Lately, the gift of sleep has been a sinking ship. Every night, I lay awake in bed, wait for my mom to close her eyes, and then I unleash the many emotions that have been infecting my body. The warm tears start traveling to my lips, my nose starts to clog, and suddenly it feels like I can not breathe. The pain is so overwhelming that I have to brace myself to keep from screaming, because the very thought of anyone hearing me sends my heart tumbling to my toes. Thankfully, I seem to have mastered the silent cry.
I do not want to live like this, though, where I hide my most vulnerable state from the people I care about the most. I want to be able to show the sad, broken parts of me because to be honest, I am still very much broken. My heart may be stronger now, but it is far from healed or fixed.
Even from the beginning, the nights were always the hardest for me, because I was alone in my own head. As much as I had people in my corner, it was up to me to put up the fight to save myself from my thoughts.
For me, the grief has always come in cycles. Some weeks, my body is so numb and protected from the pain that I feel invincible, and other weeks my heart is so bruised and raw from the constant reminders that follow me along like a puppy. Being in this cycle is like being in quicksand where you fight so hard to pull yourself out of it, but ultimately you get sucked back in.
Something that helped me for a very long time was journaling, as it allowed me to express my emotions in a way that felt comfortable for me. When my father first passed away, I was not one to verbally open up to someone without feeling too exposed and almost naked.
To anyone who needs to hear this, you are strong and you are capable. You are going to have moments where you feel so weak you can barely stand, but know that is okay to fall. At some point you will get back up, because you cannot live life on the ground. Sometimes you need to move two steps backward to gather up strength to move three steps forward.
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