that wants to eat us alive. It can become that if it’s not expressed. It can easily become something that can whistle out slowly as it’s processed. It becomes that monster when the grief and loss are stuffed down and not given a name.
That’s what I am doing now. I am naming my grief, naming my loss and expressing it in productive ways. I am writing more and art journaling more. I have also started to express my mood and be okay with that. There is nothing in the bible that says I have to wear a smiley face 100% of the time.
I know this will pass; it’s just where I am now.
This time I am giving it the space it needs to be expelled.