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What No One Tells You About: Grief

Image: Blue text on a white background states “Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”

When you lose someone who means the world to you, when you lose someone who WAS your world, there is so much that happens. And there are the little things and even the BIG things you expect… and then the little and big things you DON’T expect.

No one tells you you never stop opening the chat window. No one tells you you never stop logging on, expecting to see a message. A post on your wall that will make you laugh. It’s gone.

No one tells you you never stop picking up your phone to send a text or a Facebook message.

No one tells you that the words “Let me know if you need anything” literally mean nothing. We don’t know what we need. Sometimes what we need is a message saying “Hey, can I come over?” And sometimes we want someone over. But  it doesn’t mean we necessarily want to talk. Maybe we just want someone so we’re not alone. So we’re not without people. We need people… but sometimes we need people while we’re alone. We need someone to just sit with us, who is there if we suddenly pipe up with something, but who is also just there in the silence.

We need someone who is okay if we sent a frantic text at whatever AM, or a Facebook message. It’s okay if you don’t read or respond, don’t feel you have to. But we need someone to share our pain with.

No one will replace the person we lost. Nothing can ease our pain. I don’t believe that grief ever goes away. Instead, I believe it changes. It grows with us and it becomes a part of us.

I truly believe that people mean the best, but no one tells you how much it fucking HURTS when people say “Oh, I know exactly how you feel.” NO. YOU. DO. NOT. You did NOT have the same relationship I did. You did NOT lose the same friendship I did. We lost the same person and we’ve both lost loved ones, but you have no idea how I feel. You can relate. You can feel similar. But you have no idea exactly how I feel, and those words hurt so much.

What no one tells you is how lonely grief is. That it’s the moments you least expect it is when you are  blindsided by it. That when you’re walking home alone from the grocery store at midnight, it’s when the tears fall. When you’re on the bus and you see something hysterical that you’d text them, it’s when the familiar salty feeling overwhelms you.

Grief is forever. It becomes a part of you. No one tells you that. You expect that in time, you will get better. I don’t believe you do. I believe as you approach your new normal, you change. But grief is the price of love – and it’s worth it, I think. I think that love is the greatest  gift you can give anyone. And in a way, I think the grief and pain is that final gift you can give them. For it means that your relationship meant something – to both you and to them. It means that their life meant something to someone – to MANY someones – to COUNTLESS someones. And that’s what matters. That’s what love is.

 

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What No One Tells You: Chronic Illness

What no one tells you about being chronically ill is how soul crushing it is.

About how some days, you decide between going to the bathroom and eating.

About how some days, you decide between a shower and eating.

About how some days, you literally don’t have the energy to leave your bed, nonetheless eat, shower, toilet, do all the things you need to do.

What no one tells you is how lonely it is. How crippling that loneliness is.

Sure, you have your computer and your phone that you could use to talk to someone. If only you could get the energy to reach it.

What no one tells you is how hopeless it feels.

What no one tells you what it’s like.

What no one tell you is the soul crushing feeling of playing Medication Roulette – hoping that this time, this pill will work.

No one tells you what it’s like having to choose what food will taste the best coming back up, but you know damn well you have to eat something.

What no one tells you is what it’s like at age 19 to be declared disabled and unable to work, unable to complete school, and at age 28 be a college drop out because you just can’t do it.

No one tells you how deep and dark that hopelessness is.

Because until you’ve lived it, you don’t know it.

Until you’ve lived it, you don’t realize how dark and lonely it is.

And you don’t realize it’s what your life has become.