Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fallen Off a Bit

“When someone you love dies, you don't lose them all at once. You lose them in pieces over time, like how the mail stops coming.” --Simon Birch (1998)

A week ago I woke up before dawn. It was Saturday. Once again I’d had a dream about a loved one. No, she hasn’t died and I still have many pieces of her to hold on to, but I grieve over the pieces I have lost, the pieces I am trying to hold onto in my memories at least. But I am afraid of losing those too. I have dreams of her, of she and I, quite regularly. Some are incredibly beautiful. Others are full of angst. Last Saturday, I woke up sobbing.

My husband woke up. “What?! What’s going on?!” I heard him say. I could not answer him. Now confronted with a witness to my sobs, I tried to gain control of them. My mind searched for words to respond to his question. But before I could find the words, the best thing happened. Eric pulled me into his arms and gently whispered, “Just relax”.

As one friend put it to me recently, my blog posts have “fallen off a bit”. It is a current that I hope will change. I find myself wanting to explain why I haven’t been writing as often.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I've been warned about this my whole life by those who fear I'll be hurt. And sure, I've BEEN hurt. But not because I've been honest with my emotions. As of late, I have been pulling away from my writing and from several other parts of my life. Some of that has been intentional. Some of it has happened gradually and until recently, I was in denial. But it’s true. I’ve pulled away. I haven’t wanted to write but I think that is because I have not wanted to be honest with my emotions. Or maybe I have wanted to be honest and feel I could not be. I’ve been ashamed of my emotions. Forever a control freak, they prove to me that I am not in control. So in an attempt to change that current of pulling away from my writing, here I go, jumping into the flood of honest emotion, trying to gain control again.

Grief is a complicated issue. People say there are stages to that grief. I’ve read a lot about the subject to know that the stages do not neatly progress from one to the other. Sometimes they are all jumbled up. For what it's worth, I’ve done a self inventory. Yes, I am angry. At situations beyond my control. But anger is not a pretty emotion and I like to be thought of as pretty. Also, I have guilt. I am trying to let that go, because I know how destructive it is, but it’s not easy when you have my personality. Yes, I am sad. I have also done enough research to know that I am probably also suffering from anxiety or from depression too..most likely both. I try to be patient with myself and I am looking at resources to help me. I have always prided myself in being strong but I also know that sometimes it takes more strength to be honest in one's emotions. But as generous as people are, no one can stand being near someone who is sad, anxious, or grieving for too long. So we, the anxious and the grief-stricken, fight to gain control over their emotions, for the sake of our loved ones and the outside world of strangers or those in-between, the ones they spend their days with. Put on that happy smile. Be who they need you to be. “Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone”. I don’t want to be alone.

So, I have some things to work through. It’s going to take some time. I’m sorry if reading this has made you feel uncomfortable... but this one, this blog post, is for me. Truth is, no one but myself and my faith will pull me through this, although I do need to continue to look for those times when my eyes meet with someone’s invitation to share a little more. After all, as much as I want those warm inviting embraces to continue on Saturday mornings, I’d really like to give that sweet husband a break every once in awhile.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing Anne. You certainly are not alone! Even though we may not spend a lot of time talking, I think we know each other well AND I am here for you if you ever need someone to listen or a shoulder to lean on! We work with some wonderful people in what can sometimes be a very toxic environment. AND through all of that, you remain a gifted educator and compassionate person. Blessings, Janet