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.