The First Stage of Grief

I paid for a course on relationship anxiety yesterday and started watching the first video today. Only four minutes into the video, something struck me that hadn’t done before now. To be with Phil I needed to let go of being single and I never did that. In fact, I clung desperately to my single life convincing myself that it was what I wanted, that it was better, that I never wanted to give it up. In reality, it wasn’t better. It had its pros and it had its cons. If I’d known better I would have taken the time to sit with the truth of it fully and allowed myself to grieve the life I was letting go of which would have then given me a space to welcome in the life I could have had with Phil. The video so far has allowed me to see that for each change we make in life, a death has to take place. The death of my old single life needed to happen and I didn’t allow it to. I clung on to its cancer-riddled bones out of fear of embarking on something else. If I’m completely honest with myself I knew it was dying a death as soon as I met Phil, I just couldn’t let go of it, the same way I couldn’t let go of Tom. I wasn’t prepared to go through the pain of grieving my single life and grieving for Tom because the pain and fear were too great in both cases. I can see now that this is something I need to do. Firstly I need to allow myself to really grieve over my loss of Tom, not because I still love him or still want to be with him but because I need to grieve for the dream that I once had with Tom which no longer serves me. I then need to grieve for my single life which has been kinder to me than any other time in my life. It has brought me time to get to know myself, to see my weaknesses but to also recognise my strengths. It has been a time of healing, of friendships and of rebuilding my family to the strong unit that I always wanted it to be. It has also been a time of great challenges but mostly, of some wonderful lessons and personal growth.

If I’m going to ever make a relationship work with anyone, I have to start grieving and letting go of this life that isn’t really serving me very well anymore. Mostly I need to learn to cry. I constantly stop myself from crying, I bite back the tears, I swallow them down, I push them away and ignore their need to be expressed. I know this is a foolish thing to do. I see crying as something to be embarrassed and ashamed about. For fucks sake, when Karen cries I’m so uncomfortable with it that I take the piss out of her for it. That’s so unfair. I’m projecting my own shame onto her because tears and emotion are not something that I am comfortable with at all. It’s something I feel necessary to hide or ignore totally.

And then the Universe answered me as I was writing this and gave me no choice but to give in to my tears. Tom texted me to see how things were. He told me he going for a drink. I thought he meant with his mate but he said he was meeting a woman that he’d had a date with previously. I felt as though I’d been stabbed in the stomach. I stopped and I listened to why. I heard the thoughts in my head going around: I’m so lonely, I’ll be even more alone. 

I berated and then thanked the universe for showing me that I feel abandoned and alone. I went into the bedroom and I cried. I didn’t sob, I just had a little cry. I couldn’t control it this time and I didn’t want to. I want to get to know grief, tears and crying intimately. I want to cry away these walls I’ve put up around my heart and feeling pain is the only way to do that.

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