Haven’t had the heart to write here for a long time. As soon as I hit “publish” on my last post, I was overwhelmed with a huge wave of sadness. It’s like as soon as I publicly claimed I was doing really well, it cleared the feelings on top of the real feelings. I became acutely aware of how “not okay” I really was. By the next day, I was a complete mess and the only phrase that was repeating itself in my head was, “I am not okay. I’m not okay!!”
I decided not to blog for a while and just wear all of these feelings for a while on my own. I bought an old school paper journal that’s just for me, and wrote about stuff I will just classify as really raw emotion. It sucks to live in real time. Why can’t I deal with a bad thought only once--why does it keep repeating itself? Why am I so restless--I can’t focus on anything? Why do I snap so fast with people—I have zero patience and get triggered so fast? It occurred to me tonight that I have not carved any pumpkins for Halloween with my kids this year. It was such a big deal to me as a kid and for the last 5 years I have had my kids, but this year I honestly don’t have any energy to celebrate. Not Halloween pumpkin carving is such a first world problem, but I know behind this is something that has to do with grieving.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have some peaceful moments and days where my brain actually stops racing and the sinking feeling in my heart stops. I soak up these times and pay attention to what caused this. I can’t believe I used to always feel okay! I was doing pretty well and that was a great foundation to go to work from, to parent from, to do anything from. Now, these moments are rarer, but perhaps the hidden blessing is that I really do cherish happiness because I know how crappy it is to feel sad day after day. Crossing off so many things on my “Finding Joy in 2015” list I shared in my first blog post this year makes me pretty happy. Peru was a life changing experience. Celebrating my dad's 70th birthday in Hawaii as the only "single parent" in the family reunion made me feel capable and strong. Coaching run clinic has been my reason for getting out of bed on Sundays this year. Putting away all my wedding photos was surprisingly not difficult for me, but I totally lost it (in a good way) when I saw the new family photos of me and the kids for the first time and I probably stared at them for hours that day. A couple weeks ago I travelled with a friend and tried to leave everything that is my reality behind—and it worked. For one week I totally let go and shut my fretful brain down. It felt amazing and I want that feeling again! It is scary to me that many of the things that make me happy these days are travel-based, and require me leaving my reality which is not sustainable. I feel like I need to generate my own sense of peace in the middle of real life, but I’m not sure how to do that over and over—yet.
There is progress, I know it! One thought that has slowly started to leave my brain is blame. I don’t blame anyone or anything for how I feel. What happened, happened. “It is what it is,” and there is no going back now. I know staying angry is just poisoning myself. I also know that I don’t need to be in a relationship with anyone right now. That would be kind of like putting myself on drugs. I definitely am scared of the prospect of not having anyone to share meaningful things in life with, but for now I am pretty clear on how much I can handle. Yeah, it hasn’t been the best year. But it could be worse; I am above ground, and for that I am grateful, and I need to keep marching ahead. I have realized that this is all part of the process of grieving the loss of something major in a person’s life. Some days are brilliant, some days are dark, and hopefully the good days happen more frequently over time. And to all of you who have been so encouraging and inspiring to me this year, thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring—it really does get me out of bed.
ps. Gwen Stefani just became my hero--heard her new song this week and cried heaps: