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Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Gift of Grief

Someone I care about is in a lot of emotional pain.  Rather than feel the pain and just sit in it, she wants to fight.  She wants to be mad at someone else.  I get that.  I do that sometimes, too.  Rather than feel the grief and all that vulnerability, I want to fight.  I want to get up in my anger and arrogance where I feel tough and powerful, and come out swinging.  I want to take out my bat and use someone else as my personal pinata so I can avoid my pain filled feelings.  It works....for a little while.  And then I feel even worse.  I feel even more full of shame and guilt than usual.  (I honestly think I'm Jewish here and I hope all my Jewish friends know I mean no disrespect.)  I simply can do shame and guilt at a PhD level.  Thank you, family of origin.  :)

My shame spiral will continue until I surrender.  I am in a world of hurt until I start journaling and call a trusted friend who will help me really see what's going on vs the bullshit story I've made up in my head, and convinced myself is true.  Until I'm willing to give up my distraction and deal with what's really going on, I'm going to stay miserable.  My decision, my choice.

Today I know have to say my prayers and then get busy doing my part.  I have to ask God for help because you see...I simply cannot do this alone.  The minute I think I can, that's the point at which the train leaves the track and the pile up begins.  Train cars fly everywhere, and people get hurt.  Including me-- and it's all my doing.

I spoke with this person yesterday.  She thought she was depressed.  She was convinced she was.  She described exactly how she felt in such descriptive and clear terms that I wanted to scream YES at the top of my lungs.  That is exactly how I feel or have felt.  I told her what I'd found out recently about unrelenting, unremitting grief.  It takes more energy than any other emotion to deal with and will suck you dry as the Sahara in a sand storm.  You will have no energy or you will want to go beat the crap out of somebody.  Anybody.  Just so you don't have to f-e-e-l.  You will feel blank.  Confused.  Unable to think clearly.  My friend is right where I am.  Her dad is in the final stages of Alzheimers and she feels as trapped and stuck as I do.

The good news?  We have each other.  She understands and doesn't judge anything I say or do or feel.  I have her to walk with, to laugh with, to cry with if I need to.  That's the gift of grief, if you share it.  It's just too heavy to carry alone.  And you don't have to.

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