(Fighter –Jamie Grace)
We all know that little people have big feelings…but sometimes big people have big feelings too…but it isn’t as socially accepted for an adult to have a temper tantrum as it is for a toddler. It isn’t as socially acceptable for an adult to scream and whine and yell about how it’s not fair. It isn’t as socially acceptable to show sadness, anger, or other emotions. We learn as we get older that less positive emotions are for hiding. Then something happens and we have big feelings and don’t have many resources beyond putting on the mask and playing the part of the happy plastic person everyone wants to see. I know that numbing out isn’t a good coping mechanism long term, but short term it is pretty close to the only tool in my tool box. That tool has, unfortunately, gotten a lot of use in my life. Sometimes it feels like God forgets about me sometimes. I just want to be happy.
I am resilient. I am an innovator. When I didn’t have an eye shadow brush to apply my eyeliner, I found a lip liner brush and used that. When I was struggling to make the can opener open the can of evaporated milk I went to my room and grabbed my pocket knife. When the best tool you can think of is a screwdriver, every problem looks like a screw. Yep, I stabbed a couple holes in the top of the can with a screwdriver. The excitement of having a pocket knife to make sharp sticks wore off about a week or so after purchase, but the usefulness continues to make it worth the like $3…yeah, it was cheap and has been abused which explains why I’ve already broken so many pieces…but despite those abilities, there are still very few tools in my emotional tool box. Maybe I’m just broken like the pocket knife.
This week has been hard, but at least the physical manifestations are getting better. I was struggling to eat and drink enough because it just seemed like so much work, and I just didn’t feel hungry or thirsty. I wasn’t sleeping much because I was crying too hard to fall asleep. Yesterday I decided that especially considering I was going to be traveling a lot which is already a time in which I don’t always eat and drink normally that I really needed to get back on track and I worked really hard. I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Perhaps not perfectly balanced and definitely missing the snacking that usually gets me to a more normal calorie count for the day, but I ate. For the first time all week I had more than 2 cups of water…probably only like 3 cups, but still, it was progress…and I realized another thing: I don’t know how to celebrate without feeding my face. I wanted to celebrate my accomplishments, but the only ways I knew how to do that were grab some skittles or pour some juice…and that sounded more like a punishment than a reward.
I’ve already cried a few times today, so evidently the more emotional side of grief is still very present, but the physical side is getting better. This morning for the first time all week I WANTED water. Sure, it wasn’t ideal considering how far behind on sleep I am that I woke up and wanted it at 4am, but I got almost a cup of water in…I wasn’t so interested in it anymore when I actually got up for the day, but I got a couple ounces of juice and a cornbread in for breakfast. I also determined that since I was almost definitely calorie deficient this week that I was going to drink the leftover evaporated milk. I mixed in some syrup so it at least wasn’t so disgusting, and I did it! My stomach feels like that was way more food than it was used to eating in a sitting, since I had just eaten lunch, but I know that taking care of my body is important.