HELLO…IS THIS GRIEF WE’RE LOOKING FOR?
I couldn’t find the word for it.
The 76 different feelings I had felt over the weekend, I couldn’t pin it down.
And then, as I typed a message into a group chat I realised exactly what word I was looking for.
I’m not going to bore you with TMI.
However, what I am going to do is share with a few of my thoughts and dare I say it *tips* for grieving our freedom right now.
I feel like a bit of a fraud sharing tips because I’m sat here today fresh-faced with my ‘positive’ pants on having gotten through what felt like an emotional hangover this weekend. I 100% wouldn’t have been able to write this yesterday. In hindsight, it’s down to these tips that have helped me regain my PMA so it would be rude not to share.
“Grieving our freedom.”
I’m not a huge socialite, I don’t have a huge girl gang on friends, I don’t have a very big family and I come from what one might call a “broken home”. I have a handful of friends who mean the world to me, I have chosen my own Mums & Dads and I was an only child for 10years of my life. I can deal with being on my own, in fact, I really really like it.
If you were to ask me what my perfect day would consist of I know 70% of that day I’d very much like to spend it alone.
But this alone-ness feels different.
“HOW AM I FEELING TODAY?” – I wrote in my journal yesterday afternoon
I’d spent 5mins trying to find a meditation that seemed relevant to how I was feeling. 5 mins of sitting with a meditation that I couldn’t bear to continue listening to because the female voice was annoying me. Then I burst into tears, hit Spotify and put on the one song that makes me feel miserable and relieved all in one go.
Massive Attack – Teardrop (if you don’t know it then go and listen).
I cried, and f*ck me it felt good.
I let out everything.
Every emotion, feeling, memory, it all came out.
“Tears are like poison in your body – hold on to the for too long and you’ll poison yourself” – My very good friend once said this to me years ago, I will never forget it and it’s the absolute truth.
I have cried a few times recently but this time it really felt required.
I picked up my journal and continued…
I feel frustrated.
I feel annoyed.
I’m annoying myself.
I’m not doing the things that make me feel good because I can’t be arsed – so what’s the point?!
I’m not doing what I said I would do.
There was not one feeling, there was about 76 (ok slight exaggeration)
Anyway, mid journal I messaged my friends in a group chat because I knew I needed someone else to hear me.
That’s when figured out it was grief, I was grieving my freedom.
I sat and felt guilty for a bit (as I’m sure we all have).
I have a business and am still earning.
I am living with my partner.
I have this….
I can do that…
But for goodness sake, we are still allowed to grieve.
So yesterday I grieved.
I grieved for the smallest of things, such as;
- Walking into a busy coffee shop
- Hugging my Grandma
- Having dinner in my best friends kitchen & falling asleep from a wine-induced haze by 9pm
- Meeting friends for a walk or hike outside of my area
- Going to f*cking primark and being able to buy some NEW PJS and socks?!?! (Anyone else?!)
- Trying on clothes in a changing room
- Spending time walking around a small bric a brac shop smelling candles and stroking cushions
I could go on.
Like some of them are laughable, but to be honest, this just screams out to me how simple things can bring us so much joy.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this because I think a lot of the time it’s the guilt that is beating us up more than the actual feeling/feelings are.
I said I wouldn’t share TMI – whoops!
Ok so let’s move onto to the *tips* for dealing with grieving our freedom;
- Don’t bottle it up
- Have a safe space to figure out your feelings and figure them out
- Let go of what’s not serving you
- Permit yourself to feel some happiness
1. Don’t bottle it up
I’ve spoken to so many of my clients about this, all of us introverts have gone so far into our shells we can barely see daylight. If you share how you feel, you will feel better. I suggest calling your best friend/Mum/Sibling and starting the conversation with something like “Can I just have 10mins of your time to MOAN?!” which is exactly what I did 2 weeks ago and 30mins later we were crying with laughter. If you know you have someone to lean on, or maybe someone who leans on you quite a lot, take it upon yourself to lean on them.
2. Have a safe space to figure out your feelings and figure them out
What does it feel like, freedom grief? Does it feel like anger? Does it feel like rage? Does it feel like sorrow? If you’re bottling it up then you probably don’t really know how it feels. I’m not asking you to do some form of alternative laughing/crying yoga. I just want you to try to feel what the *ick* feels like and let it brew for a bit because if you let it simmer, it’s going to keep on simmering.
So, how do you feel “it”?
Well I take myself off to my bedroom (have a special comforting place where you can reflect), I get out my journal and I write them down.
Create a method to help you observe your thoughts (this might actually be talking to yourself);
Then check in with yourself…
“How do I feel today?”
And I just allow myself to be 100% honest with myself, like 110% honest, I write down the things I know I am thinking but would’t dream of saying out loud.
Sometimes the words don’t come naturally so I will use the Calm app to meditate and “sit with it”, over time the words seem to come.
If you’re not someone who likes putting pen to paper you could look at other ways of observing your thoughts such as;
- Talking to yourself in the shower
- Talking to yourself in the car
- Talking (maybe not out loud) to yourself on a walk and so on…
3. Let go of what’s not serving you
Now you know how you feel and perhaps for the first time you can truly feel it, you’ll have some understanding of what you might need to let go of. Expressing your feelings will help you to relieve them.
Check-in with yourself again…
“What do I need to let go of?”
The pressure and so on
I figured mine out, I cried some happy tears, I wrote down and waved goodbye to some of those feelings/thoughts. It felt great to relieve myself of this burden but it also left me feeling like I needed something to cheer me up, to make me smile….
4. Permit yourself some happiness
When I journal this final part of my self-check-in looks like,
“What can I do about it today?”
You’ll probably find you’ve covered quite a lot of this by writing down what you need to let go of. However, now you can find alternative ways to do life today. So, for example, yesterday I wrote;
- I can start showing up to myself
- I can start doing the things I said I would do.
- I can do something for myself to make me feel good
- I can delete social media for a few days
After this, I popped out to the shop, bought myself a bunch of flowers and some chocolate shortbread because I felt like I needed something sweet. Call this emotional eating if you like (how dare I be so human), or you can call this “honouring my feelings”. Chocolate shortbread and flowers make me happy (make a note B.T.)
Today is a good day, I feel like a weight has been shifted.
I hope in some way this has helped someone today.
Please feel free to share your thoughts/comments in the comments below.
All my love,
(Edinburgh, Scotland 2018 – my Braveheart “Freedom” moment)