Monday, May 11, 2015

Feeling the Feelings

Mother’s Day turned out to be the low point that I hoped it wouldn’t be.

This grief still sneaks up.

I’m sure that the weather we have been having had some impact on all of this.  A week of rain, which eventually turned into snow.  So it snowed on Mother’s Day for the second year in a row.

I don’t know how I ever survived a Midwest winter with all of the cold gray days.
A week without the Colorado sunshine and I’m close to the fetal position, having vitamin D withdrawals.

During these low points, I try to do everything I can to take care of myself.  Sewing, exercise, reading.  Avoiding eating a bunch of cookies.  Avoiding facebook for a couple of days.  All of those good self-care things that my social worker self knows how to do.
Still with all of that, it doesn’t make the sadness go away.  And frankly, it shouldn’t.

Some days just feel crummy.  And that’s ok. 
Because I know that if I pretend to be happy and ok, the sadness just lingers on.  And it seeps through anyway.  So I go through all of this trouble pretending and still feel like crap.

It’s ok to have low times.  Because I know that tomorrow (or maybe in a couple days), I’m going to feel a lot better.
Sadness is real. 

But wow, does it make other people uncomfortable.  Some people want to cheer you up out of the sadness or talk through the sadness until you aren’t sad anymore.  I will admit, that as a professional helper, this is so challenging.  To simply be with someone in pain.  To accept that you are not there to fix them, you are simply part of their story.
I don’t expect anyone to fix this.  It is nice to have folks that I can talk to, who can lend an ear, who can validate that this is real for me and that it is ok to feel like crap.

Maybe that’s the self-care that we don’t always talk about as helpers, feeling the feelings.  It’s ok to have a low day.  And while I’m having that day, I’m taking care of myself with all those great things, but those great things don’t need to erase the pain.  It makes it tolerable.  It gives me hope that it won’t last forever.
Because I know by now in this journey with the silent companion that there will be an upswing.  If there wasn’t by now, I would see a professional helper.  Maybe I should see one anyway.  I go back and forth about that one.

For now, I’m not going to pretend.  It’s exhausting.  And grief is already exhausting. 
I’m going to give myself permission to feel whatever it is in the moment.

And take care of myself.
And finally watch the sun rise.

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