Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gentleness

#writeingrief Day 17

Before I got out of bed this morning, I listened to an excerpt of Megan Devine's book Everything Is Not Ok. Megan’s voice is absolutely perfect. With her guidance, I breathed all the way into my lungs and into all of my constricted parts. It hurt to breathe like that, but it also felt just right. I listened to the excerpt again just a few minutes ago. Again it hurt to breathe, and I lost the entire middle chunk of the excerpt because my mind went racing around chasing thoughts that I had been trying to suppress.

And now I feel like I am breathing the tiniest amount of air that I can. I have to really concentrate on purposeful breaths, but as soon as my mind loses focus, I go right back to the shallow stress breathing.

Merry fucking Christmas (my brother left me a voicemail today that said this, and it made my day just a little more bearable). I have been fighting the urge to post one of those “year in review” photo montages that Facebook has generated. I tried blocking them, but I can’t, so I just ignore each one that pops up. I have had to hide mine more than once. If it shows up again, and I decide to post mine, I will likely add the caption “good riddance and fuck off to 2014”. And that would be crazy. Maybe somewhat justified, but also straight up crazy.

Why don’t I just avoid facebook? I could do that, but it’s where our writing group meets. I have connected with friends in the baby loss community on facebook, and I don’t want to lose touch. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether I cut the wifi and flush all of our devices because grief is everywhere. It really is the lens that I’m looking through. I was going to do some associations to demonstrate what I mean, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Grief is everywhere.

Today and the days ahead are about connecting with my alive family in our home. This is exactly where I need to be. The thought of going out into the world feels emotionally unsafe. It would be consciously making the choice to be under attack with the Christmas cheer and the small talk and the gifts. I cannot do it. You cannot make me. I have to be gentle with myself right now, and even in these safest of circumstances, I cannot breathe, I have a headache, and I feel like the pressure might be too much. I might end up curled in a ball on the bathroom floor anyway.