I wanted to quickly update you all and let you know I've been feeling a little better. I'm not sure exactly what changed, but wearing my Mr. Yuk stickers, carrying my princess wand and forcing myself to get up and moving has helped.
I've also started "managing" my overwhelmingly negative feelings in a way taught to me by my good friend, Kearsty, a few years ago. Back in the day (circa 2007) we were having a conversation in which we were sharing our woes and feeling sorry for ourselves and each other (I have no idea what exactly we were lamenting, though it was most likely related to men) when she shared with me something her mother had taught her.
Kearsty said that when she was having a rough time and began wallowing in self-pity her mom would tell her to take 5 minutes to feel sad, be angry, cry, scream, kick, punch, stomp her feet - to do whatever she needed to do to get it out. She encouraged me, "For 5 minutes, just feel everything you need to feel and feel sorry for yourself if you must. But when those 5 minutes are over, it's time to get on with it. Get up, get moving, get out of that space."
Honestly... it works. Please know that I'm not trying to minimize the intensity of grief, because it's huge and certainly not something you can get over in 5 minutes. But, for me at least, wallowing just isn't helpful. The feelings begin to snowball and eventually get so big that I can't find my way out of them. Feeling them in 5 minute increments is manageable.
If you've read this blog for a while you know that music is very powerful in eliciting my emotions. A couple weeks ago I discovered a song that captures much of what I've been feeling, and makes me cry - no, sob - every time I hear it. So what I've been doing lately is letting myself have that time: I listen to the song, cry and swear and kick and scream, and then I let it pass. I pull myself together and move forward. For a little while, until I need to do it again. Some days I only need to listen to it once, other days I listen to it 10 times.
It's helped. For now I can get through each day. I know many of you who read my blog are grieving too, and this time of year is especially hard. So here's the song. I can't promise you'll have the same experience with it, but give it a try. Listen to it, feel all of your feelings and then do your best to pull yourself together and move forward. Even if it's only for a little while.