When I married my husband a little over 2 years ago, he was extremely concerned about my health. Actually, more accurately, I could see on his face and hear in his voice he was scared that he’d married a terminally ill woman. So was I. I didn’t dwell on it, but it’s like I could feel some life-sucking force taking over my body. I was suffering, like I had learned to suffer – and had suffered my whole life: In silence. I did not seek medical attention for it, but I didn’t shy away from my doctor either. There wasn’t enough of one specific acute symptom or set of symptoms to try and get his input into the malady. It was just a well-being thing – or complete lack thereof – that I really wouldn’t have been able to describe to any kind of healthcare professional. If I had sought him about it, my doctor would probably have referred me to a mental health professional for prescription management of depression and anxiety and/or whatever else could be conjured up to write prescriptions for (prescriptions for therapy included).
Now that I’m where I am, it’s become clear that’s not what was needed. I think I’d known for some time what was needed. My body had simply just reached a point it could no longer bear the grief I had been stifling. I hadn’t necessarily been stifling it on purpose as I knew it wasn’t healthy that I had not been able to let myself grieve. I just had too much going on. The grieving I needed to do was an all-consuming, 24-hour-a-day thing that a job and other things were not compatible with. And there was the thing that I knew all too well: It felt as though it would kill me if I really let it happen, and I knew it would go on for a long time if I ever did let the process start. When I could finally let it out, if felt like it was killing me, but, actually, it was quite the opposite. It was a pretty intense, good 2 years of deep, deep, exhausting, grievous, gut-wrenching, back-breaking grieving. I think that part of what kept me from going there before, too, was not having a support system and a safe place to go through it. My precious husband provided that safe place…HE is a safe place, the safest I’ve experienced in all of my 48 years. Our home is a safe place. Our house is a ghetto, foreclosed on former rental unit with 20 people living hard in it at one time with human pee in the corners, oozing dripping stuff that had to be scrubbed from the walls along with rips, tears, holes, you name it. It was NASTY when I first moved in – and Steve had already spent countless hours scrubbing away the nastiness and repairing the disrepair before bringing me in as his wife to help…and, in spite of all that it was in its former life and all that it still lacks, it has become our home. We’ve made it our home. And it has sheltered me through the hardest thing imaginable.
I’m still very much going through that process of grieving – and my son is 21 now, so I had a LOT of catching up to do. Now that I’ve been through the initial breaking forth of it and have gotten what was dammed up mostly out of my system, I have started to notice the things that I do to be and stay healthy actually contributing to a feeling of health. I’m starting to feel vitality and life in my body again.
A recommendation: Whatever it is you have to let go of and grieve, you are your only you, and you are incalculably valuable, so give yourself permission to find your safe place, permission to pray for your safe place – whatever it is you need to let what needs to happen happen – and grieve(!) it(!) OUT!!! It is not the purpose of the human body to be equipped to hold that stuff in. I almost let grief kill me, and, of this I am certain: There are far better ways to die…(!!!).