It feels good. It was the right decision. Going dark and removing all links to social media, deleting the apps from my phone. Likes, follows, loves, shares were never what I was looking for; just to share experiences of life – the ups and downs, the joys and the grief so that perhaps others didn’t feel so alone in their sadness or inspired to share their triumphs.
It is a strange thing, grief; grief from trauma especially.
I will never lose the sadness of losing my Mumbo to Alzheimers, too young for her to go and miss the enjoyment of the one thing she was looking forward to in old age – grandchildren. But in some ways, her death was expected. She was always going to pass away at some point. And while the disease was tragic and horrific, the final death was a release and a relief, even if sudden. Now, nearly two years on, I find it easier to look back on the happier times and memories, rather than see the gauntness, toothless, noisy deathbed. And when I see reminders of her – Kingfishers or lillies, robins or roses, or hear her favourite songs on the radio, smell her perfume on someone else… I smile and know she is near.
Grief from something unexpected, is entirely different. I remember the Venus Fly Traps on our windowsills at home, to catch the clueless flies as they naively fly past or rest. That is how the grief of the loss of my first marriage, my first real true love captures me. A year on, the desolate, debilitating and overwhelming constant myriad of feelings have passed over. A storm can’t rage forever. But over the last few days as I had been busying myself with life, the Venus Fly Trap of grief leapt up and grabbed me.
Just like the trauma itself, it is sudden. It catches you completely unaware. Plunged into darkness, I have learnt to use my tools in order find life, light, peace and joy again.
It takes a while for the Venus Fly Trap to open up. But in some ways, I am grateful for the darkness, to go through the process of searching within, connection with myself and others.
I had been plummeting in to negativity; perhaps the nerves of waiting for my results made me doubt myself and brought back all those memories of not being good enough, feeling worthless – no good as a mother, an unlikeable, unlovable person, friendless, husband-less, failing, old, lumpy and wrinkly body, ugly useless piece of shit… and with each negative thought bead, the next self doubt bead followed. And the overthinking loop became a habit. And like the sand in the egg timer, all the confidence drains away and only insecurity fills the void.
But. But. BUT. IF there is a problem that can be solved with action, it isn’t a problem. Great quote from someone – can’t remember who.
And an egg timer can be turned on its head and the sand can be perceived as self doubt being drained away and confidence and all its companions come spilling back.
And after a while of appreciating the dark, feeling the delicious, tantalising, excruciating sting of pain, when I can bear it no longer, I find the strength to take that action and flip it.