You might have noticed, I haven’t written in my blog much lately. I remember being so excited on my Birthday in July. My friend Haven took me on a date to celebrate my 41st. We cried during the Harry Potter movie and laughed in Walmart and over dinner at Thai Spice. I swore I was going to blog….but I didnt.
I remember meditating on a rock when I got off the ship in Turk & Caicos, sitting in the sun merging with God. I sat there for the longest time watching a rainbow to see if I could catch a ride to the pot of gold.
I remember taking a bus to the tongue of that island so I could dance with the Natives. I bought a Maraca and danced like nobody was watching, but secret hoped that everybody was paying attention… because instead of sitting it out, I chose to dance. Couldn’t wait to blog…but I didn’t.
I remember sitting on a boat at Half Moon Cay for an hour before they finally told us to get off the boat there is some faulty equipment and they can’t take us out to parasail..I was thankful, an angel can’t fly with broken wings… I wasnt getting off the ground with faulty equiptment 🙂 We parasailed the next day in the Bahamas. I was sure I would finally blog, but I didnt.
I remember speaking early one morning on that Cruise to a group of women who have courageously had weightloss surgery. All at different phases in their journey. Some maintaining, some still losing, some gained, on their way back down and some preparing for reconstructive surgery. As I looked out at the faces in the room, I realized I had been in each of their places.. I had been all of those things since my surgery over 8 years ago.
I remember going out, or hanging out at my friends Susan & Gordons house.
Doing some pet sitting along the journey.
Sitting with Miss Kaplan as Gordon and Susan took a vacation.
I can go on, and on, and on….so much I was going to blog about… but didn’t at the time. Do you know what it feels like to be happiest when you are writing a story, being someone who loves to “write”. BUT, .. I had began singing the song…that no one wants to hear.
You haven’t lived in my skin, and felt the arrows pierce.
But, see what I really “need” to say is. I also remember going a couple of weeks without food, hoping and praying I would get called back for a job. Asking friends at school for a slice of cucumber here and there or maybe a baby carrot.Trying not to make it look too obvious that I had no food.
I remember going on Facebook and asking for help from my friends. I needed protein and vitamins. I got just that, in all flavors. Somedays I was inspired, somedays I was Clickin’ and occasionally I could Believe 🙂 But, thankfully I always had protein and vitamins during this time. My bariatric friends and family saw to that.
I remember having to give my precious cat Bella Sera back over to the Noahs Ark no kill shelter and how I cried! Then my friend Haven sending a frantic text for me to go get her she would keep her.I cried more! Bella is in a safe Haven where she is loved and cared for.
I remember handing in the keys to my condo on the Intracoastal crying knowing I would not sit on that balcony again sipping coffee watching the sunrise over the ocean.
I guess we all remember the day I put Henna in my hair and came out looking like Ronald McDonald.
Over the past year, I have lost material things, some friends, any ounce of sanity that I had left and almost everything I had including my cat. What I have gained has been priceless. I have gained patience, understanding, unconditional love of my self, self acceptance, and compassion.
How can one truly extend, love and compassion to others without filling their self up first?
This past year was not wasted… I went through the grieving process.
7 Stages of Grief…
1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
It lasted for what seemed like a year 🙂 I was shocked when I no longer had a job. Shocked when I could not find a job, and shocked when I turned in my keys and left my cat with Haven. Everytime I tried to deny what was happening it seemed as though something had to shock me to resuscitate me.
2. PAIN & GUILT-
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.
. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
I am very pleased to say, I survived without drugs or alcohol. It would have been so easy to have gone skiing down that slope Oh don’t get me wrong I am not perfect. I plunged into a box of Fruity Pebbles one day and didn’t emerge until they were gone, and there was that day I ate those Reese Cups. I could beat myself up over those choices but I won’t. I am blessed to be here.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the the pain on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.
I lashed out more than once. At times I lashed out at God.. I felt like I was all alone in a sea of tears. One day while I was on the cruise I had an aha moment when I realized I was standing looking in the mirror lashing out at God… it was my own reflection.
4. “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.
During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did before this happened and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.
Oh…boy…did…I reflect. Seemed like forever I stared into the water, the mirror, the sky. I wanted my life back. I wanted to be able to travel again, to sip coffee on my balcony, to drive to Amelia Island and ride horses on the beach or jump on a plane to Mexico and dance with the Mayans….Would I ever be free from this nightmare… It seemed as if I owed the world and no job in site… They say what happens to us is not OUR KARMA but its how we react that is our Karma… So I danced, I laughed and I sang in my car.
7 Stages of Grief…
5. THE UPWARD TURN-
As you start to adjust to life without, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.
I started to appreciate what I had left and to be thankful for every opportunity. I started to dance in the storm and pretty soon it became fun. If it got muddy, I would just splash around and laugh a little more.
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without income. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life.
This part was confusing, I often asked why bother. I tried to put a plan down to pay off bills to get an apartment. I realized at some point,I had started to dream again 🙂
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. I learned so much during this past year.. patience, unconditional love, trust in the Divine, and compassion…
I found myself forgiving those who hurt me and in the process found profound forgiveness in myself. Or maybe, it was vice versa… All I know is there is forgiveness, acceptance.. and HOPE 🙂
I started to live, love and laugh again. I realized that even during the darkest moments of this storm I focused on the positive. One is never in the dark as long as they remember to turn on the light.
I translate that like this… even at the worst moments of our lives, or what seems like total darkness and grief… The Divine is still there with us through those moments. Not just “with” us, but in our heart.
I haven’t lived tomorrow, but God will bless me when it comes.