Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Archive for the tag “healing”

Progress Report: B+ in NaBloPoMo

Obviously I approach NaBloPoMo much the way I approached homework in high school… With my focus on the material but not so much on the deadline.

Time to get caught up on the questions I’ve skipped along the way!

Tell us the methods you use to get through a disappointment.

When I am shaken by any level of disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness, uneasiness, or grief, I try and remember to tune into my basic needs first, to eat soothing, nourishing food, drink plenty of water and tea, take a shower or bath, exercise, meditate, and get some sleep.

Obviously I do not do all of the above before allowing the stressor to so much as cross my mind! But I attempt to deal with any pressing bodily concerns first and maybe delve into a soul-warming activity of some kind (music, writing, fun with family/friends, etc). Once I am buoyed by meeting my own needs, I am better equipped to grapple with whatever has thrown me off course.

Maybe it turns out just taking care of myself is enough. Or perhaps I need to work through an aspect of it in a practical, problem-solving capacity. But most of the time, if a negative emotion is clinging to me, what I need is to find a way to slough it off, which can hopefully be done by remaining conscious of my thoughts on the subject throughout the day and by forming an intent around it during my nightly circle.

Have you ever been scared to let go of your grief?

Of course. For most of the grieving process, the grief itself feels like the sole remaining connection to whatever has been lost, making moving forward a dauntingly lonesome prospect.

Letting go begins when other, more sustainable connections to the object of loss have been made, ideally both privately and publicly. Once that which has been grieved for is rewoven into a new position in daily life, it is possible to gradually release the grief.

Do you believe that time heals all wounds?

Healing occurs over time, but time alone cannot complete the job. Our participation is essential. It is our resistance or willingness to grieve that determines the amount of scarring left behind when time has done the best it can.

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Closing Canyons

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Platypup taking time.

Healing is an intensely personal process, generally rather messy, and sometimes impossible to control. Maybe it’s Ferguson, or Ray Rice, or last Friday’s should-have-been fifth birthday of a much-mourned little boy named Caemon, but today’s NaBloPoMo question is just too tidy for me.

“Do you give yourself time to heal,” they ask, “or do you keep making yourself move forward?” As though you can — or even should! — pick one. As though wading though trauma isn’t a spin cycle of both of the above and their opposites and then some, and you’re lucky if the machine doesn’t melt down in the process.

We all “know” the right answers. Give yourself generous amounts of time to grieve. But not too much; don’t wallow. Make yourself move forward. But not too fast; that’s denial.

Ha.

Easy to see from the outside, sure. And yeah, those are good goals. My aim is not to diminish that.

But from deep inside the belly of a pot of Tear Soup, well, you do whatever it takes to keep your head up. Observers who encourage Taking Time or Moving Forward might as well be recommending you use a particular swimming stroke when, I mean really, can’t they see you’re just trying not to drown?

Ok, ok, back to the question… as much as I might take issue with its crisp packaging, here’s my answer. Here’s what I learned after I lost my mom.

I learned to try and take time if it feels like time is desperately needed in a losing-oxygen-fast sort of way. I learned to try and move forward if it feels like I am sinking slowly into a bottomless bog of grief. I learned to cry deeply and thoroughly, such that a lot of pain might be released in one big bubble rising to the surface. I learned that there is no laughter like the helpless giggling that immediately follows a bout of despair, and I learned to seek it out at the closest opportunity. I learned to lean on loving shoulders and I learned to dive fearlessly into solitude.

And as I went on, I learned that the depth of the ache never completely goes away, but the plateaus in between get further and further and further apart, and eventually the landscape looks more like rolling hills with the occasional mountain. What were once canyons of loss are now like cracks in parched earth.

And beside them grow trees.

September NaBloPoMo: Healing

To be perfectly honest, I usually don’t open the emails I get every month about NaBloPoMo. It’s a really cool idea, but I’m usually both too busy and too drawn toward writing my own unprompted things to give it more than a moment’s thought. But for whatever reason, I opened this month’s call for participation, and it immediately appealed to me.

The topic is “healing,” the writing prompts all speak to ideas I love exploring, and I have been craving a return to writing here since I have spent the past month or more turning more deeply inward than was readily bloggable.

The prompts are given for weekdays. I may take weekends off, I may not. We shall see. I’m not feeling terribly dogmatic about it. But consider this your heads up — brace yourselves, dear readers, for an onslaught of writing!

NaBloPoMo… Woo!

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Grief at the Loss of the Grief of Loss

The anniversary of my mother’s death always swings quietly around the corner from the bauble-clad glow of Christmas and New Years.

Here’s the routine from years recently past: I feel fine most of the day, but some moment overtakes me and breaks open a cavern of sadness, a few minutes wide and as deep as the Earth.

Not this year.

This year, I could see from a mile away, is built differently.

Possibly because with the loss of my friends’ son, I’ve been in a holding pattern of grief-adjacent for eleven months.

Possibly because healing claims its own right time, wanted or not.

Possibly it’s just an off year and we’ll return to our regularly scheduled soul-torn crevice dive in 2015.

Whatever the reason, this year I crave but cannot reach the taste of grief, salty and bitter and ever so slightly sticky with unexpected honey. This year I prod my scars, scrabbling in vain for scabs to raze bloody. This year I wear out my welcome on a handful of closely guarded memories.

I cannot feel loss clinging to my protagonist’s boots anymore. Now I’m merely leafing through it, sidelined as “dear reader.”

A shadow of a feeling.

Grief at the loss of the grief of loss.

Good thing love and laughter and the best damn moral compass around remain.

My souvenirs from mom.

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Owlet’s first intentional complete alphabet.

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