In the blogs I follow and forums I tend to read regularly, bad news and venting are standard features. I myself am guilty of it, and in examining the reasons why, this is a safe space to process. Which leads to the question: why do I need a safe space? I have the M to listen. I have an amazing circle of loving and supportive friends (most of whom do read here as well). Thoughts of being a drag, a wet blanket, a burden flitter in and out of my head.
But at the end of the day, sometimes I would rather slow my thoughts way down and force myself to really think about where my headspace is dwelling. Or wallowing as I have come to think of the last few weeks.
Grief is a tough process to endure. There is no pill I can take, no liquor I could drink, no food I can eat that sufficiently numbs the pain enough to be on the other side of the empty chasms. While in my case I grieve for the death of someone near and dear to me far too soon and in painfully, uncomfortably familiar circumstances, grief can be for end of a marriage or other significant relationship or even the loss of a job and threat to economic security.
Those other circumstances of grief exist presently in my world as well. Fortunately, I am not now nor have I ever been someone competitive about whose losses are more significant or painful. Selfishly I almost welcome opportunities to talk to others about their grief and their feelings of loss, to try and offer them the comfort of an empathetic ear or text exchange or ideas for coping or changing the situation. It reminds me I am not alone (dammit!) and that my heart hurts dreadfully but still has the flexibility to consider others in similar situations and do whatever I can to help them.
Those closest to me – my Tribe – are good, decent, amazing people. I am fortunate to be part of their lives or their compassion is big enough to be tolerant of me in theirs. However the reality of our relationships and connections, I am richly blessed to be cared for and supported in zillions of big and little ways. I never want to be perceived as pooh-poohing or “yes, but”-ing what those around me do and try to do for me. I am shocked and awed by the simple kindnesses offered from friends and strangers alike.
My thoughts this morning, as I sit here dressed and ready to head out for the gym but dawdle with this blog post, are more about how much negative drama occurs in the lives of many. Or maybe I am surprised by how they revel and thrive in reporting the aspects and details of that drama. A few blogs I have followed for several years have a familiar cycle of soaring heights, crashing and burning, wallow-wallow in the wreckage. Because I myself am in a darker, weaker place, I notice the negative vibe more acutely than is typical. And while I understand these are safe spaces where we may expose our rawest thoughts about our lives, so much of the raw writing leads me to judgment and curiosity as to why people stay in the situations that sound soul-sucking awful.
And I dislike my thoughts being bent into that frame. Maybe their choices are truly limited?
I am emotionally imbalanced right now; I have a terrible case of the sads. But that’s grief: it gives you a terrible case of the sads that lingers for an extended period. No amount of work, socializing, reading, writing, and pretending it’s not December and Christmas in a couple of weeks is going to shorten the course of grief and the sads. Not a lot I can do about it.
Except maybe I can stop squeaking about it. Even inside my head, stop the squeaking.
Squeaking is my polite term for chronic complaining. We all know them: those who are primarily negative people. This, that, the other thing is not quite right. In my world, they are nice, sweet, caring persons who are mostly aware that they have this personality type. They are not toxic, just draining to my particular brand of psychic energy. I mentally brace myself when I see them coming, and I become more conscious of my own desire to wallow in the sads or the bads or the bitches and ramp-up my accentuate the positive. My mother was a squeaker, and like just about everything in my family of origin, it forged me into being the polar opposite as an adult.
I am considering tomorrow, next week, month, year. I am contemplating goals and objectives and to-do lists. Fortunately I am only casually thinking about such matters in the most detached fashion, because to do otherwise is to turn on my OCD mode and become overwhelmed and feeling like a failure before I can even get started. Fab trainer J coined a term for it: Planner-Fascist-itis.
I. Love. It.
So rather than squeaking about my lot in life, I choose to be grateful. I choose to be thankful for a head and heart full of memories. I choose to be peaceful about the course of events. And I choose to be considerate of myself and those nearest and dearest to me by not becoming fanatical about overcoming my loss or filling the voids with other things.
My hope is every day, I will choose to embrace the grief and go forward with humility and acceptance that life is unfair and sometimes cruel. Every day, I will rely on knowing that I know how to avoid letting grief consume me to the point I spend the balance of my days squeaking about and railing against the unfairness and cruelty of life.
Every day I have choices. Every day I open my eyes and breathe in hope that I choose wisely.
Happy Saturday everyone.