Grieving is the constant reawakening that things are now different. It takes you through stages that come and go and reinvent themselves with no rhyme or reason. Days go by where I feel happy, walk with a smile and laugh without restraint. These days leave me with hope and confidence that I’m doing well. Then like a demon, self-doubts, pain and unfaced terror begin to chase me. It starts slowly with a thought or a memory, a sinking feeling of dread and ends with a force so strong it takes my breath away.
After an extended time of forward thinking and inner strength, I recently began to feel the imminent threat of a chase. I didn’t try to fight it, have learned long ago that this is a hopeless cause. Instead, I braced myself, shut down quickly and waited quietly. It came late, grabbed a hold of me and wrapped it’s powerful jaws around my entire being, refusing to let go. I found myself falling apart on the bathroom floor. A feeling of desperation took over the strength I had worked so hard to gain. I sat with the lonely thought that there was no one to pick me off the floor, no one to even know I was there. As I cried, I welcomed this demon as I had met him before. I was prepared to spend the night in this state, knowing morning would bring an inability to pull myself up and face the day. Yes, I had been here before and was familiar with this company, but something felt different. I was surprised to find, like the last leaf on a large maple tree, a small piece of my inner strength was holding on dearly. It was enough to pull me off the floor, walk me back to bed and place me under the warm embrace of my comforter. It was enough to reward me with a solid night of sleep and enough to pull me out of bed in the morning, ready to face the day. What had happened, I’m not sure, but it was something that breathed life into me when I least expected it. Something I know I’ve worked for and although just a baby step on the road to recovery, a leap in my quest for inner strength.
For months my coping mechanism was charged by avoidance and the inevitable process of redefining myself was squashed. I am not fooled into thinking that I am anywhere near the person I will become. I am aware of a paradox, aware that letting in the demons of pain, facing them full throttle will inevitably bring me closer to the self I need to become. Things are different, I don’t want them to be, but they are. Through reflection I’ve set out to center myself and begin to accept this forced change. I’ve promised myself to push my energy into fighting the avoidance for this is my true demon. I must work to move forward, begin to hold strong to my acceptance and redefine what I know to be true.
“Minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pit
My hand was made strong by the hand of the almighty,
So I move forward, triumphantly.” -Bob Marley