I feel totally deconstructed. Distraught and distressed; too many ‘de’ and ‘dis’ words. It is not easy to write but I am determined to write now, amid the tears and trauma because I want to share and reassure other people that they are not the only ones who feel like this. I know that I am not the only one; I know that others experience this type of pain and emotional exhaustion, even if they don’t talk or write about it. But if no one does, then there is the danger that we do think we are the only ones that experience dark times. I’m referring to the dark times that kidnap you, like someone throwing a blanket over you – they seem to come from nowhere, a crippling, blind blackness. Not the darkness and grief that is associated with a sad event. That is easy to share, people understand, they know what to say. That kind of grief is normally associated with loss and we have all experienced loss at some stage, we can empathise – to varying degrees. That kind of grief is acceptable and accepted.
The grief that has brought me to a halt today is the type of grief that has been building quietly and slowly. Layers of disappointment and disregard, the occasional expectation not being met, twinges of feeling unfulfilled, stabs of fear and all being topped by a big helping of feeling unappreciated and just not valued. And then drenched in a sickly sauce of exhaustion.
I hurt. Inside. And out. I am tired. I feel let down, misunderstood, unappreciated and just lost. So I am grieving a loss. Not of anyone else or any thing else (thankfully) but a loss of my sense of worth, a loss of perception and a loss of direction. It is hard writing at the same time as attempting to unravel the murky, muddy feelings of grief. Black fingers grip my chest and my mind. I feel empty. Tears roll down my face and splash mockingly on the keyboard.
Yes, I have been fighting it for a while. Today grief wins. It caught me unawares. I hear it roaring with laughter through the pain. I have been trying to outrun it, trying to smother it with work and sensible conversations. Trying to outwit it by declaring, ‘everything’s fine.’ Trying to convince myself it was. I know better than that. I’m not going to be let to get away with it! Obviously.
Pain, be it physical or emotional, is an indication that something is wrong; something needs to be addressed. Therefore it is a gift. Even though I am grateful for the awareness, acceptance is harder right now. It is hard to admit something needs to be addressed, reviewed, renewed, repaired and re-evaluated because in order for it to be causing this amount of pain it is something I have been burying and denying. So before I ‘fix’ it I have to ‘find’ it and probably ‘feel’ it even deeper and harder. It’s obviously something I don’t want to address, something I don’t want to be ‘true’ or ‘real’. I feel fearful.
And that’s revealing in itself, as all morning I have been telling myself that there is no ‘real’ reason for my sadness. But of course there is. Any reason is a real reason. It is what it is. But a ‘real’ reason would justify my pain and negate the fact that I am embarrassed to admit my weaknesses, I am ashamed to admit I feel vulnerable and I feel cripplingly guilty for being so sad when I have so many beautiful and wonderful things in my life. So many things that I am still vastly appreciate of, despite the gnawing pain.
‘The lights have gone out in my head and the fire has gone out in my heart’. That’s how it feels. It’s not how it is – I’m still functioning and will continue to do so. But that’s how it feels and it’s those emotions that matter right now. Not even the reasons or the appropriateness of them but the emotions that are pouring down my face. They are the indicators.
“Better out than in, “ my Nan would declare with great satisfaction when she belched. I am guessing I am being reminded of that rather odd memory because it is the same for grief. Better out than in. Dis-ease it what causes disease. My dis-ease has been allowed to mature into a debilitating grief. That can’t be good. I’m glad it’s being evicted. But its still hurts. Hurts like hell. And of course, fear is stoking this grief. I may well be grieving for something I have lost but fear is stoking that unstable fire. In order to make the changes I need to, I need to address the fear I have of those very changes. Awareness is power. Knowledge is power. But action takes courage. Today I am all out of courage. Tomorrow is another day.
Today will pass. Nothing, no matter how bad or how good lasts forever. This too will pass. All well used sayings. Well used because of their relevance. People hurt, life hurts on times – we can only know what hot feels like by recognising cold and similarly, we have to know sadness, grief and fear to recognise happiness, peace and contentment.
And of course I am very familiar with happiness, peace and contentment, so will recognise them immediately. In fact I will go to meet them – I know I can always find them on top of the mountain, and Yogi has a nose for them. And there is wood to stack and stone walls to build. Stacking and building – that’s what needs to be done. Nature always knows best.
And I am grateful.
Gratitude doesn’t exclude grief. Or fear. It encompasses them, embraces them and maybe even exposes them. The more gratitude I feel for my life, the more things that don’t serve me are being exposed. Like a good stone wall, the base stones, or foundations, have to be supportive and strong. Or collapse is inevitable.