Tomorrow Ben would turn three. I've realized for those who have lost loved ones...the pain…
For me, I've broken so many times in so many different ways, that I oftentimes find myself telling Kyle (or a friend, counselor, psychiatrist), "I just need to put myself back together." By that sentence, I think I'm trying to say that I just need a moment to work it out on the inside, set up resources I need on the outside, and sew the pieces back together into the colorful, patchwork quilt that is "me." Jagged pieces, square, bold, subtle, mysterious. There may be things I need from others (medication, grief counseling, support), but I always come back to the understanding that I have to find a way to do that one act of self-realization and self-care. It takes time, it takes introspection and will power. The need to put yourself back together can result from many things: mental illness, loss, grief, physical illness, overwhelming times, leaps of faith with no bridge in sight. I needed to put those words into action after Ben died (a decade long process) and the times when I cycle from manic depression -- these may be momentary lapses or coming out of month-long episodes.
I can't speak to how I did it after Ben's death, as it is still a work in progress (more to come), but I can speak to the process during my battles with manic depression. From the outside, I need my psychiatrist, medication, and support from family or friends. I need to breathe to stop my mind which is often pounding like a race horse. "Don't freak out." I need to ground myself. For me personally, what I need on the inside is connection to something greater than myself, as odd as it sounds.
I want my pain to relieve your pain. I use writing to connect my soul back to God, friends, strangers. I crave connections with life and people around me. Love is the key for me. The greatest connection we have. I need to believe there is more to suffering than what we see on the surface. Our energy connected coursing through the universe. All as one. Writing allows my brain to process information, find peace, and feel connected with this greater sense of meaning. For you, it may be as simple as a text to a friend, journaling, blogging, or as big as writing a book that no one will see or millions will see. Or you may put yourself together in a unique way that is all your own.
As many times as I have to do it, I will put myself back together again. There is so much greater than this -- than suffering, struggles, pain, illness. It is there, waiting to be discovered.
I'm not only writing for me, I'm writing for you.