Running away from pain was a trick I learned at an early age.
When I was a kid, I was surrounded by adults that scared me about making my own choices because they were so sure it was all going to lead to pain. Being exposed to that kind of life tactic all my life gave me the impression that grieving is a negative experience, and anything negative was not the best feeling in the world.
I am the kind of person who needs to know why? What is the logic behind it? What rational explanation do you have that can convince my mind? I need to be educated so I could make informed decisions. But they just saw me as a child, a child who should follow what they say.
Having nobody to teach me about love and life properly, I just assumed that when it hurts — you have to push it down or AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS.
As I grew up, I navigated through my existence, making so many mistakes, failing at every turn, and breaking my heart every single time. I ran away from the pain by depending on numbing agents like shopping, eating my feelings, sleeping, watching TV, or seeking love from people who would only hurt me in the end anyway.
But you know what they say, what you do not repair, you repeat.
Repeating those patterns for years cost me my heart, my soul, and myself. I was functioning daily, but I was like a zombie. I lost sight of who I was; I was nobody but a conscious passenger with no control of over my own body. It was no way to live, and I badly wanted to put an end to this disturbing cycle.
They always said that you’d get farther in life if you’re brave enough to take the risk and ask smart questions. The only way I could do this was to put my foot down and take charge, look within myself, and deal with my fear of being alone with my thoughts and feelings.
From that moment, I realized that I’ve been going about it all wrong. Running away and avoiding pain was like drowning in quicksand. The more you move around and try so hard to get out of it, the more you sink.
I learned that the most effective way to cope with grief and pain is
When we start to feel pain, we kind of panic, don’t we? We know it hurts and we want to get rid of it FAST! But the thing is, we won’t know how to get rid of anything if we don’t know what caused it in the first place. We need to make ourselves aware by asking:
- Why are we actually in pain? (Was it our fault? Is it hurting us or our ego? Is it pain or guilt?)
- What caused grief?
- Are there other healthy alternatives to solve what caused it in the first place?
ADMIT IT YOU ARE IN PAIN WITHOUT SHAME.
A lot of us are so afraid to admit we are grieving for fear that people may see us as weak or stupid for feeling that way. Honestly, I can’t blame you. In my experience, there were people in my life who would laugh at my grief. They would tell me I deserved to suffer.
I consoled myself by holding my pain prisoner inside of me, but you hold on to your anger for so long the lines tend to blur. At first, you are the one holding it captive. You think you are still in control, the next thing you know the grief has detained you.
Hiding behind your grief like you are the dirty secret is a way of giving up your power, and allowing your emotions to take control over you. We must remember, it is only a feeling; it comes and goes.
There is power in admitting you are in pain. Put your foot down, take charge, and free yourself from the grief that has taken you hostage.
BEFRIEND YOUR GRIEF
Ever noticed that when you are in the company of someone you cannot stand, sharing a room with them for an hour seems like a thousand years?
You want it to be over ASAP.
That is how it feels when we are grieving. We want it to be over because having that awful feeling makes days seem to go by slower, the sky is gloomy, and food seems to have lost its taste.
We want to get back to the rainbow and cotton candy stage.
But to be honest, befriending your grief is the easiest way to make it go away. Treat it how you would treat a good friend.
Get to know it, look forward to the lessons each decibel of grief is trying to teach you, enjoy its company and just like a good old friend — you will realize that the time you have spent with each other was not enough, but they have to go.
You will say your goodbyes, and you give thanks for imparting you with all the wisdom you gained during your short time together.
Grief doesn’t come into our lives to punish us; it occurs when we need to be taught a lesson that helps us break the vicious cycle of mourning and recycling pain from reliving toxic patterns.
At the end of it all, grief isn’t all bad. Grief exists to help us shed older and weaker versions of ourselves so we can grow into a person who’s braver, stronger and capable of reaching our full potential.