A while back, I received the following email from a friend of mine, who is experiencing her own grief. With her permission, I thought I’d share, in the hopes that it might help someone else out there feel less alone/increase understanding of what people who are going through intense grief experience. Warning: it is dark, but real. Here we go:
Grief makes me feel all alone-does it make you feel that way?
-Nobody understands what it feels like unless they’ve felt it. That’s how I feel. People are all so kind and supportive and consoling the way I used to be pre-trauma but they can’t really, really, really understand it till they’ve lived it, can they?
-Grief makes me feel out of control.
-It makes me feel detached, like these feelings too great to process are happening to someone else. Or they’re just too much to deal with sometimes.
-It sometimes makes me exceptionally selfish where I WISH these events and associated feelings had happened to someone else.
-Grief makes me cry.
-It makes me cranky.
-It makes me quiet.
-It makes me angry.
-It makes me vomit-sometimes even in public.
-I don’t wish it on anyone.
-I don’t understand why these bad things happen in our world.
-I don’t understand why these bad/hurtful things happen to good or at least decent people.
-Grief caused by trauma also makes me understand why a lot of the people society judges negatively “are the way they are”.
-I feel like all the good I’ve ever tried to put out to the world has gone to waste.
-I feel like giving up.
-I feel like letting go and doing bad things I never would have done before.
-I feel bitter that “this is how the world has thanked me for the good I tried to do”.
-It makes me realize that I didn’t used to “consciously” try to do good, I just had a solid set of underlying morals and values that guided my choices and behaviours in life. Many of those values are now either “edited” or just gone. Few have stayed the same. The things I have done since the trauma are what has made me realize that I used to do good (or at least) better things/make better choices in life.
-I sometimes still don’t believe/want to believe the trauma even happened.
-I don’t recognize the person I was pre-trauma.
-I don’t recognize the person I am post-trauma.
-I wonder if I’ll ever find a balance and find myself again.
-I feel tired.
-I feel scattered.
-I feel guilty sometimes, too. Could I have prevented the traumatic event?
-It makes me want to understand the world. It makes me frustrated that I can’t explain why this happened.
-It made me realize that life is short.
-It made me realize that life is actually too short.
-It made me realize how important friends and family are even if I still am a bit distant.
-Grief kills my appetite.
-Once in awhile, it makes me want to eat chocolate.
-It makes me sleep all day sometimes.
-It sometimes makes me not shower for a couple of days. Or even brush my teeth. So…it causes depression?
-It makes me have anxiety attacks.
-It’s because of grief that I have to take drugs every day and sometimes to help me sleep.
-It gives me nightmares.
-It forces me to constantly work on getting better. Many days, I feel like I haven’t made any progress.
-Sometimes a blue sky makes me forget, gives me at least a moment salvation.
-Grief has slowed me down in life.
-It has made me unable to tolerate stress.
-It has also made me stand up for myself more often.
No matter what.