Monday, 12 September 2016

Therapy Night

I have found the grief and trauma that came with his death manifesting itself in the form of overthinking, in the form of picking fights with myself in my own head. I've decided to write about it, to spit it out, to look at my current opponent right in it's angry eyes and take it on, with my metaphorical sword of words.

"Right, you. Let's settle this. Lay yourself down."

Instead of laying down, I want to fight, I want to criticise myself for thinking that this was a good idea, that this would even make a difference. But I buckle and succumb to myself, like a screaming child who is upset from the lack of attention from their parent, and wants to hurt and upset their parents by making noise, yet needs their love and attention to recover and calm.

"Why overthinking?"

My mind has always been incredibly overactive. It would be climbing out of the windows of the school classrooms, running out the door at dull parties, constantly entertaining itself, constantly reviewing itself. I remember being six or so years old, and asking a classmate if she ever spoke to the voice inside her head, and receiving a very odd look in return. I didn't ask anyone about their inner voices for a good while after that, such was the confusion on her face, but I did immediately think to my six year old self "What if I ever get bored of talking to you?" "Hope you don't" I replied "I think you're stuck with me"

At present my thoughts resemble a drill somewhat. Usually, when they swirl and spiral, they're in one or another direction - a simple black and white, up or down, positive or negative. At the moment they are just going INWARD and HARD. I barely have time to process one thought before a counter argument pops up, and they aren't even on particularly worthy subjects, gone are the days when I'd ruminate on potential lovers and what they were thinking, or silly unimportant drama that I might have caught a whisper of... nope, I fight about utter meaninglessness of a completely different variety now. I fight about whether my thoughts are "right" or "wrong", whether my opinions are valid, whether I am impossibly narcissistic when I have a good thought or horribly depressive and no fun whatsoever when I have a bad one. My sense of self has just shattered, entirely, and it's like I am scurrying to connect the dots and pick up all the pieces to make something of myself by late morning so I can continue with my day without too much existential crisis looming.

I digress.

In trying to digest these thoughts, and then these patterns of thoughts forming, and then the purposelessness of thinking said thoughts, I realize I'm doing a lot of thinking and not very much "doing".

Issue 1) I have sat alone, in my apartment, in front of a computer, editing chin after chin after chin, for three days straight. When I am around people, I'm around 150+ strangers at a wedding that it's taken at least 2hours to drive to, and I'm not exactly relaxed and being my informal, often crude and inappropriate, self. Right. So this is probably contributing, not to the content of said thoughts, but to the set and setting. I mean, I've given myself the PERFECT scenario to go fucking insane.

So, answer? Finish up massive workload (yay!), schedule fun activities*
*read: go for walks, go take 365 in new places, see friends, go to the gym, go buy healthy food instead of ordering pizza, etc etc

Issue 2) My grief is changing. I recognise these weird, in-between-stages well, now. When he first died, I was flooded with one thing: Agony. It was a pretty easy emotion to process. It was just unbearable. I understood it, I could deal with it, it was shit, life was going to be shit, just bad, very very bad. In a way, because this was so easy to understand, it was easy to forgive. I didn't berate or argue with myself about feeling like that, because I understood it. What I couldn't get my head around a month later, was the weird sense of normality that had returned to daily life. I felt myself start thinking about other things surrounding his death, how my methods of grieving might be appropriate/inappropriate, or misinterpreted by people I wanted to have like me and support me. I noticed my thoughts flooding to THESE subjects, not him, and it terrified me.

That's actually when the inner arguing began. I felt like I'd had this huge surge of perspective on what was truly important - to live, to love, to notice all the small tiny wonderful details, to be grateful for them, to notice my own place in my life whenever and wherever I can, to be kind kind kind and make others' journey's easier... and here I was trying to work out whether someone I have never met approves of me or not.

I felt pathetic, but it seemed so huge.

The lack of support I received in the aftermath of losing him has really damaged me.
There, I said it.

Now, enough of that, let's work on healing that damage.

Answer? Let it go. You can't control whether what you do is right or wrong in someone else's eyes - you can only have good intentions, and I certainly have/had them. I only wanted to grieve in the way I know how, in the way that helps me. I wanted to lay out to others that life can be hard and it isn't always skipping in fields and smiling in nice hats. I wanted people to recognise what I had lost, the pain I was feeling - probably because I have some messed up need for validation but YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT'S OK! I'm human, I need support, and I deserve to be able to tell the truth about my own life and to ask for my needs to be met, especially since I'm lucky enough to have 20 odd thousand people who actually care and want to help. I felt like I was denied access to them, or at the very least shamed for wanting them.

Issue 3) I don't have all the answers

And I don't think anyone ever does. My desperate scrambling to find them seems understandable, I think we all search for purpose and meaning in our lives. I've done so for years, I find it fulfilling to learn and grow and expand myself. It used to be a very positive thing for me, these days less so.

I don't like this inner critic that I seem to have grown myself. I don't like critical, judgemental people in general. I used to stay away from them, reminding myself that people who cannot be empathetic or compassionate are probably unhappy, and that I should not take their opinions about myself as The Truth. But you cannot take anything as truth, and then I fight and say "But their opinions ARE valid, they need understanding, they need love, they need what you need."

Then I bow my head, and the sadness sweeps in.

There we have it. I needed support and understanding, I got silence and it wasn't an enjoyable experience.
But now I have to let it go.
I have to let all these thoughts go.
I promised him I would be OK, he said it with such worry in his voice:
"I don't want this to fuck you up. I don't want to hurt you."

I would like to howl from the tops of the rooftops that you never hurt me. You gave me all the sweetness and light I could taste. I am OK, I will be OK, and I love you, I love you, I love you. How could it be any other way?


  1. That's just beautiful. All the sweetness and light you could taste. Pure poetry.

  2. "I needed support and understanding, I got silence and it wasn't an enjoyable experience." This is a terrible feeling. I have wondered if people don't know what to say or do in response to the pain others experience. I have asked myself in the past why people don't show up, but I still don't have a good answer. It only helped me decide that I would like to be someone who does support others--even if I am afraid I will do it wrong at times.

    "I'm human, I need support, and I deserve to be able to tell the truth about my own life and to ask for my needs to be met..."
    Straight on, girl. Do the best you can to care for yourself and don't be afraid to vocalize your needs and assert yourself. You are worth it! Let your people know if we can do something for you, too. <3

  3. Your writing of poem is so fantastic . the way you write is just loving.