If I had to guess, I would say grief is the equivalent of being struck by a bus, without seeing the bus.
It comes in overwhelming, all powerful waves of excruciating sadness. Tears are, in essence, the love we have for someone that can no longer be expressed to them physically. Some days are easy, just as there are days you just don’t know how to move through the pain.
Time does not heal our heart or our wounds, it only gives us a better grasp on containing our feelings, and learning to live with them.
I’ve done enough therapy to know that our brains function in two modes; thriving and surviving. Due to certain things when I was younger, my brain functions in survival mode. I know, this doesn’t seem important or relatable to grief, but just hang with me for a minute and I’ll explain.
My brain being wired this way makes it so that my memories slowly fade, and I only end up retaining things that are important to surviving. Our brains can’t differentiate between good memories and bad. Things I should remember, I don’t, and that gets to be hard on my mama heart. Survival mode also stops me from feeling everyday emotions, outside of things such as frustration and overwhelming anxiety. I live for the next 24 hours, versus a medium or even long term plan. As much as I dislike this, I cannot get a good grasp on it.
So, where am I going with this? I don’t feel grief nearly as hard or as long as most people do. My brain can’t focus on what’s already happened, so the farther time moves from what’s happened, the less I can pay attention to it.
This makes my grief come in much larger, more overwhelming waves. Which, honestly, I can’t decide if it is a blessing or a curse.
We lost Tanner and just roughly a month short of a year later, we lost Brett’s grandma to cancer. I’m newly 26, and losing them was my first real taste of losing someone I loved. My grandparents were and are still living, and no one directly close to me had passed before. So, the shock of losing not one, but two people I greatly adored, less than a year apart was incomprehensible to my brain. If at all possible, it pushed my brain even further into survival mode.
It feels utterly wrong to not grieve the way other people do, and feel as deeply and as often as other people do. The constant feeling of numbness makes me feel inadequate as not only a mother and wife, but a person in general. I feel like I’m failing those around me by not having the right feelings.
With putting my feelings out there like this, it’s making me see how desperately I need to make time to visit my therapist again. Because, regardless of how good I feel like I’m doing at times, I struggle to accept that I cannot pull myself from this pit on my own. I need help, and not just your average daily dose of talking to friends help. Certified, doctrine obtained help.
And, friends, that is okay. It is okay to need and ultimately seek out help. No matter how strong your faith may be, our physical bodies, and brains especially, can need attention that no amount of faith can fix. There is an honest disconnect between what my soul feels, and the way my brain responds to life that isn’t able to be fixed by reading my bible or praying. There‘s a switch in my brain that desperately needs flipped, and it’s high time I move my feet in the right direction.
Truthfully, I am thoroughly terrified. I’ve spent so much of my life able to breeze by without feeling things, without coming to honest terms with my surroundings, and I would be lying if I told you just thinking about correcting this doesn’t raise my anxiety off the charts. But, it’s time. My body needs healed, and as scared as I am to open the door to my feelings, it is long overdue.
If you’ve been struggling, wandering aimlessly in the dark, this is your reminder that there is nothing wrong with you, and seeking help is 110% good for you. You do not have to continue walking alone and wishing for better. You have every God given right to move towards healing.