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Dealing with grief is messy and painful.
Being a human is messy and painful.
This was originally posted on my Instagram page.
I’ve been blogging, writing articles, and posting on social media about my personal life since January of 2011. (Shout out to the OG Last Mom readers!)
I’ve written about:
- raising a child with complex needs due to early childhood trauma
- my journey of accepting my body
- mental health
- raising teenagers
- sending them off to college
- living alone for the first time ever in my 40s
- trying to figure out who I actually am and what I want
- realizing I have a whole bunch of unresolved childhood trauma myself,
- and so much more.
I share because I felt so alone for most of my life and I want others who are dealing with similar issues to know they aren’t alone.
But I mostly do it for me.
Writing is how I process life and knowing I’m helping other people by sharing makes me feel good.
People who have been reading my little corner of the internet through all of this often tell me I’m strong and brave and that my authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability inspire them.
So I’m just here to let you know I’m those things sometimes. But mostly I’m a big mess. A codependent mess.
- My college-aged daughter isn’t speaking to me, and has me blocked in every way.
- I made really bad, selfish choices that hurt people I love deeply.
- I’m in a pit of grief.
- And I’m still struggling with “who and I, what do I want to do, and how am I going to make money?” now more than ever.
Each of those bullet points contains many complicated layers.
I try really hard to force myself to participate in life anyway. So, yeah, I’ve been going out sometimes, meeting people for a drink, a dance class, brunch on the beach. I went away for the weekend with my sister and took my new dress to a birthday party.
But mostly I’m in a really dark place these days. I don’t like myself very much and I am devastated by things I’ve done. And I’m so very sad and feel like I’m a wrecking ball in the lives of people I care about. I’m working to be better, to do better. I’ve doubled up on therapy. I’m journaling, meditating, trying to practice self-care. I’m working on feeling these really uncomfortable and painful emotions instead of reaching out to other people to soothe, reassure, or distract me. I’m facing myself and my actions.
It’s so freaking hard. And painful.
Did I mention painful? Really. Freaking. Painful.
But sometimes I throw on some bandaids and pretend like I’m okay. For example, I had plans to meet a friend for breakfast. Not only was I overdue for a haircut, but I didn’t remember the last time I even washed it. I thought about canceling. I barely slept the night before and didn’t get out of bed in time for a shower. But instead of canceling I put on a sparkly headband, big sunglasses (because my eyes are constantly swollen from crying these days), a little lipgloss, a colorful dress, my usual flip flops, and headed out to meet my friend.
And I was so glad I did. No, pancakes and sunshine with a friend didn’t solve my problems or heal my aching heart, but the company, change of scenery, and conversation provided a much-needed break from carrying it all alone.
I’m sharing this because I want you to know I don’t feel like I’m someone you should aspire to be like at all. Life is hard and messy and I’ve really effed up time and again. I’m in the lowest place I’ve been since walking away from the toxic marriage I was in from 20-40 three years ago. There’s almost always more to the pictures and captions than what you see on Instagram or Facebook. Heck, there’s usually more to what you see face-to-face with your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.
Yes, some days I’m strong and brave. Other days, I don’t feel that way. But I’m not any braver or stronger than you. Hug yourself, tell yourself you’re a bad bitch, and go do something you want to do just for yourself today. Thanks for attending my rambling, falling apart, but working on putting the pieces back together Ted Talk.
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Dealing with grief?
If you’re struggling with grief or anything else, reach out to the Crisis Text Line 24/7 free. Just text HOME to 741741.