SR - Hey. How are you? I haven’t seen you for ages again. I hope things are going well.
Jan - Hi. They might be a bit better if the sun would come out!
SR - I know what you mean but no point wishing for something you have no control over.
Jan - Isn’t that the truth?
SR - Apart from the weather, how are you getting on?
Jan - Had a challenging week. I guess, naively, I had thought I would be
out of the darkness with my new job. I am loving it and it is going, really well. I do feel my purpose is within that.
SR - So what happened?
Jan - It is hard to pin down and say it is one thing and then make changes so that doesn’t happen again. The darkness has been creeping up since the third anniversary. I think I told you how this felt different. Another shift, somehow. It doesn’t make sense.
SR - I guess the truth is this isn’t going away.
Jan - On Monday, for the first time, I became aware of what anxiety in the body feels like. My mind wasn’t filled with painful thoughts, quite the opposite, I was writing a blog about the potential vision of Stranraer. It didn’t make sense. My body was aching with sadness. I couldn’t move it. I woke with it. I did my usual meditations, yoga to Ho’oponopono, and had a green juice. I tried to sit with it and give it space but it was, really hurting. Even distraction wasn’t working. I got through the day resisting chocolate and then my friend called to see how I was and if I wanted anything from the shop. She assumed chocolate but it was worse than that! ‘Wine’, I said. As I am aware of that being a crutch for me, I asked for just one small bottle and that was it.
SR - Did it help make you feel better?
Jan - That is a great question. It made me feel different. The sadness was still there but because alcohol and chocolate have a chemical effect on the body, my body felt different and the ache of sadness lifted for a while.
SR - Perhaps that is all you can do for now and maybe forever if that is how you get through the pits and troughs. I guess the trick is not to stay in the pit for too long.
Jan - No. That is very important. I recognised how easy it would be to isolate myself, so with some encouraging self-talk, I nudged my way out of the door to do things with friends. It would be so easy to convince myself that no one wants to see my sad face or be around this energy but that isn’t true. I am so lucky to have the friends I have. I even camped out on a friend’s land, with the goats! The desire to stay in the tent for days was strong. I do feel I want to hide away. Why would that be?
SR - I don’t really know but maybe your inner self just needs to sit with no expectations or jobs to do. Perhaps your inner spirit just wants to ‘be’ for a while.
Jan - Maybe that is it. It isn’t about thinking and doing to make myself feel better or different. We live in such a busy world, there never seems time to do that. I also wonder if I go to a field with my tent, I might not want to come back!
SR - There is always that possibility but it will be winter soon and I am sure that would get you out!
Jan - True. I don’t like to be cold 😊
SR - I don’t know if this has been helpful but keep doing what you are doing.
Jan - Talking to you always helps. I have a friend visiting from America, at the moment. She lost her son thirty years ago after just two days of life. She still thinks of him every day.
SR - That says it all, Jan. Go easy on yourself. And accept that this is with you all your life. You will always wish it were different.
Jan - We had that conversation last night and then agreed that all roads lead back to, ‘it is just how it is.’ Fact.
SR - Now with that fact, it is for you to decide how you live.
Jan - When your life is shattered and you are thrown off in a direction where you have no idea what is there and you lose your bearings completely, there is only one thing to do and that is to change with it. Don’t fight the change. Reinvent yourself. That is easier said than done. When your world shatters, it is like you have been thrown into another realm. A place you don’t recognise but you know things are different there. The strange thing is, that you are still physically in the same world as everyone else and you still look the same.
SR - That is enlightening to hear.
Jan - I explained that last night to my friend and because she had lost her son, she fully understood that. I haven’t been able to explain that before. Perhaps that is why this journey feels lonely and I need to meet others who have had a significant loss or share a similar loss.
SR - I hope that conversation helped you move out of this patch of darkness.
Jan - It all helps. Talking, writing, drawing, and even scribbling helps. Keeping things in would really take me deeper down the road of destruction and darkness.
SR - For everyone’s sake that road is better avoided.
Jan - It really is. It takes great strength to avoid it. That is the easy route. Observing and learning is the most challenging. Then choosing the action that will be the best for you is not easy. Crumbling and giving in is the easiest and I would never say I won’t give in because I have no idea how life is going to go. This also makes me feel more compassion for others. I know the strength required not to mess your life up!
I better get going now. It has been lovely chatting. I am not really sure how much of this makes sense. My head is mush at the moment.
SR - Perhaps it is transitioning to greater things.
Jan - You have such faith in me. Who knows. In the wise words of my Mum, ‘Let’s see what happens’. I am coming by with my friend tomorrow.
SR - Exciting. I am looking forward to meeting her.
Jan - And she is You. See you tomorrow. The sun is coming out. It feels great.
SR - It does. I need to work on my tan 😂
Jan - You and me both. See you tomorrow. Be good. 🥰
SR - I will do my best.
READ THE NEXT CONVERSATION - Why expect progress with grief? - HERE