(Renovate – Christa Wells)
Sometimes the grief comes in waves, and when the tide is high it is a reminder that although I have certainly come a long way, that there is still a lot of the work of grieving to be done. It can be quite discouraging that I’ve been working so hard for so long yet still hurt so much.
I read an article yesterday and the introduction stated that grief, like pregnancy is a whole body experience but without the cute baby clothes and due date. That summed it up so well. Grief is so hard, but unlike a pregnancy, there isn’t a date to look forward to when it will all be worth it. It just feels like an impossible pain that will never end. That is where I am right now. I almost couldn’t go to church today because I couldn’t stop crying.
The article went on to talk about how there are three things that are really important and really difficult in grief: eating, sleeping, and breathing. It was really validating to read about someone else who lost 25 pounds despite having access to plenty of food. I claimed a 25 pound weight loss in the first few weeks, but in reality it was more than that…I just don’t know how much more, but it could very well have been 10-15 pounds more than that…the person writing the article talked about how people make nurturing your body seem hard because of all the trendy diets our culture debates about, but it’s all about finding your balance and in grief that might be chocolate and I don’t remember the other thing she said most nights…I totally get that. Just getting anything in was so much work that while some people worry about whether gluten was trendy or to be avoided this week, I was busy worrying about whether I was going to break 500 calories today (or some days whether I’d even break 100). I had all my favorites: skittles, goldfish, animal crackers, jolly ranchers, peanut butter, Nutella, cheerios, and there were days I laid it all out on the bed just willing myself to eat something. I am doing a lot better now, but there are still times the tide comes in too high and I struggle. Today I had a package of three breadsticks in my refrigerator. I was having trouble with lunch and figured I’d heat them up and at least get the bread group in since that’s the base of the pyramid (yes, I know, nutritionists sa the pyramid doesn’t exist anymore. They can shut their faces. I learned the levels of the pyramid and I’ll use them). Three breadsticks on a plate was overwhelming and I just couldn’t, so after trying to figure out how I was going to get lunch completed, I figured even just one breadstick would be a start, so I heated one up and told myself to please just try one bite. You don’t have to eat the whole thing, but I’d like you to try…and I slowly ate the first breadstick…and repeat for each of the other two. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and if three breadsticks is too much you just have to slow down and have one breadstick three times. Nearly three hours later I have almost finished lunch.
Next was sleep. Also a huge connection. The author wrote about how at a certain point she would have done almost anything to get a full night’s sleep. Oh yes. I am doing a lot better with sleep, but I certainly know how it feels to desperately need sleep…and I guess that’s part of how I knew that I needed some time before I could continue counseling.
And just breathe. It is essential in life, but sometimes it is just so hard. Sometimes every day is a challenge just to get up and get through it. But I am brave. I keep doing it.
Switching gears a little bit, this morning after I finished a youtube video of a song about not knowing how to write songs, the next video youtube suggested was about kids from hard places. There were a lot of really good quotes.
“Your pain matters your story matters.”
It felt really good to hear that. Sometimes I still don’t feel like I am worth much, and I certainly don’t think my pain matters, but it was still good to hear even if I wasn’t ready to believe it yet.
“Pain that happens in a relationship can only be healed in a relationship”
I guess this means I’m gonna need to face counseling again, but not today. I can’t. I am terrified of trying counseling again…but I guess it is time to admit that someday I really do need to figure this out…I think I need to get past the grief first or at least get further towards healing from the grief, but I know I can’t just push it aside forever.
“When you understand a hurt brain you aren’t screaming “why are you doing that,” but gently asking “what happened to you” with compassion.”
I loved that. It is easy to see things that don’t make sense and just think I’m a little weird, when in reality I’m just doing my best with the background of my past experiences.
“Without a voice you have three choices, fight, flight, or freeze.”
I get it. It’s really hard to express upset feelings without words.
“The task for all of us is can I leave you and can I come back. The hurt in our lives is from one of those places being broken.”
I don’t quite understand what this means, but I like it.
“When I know what my needs are and they have been met now I know what yours are too, but I can never be empathetic until it has first been given to me.”
So true. You can’t fill someone else’s bucket when yours is empty. Until you fill your own bucket you can’t fill anyone else’s.
“If I can’t connect I at least need to survive.”
I guess it’s true. Another one that sounds really good, but I’m just no smart enough to get. The speaker went on to say that we are here because we are survivors, and I really liked that too. It is a good perspective to have. Yeah, life might be really hard right now, but I have survived. Every day is a success!
“When you’ve had trauma you are more sensitive to blood sugar.”
I think maybe this is true. The speaker had a super biological explanation for this that I totally didn’t follow…but I have noticed that during third year I was getting increasingly sensitive to my blood sugar level going down and therefore relied a lot more on sugar for emotional management. It was super funny though, because then the speaker said to make sure people who have experienced trauma are fed and watered every 2 hours. Lol…but it is important.
“God is a perfect parent and he has some pretty broken kids.”
I like this too…a perfect parent perfectly loves their children…even though we are super broken…