A year ago I opened up about grief and how it has affected me. It’s now over a year later, so I thought I’d share how I’m feeling…
Some of you might remember the blog post I published about grief (if not, catch it here) over a year ago. I had so many of you get in touch and tell me you were feeling a similar way or the post really resonated with you – which in return made me so pleased I actually pressed that scary publish button. It can be really difficult to share such personal feelings online, even for someone like me who has been sharing their life online for as long as I can remember (hello, yes I’m old) I shared that post because I wanted to help anyone feeling the same way, because with grief comes loneliness and we all know that’s not a great place to be. It’s been over a year from when I wrote that post and I feel it’s my duty to write this update. Today is also World Mental Health Day and this post which has been firmly hidden in my drafts has been playing on my mind all day long. So, grab a cuppa and leave all judgement at the door.
Sometimes I’m okay and sometimes I’m not.
I’ve been through bouts of regret, guilt, pain, depression, sadness, despair but I’ve also been through relief, happiness, calmness, gratitude and joy. I have been at the bottom but also at the top, and it can be so confusing to feel both ends of those scales at once. Some days I feel only sadness and the next I feel grief mixed with a side of gratitude, other days I feel joy. I have been in a room of people waiting for the quickest chance to escape so I can breathe again. My chest tight, my head throbbing, lump in my throat growing. But then, I have also been walking in the sunshine thanking the world for this life. There is no pattern, it just depends how my mind wants to wake up that day. On the light days I feel myself again and on the heavy days I feel like an intruder is in my mind, making everything a little foggy and mild.
I sometimes feel like a fraud, “How can you be sad on Monday and happy on Tuesday?!” I beat myself up for cancelling plans, for not feeling like getting out of bed, for not looking at my emails. But then I beat myself up for feeling happy, for enjoying myself and for feeling like I could conquer anything in my path. If I felt sad I forced myself to be happy and if I felt happy I forced myself to feel sad.
During the worst times it left me deflated and mentally worn out. I eventually didn’t feel anything anymore because it was easier to put myself into a numb state of mind. I battled with myself constantly for what felt like forever and it’s only recently I have slowly come to the conclusion that I must feel what I need to feel. It really is okay to feel sad one day and happy the next. It doesn’t make me a fraud, it doesn’t make me “weird”, it just makes me human, and it doesn’t matter that this is still happening to me a year later.
Time does not cure you, it slowly heals, but it does not cure.
Somedays I still don’t want to get out of bed and somedays I jump out with a spring in my step. After experiencing any sort of loss in your life, you have a journey that follows – whether you like it or not. It’s kind of like a road trip you didn’t plan on taking… sometimes the car will break down unexpectedly and ruin your day but the next day someone will hand you a free all-day parking ticket, just to be kind. You must experience the lows to get you to the highs, and then when you’ve had a high, you must dip back into the lows. It feels like a repeating cycle but eventually it starts to get slower and slower. You can see some light through the bad days and you begin to appreciate the good days more. Sure enough, this cycle is still going for me and I’m sure it will for a long time, but I have learnt to allow myself to listen to my body and my mind.
I try to feel less guilt for a heavy day and enjoy when the lighter days come. I try to never feel ashamed to cancel plans when I can’t face going out, to accept that I need space from some situations in my life. I now know the times I must be selfish and I finally understand that sometimes I have to put myself first to survive. I accept that not everyone will understand the journey I’m on right now, I try to feel less anger towards those that are insensitive through an innocent lack of understanding. I feel such a deep appreciation for those that give me love when I need it the most, even when it must be draining for them. If it’s one thing this journey has taught me, it’s what makes the best type of human – those that love without conditions.
I no longer label my situation or my emotions. I am surviving what I’ve been dealt and trying my best to see light in every day, even when it feels tough (and if I can’t see any light on that day, I swear, eat cake and go to bed.. because that’s okay too!)
So, I guess that’s where I am in my life right now. Living my life online can be hard during the bad times when I don’t feel like talking about things that seem ‘mundane’ at that moment in time, but on a good day it’s a place I feel I can share all aspects of life. A dress that makes me feel good, a new hairstyle I want to share and then things like this – navigating my way through the bad days just because it might make one person feel less alone.
The messages I have received from you guys -and continue to- since my last post honestly forced me to press publish on this, which has been hidden in my drafts for months now. I feel so passionate about this subject and always want to make sure I’m describing it as best I can… which is probably why I held off posting it for so long! Every time I read this back to myself I add bits, delete bits, read the same bits multiple times, and that’s what grief is to me – confusing… a moment in time when I can feel lost but also kind of okay. So it’s important that you know these are just the thoughts that spilled out when I decided to type this post, please remember that everyones personal journey of grief is different because there are SO many different situations that can make you feel it.
Here’s to this weird ol’ journey and accepting that feeling what you need to feel, good or bad, is okay today.