Thursday, November 14, 2013

Your (Grief) is Like a Roller Coaster, Baby Baby

My grief is largely under control now, something I carry with me, concealed and small.  I don't cry that much anymore and rather than being actively grieving all the time, I function as a more of a "normal person" whose past just happens to shape the way she thinks, feels, and acts.  Most of the time.

Sometimes, though, I get caught off guard.  Sometimes grief still sneaks up on me and overwhelms me.  My dark days may be less severe and far less frequent than they were two or three years ago, but they are not gone completely.  Despite my overall improvement and well-being, I am not immune from crying spells and bad days.  My grief is kind of like a wild animal that I've spent years training and domesticating.  While it usually rides around with me inside my pocket, sometimes it returns to its feral ways and, when I'm not looking or I forget how strong and savage it can be, it gets out of its neat little spot and attacks me when I least expect it.  It claws me up and sinks its teeth into my skin, but instead of drawing blood it brings a stream of tears.

Obviously, I had a bad day recently.  There was definitely a trigger, one I don't care to discuss, but I had a full day where I simply couldn't stop the tears.  I knew there wasn't much I could do except let them come.  I had to let the emotion out, to validate my feelings.  Each tear was the anguish, the pain, the hurt coming out.  It would do no good to try to fight to keep all that inside.  Why would I?  There was nothing to prove by not crying.

Sheldon was understanding, as always.  He couldn't rationally understand the pain, but he didn't have to.  Emotions don't always listen to reason anyway.  He just let me have space, and gave me lots of hugs.  He let me talk if I wanted, but didn't push.  I told him I just needed a day to process some things and to work through my feelings.  I told him I needed one day to cry.  And I did.  I alternated between sobbing on the couch and silent tears that just flowed without permission while I went about my daily routine.  These tears were coming whether I "allowed" them to or not, and each one carried out a little of my pain.  (That last statement is a scientific fact; tears that are produced from emotional crying actually contain more toxins than those produced from a physical stimulus such as chopping onions or having something in your eye:  http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/the-health-benefits-of-crying.htm)

What's nice is that now I know that I can handle the ups and downs of grief.  I've lived with it so long that I know I can manage a bad day here and there.  I know that crying and feeling bad are okay and are normal.  I know this isn't permanent.  I know that sometimes, the wild animal that is grief has to be a wild animal, but that it will tucker itself out and I can put a leash on it again eventually and put it back where it belongs.


 

1 comment:

  1. Hi I been reading your blog for a whole day on and off. Gosh I just sounded like a total creeper. But I just wanted to let you know that I just recently lost my husband and I feel lost but I have found comfort in your blog if anything at least I dony feel like I'm the only twenty something year old that lost her husband. I don't know if there is any advice or hope you can give me. Here is my email
    Elizabethm@xen-com.com

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