How do you grieve?
I’ve spent the last month in a deep depression. At first, I didn’t care about anything; I simply shut down. I played Sims 3 all day every day for weeks – and I needed it. If it looked like I wouldn’t get at least four hours to play on any given day, I panicked. It was weird, even to me.
Eventually, I figured out that I was depressed. Then I kept right on playing Sims 3.
Eventually, I grew indifferent to even that. Then I sat around for days, not knowing what to do and not wanting to do anything – and at the same time, wanting to be productive, useful, or even emotional. Anything to dissolve the numbness.
And then I figured out that what I really need is to grieve.
February 2nd was the anniversary of my uterus collapsing. It marked a year since I learned that I would never be able to follow my dream of being a surrogate. And I spent the entirety of the rest of 2010 dealing with the physical and hormonal ramifications of that. To some extent, I also dealt with the emotional stuff. I certainly felt like I did.
But here I am. Still full of sorrow. Anger. Fear. Aggression. Pain. I cycle through emotions sometimes hourly. Sometimes daily. My heart is heavy. I’ve had a healing session with Mark Silver, and it moved me from indifference to grief, which was certainly progress. One of the things Mark said was that our society doesn’t take time out for grief, and that leads to all manner of troubles – and I agree.
Looking back, I see that I certainly took time for healing. I spent months focusing on getting better. I was focused, too, on forward motion. What do I do now? What next?
The answer needed to be, at some point: stop. Grieve. Let the pain be painful. Let the anger be angry. Instead of letting myself feel what I was feeling, I was often pushing myself to get through my feelings. I needed to get through it so I could get on with my life. I needed to get on with my life so I would stop grieving. I needed to stop grieving because grief hurts.
But I denied myself a powerful and vital journey. I denied myself time to ache, to hurt, to cry, to be really sad with no conditions or expectations. I denied myself time to sit with what I lost, to mourn the passing of a dream. I never let myself just grieve.
And now it’s all bubbling up again. Grief is huge. I lost a physical part of myself, I lost a dream, I lost the future I had worked for two years to create, and I lost the lives of those children I hoped to bear. There’s a lot of loss there.
Now it’s time for me to sit with that. I am giving myself time to just hurt. To just grieve. Not to move on, not to get through it – just to be with it, to be with myself.
But it’s supposed to hurt.