60 Postcards: Create. Share. Inspire. Bringing you news every Tuesday on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.
A few of my friends have noticed that it has been a while since I have spoken completely from the heart. So, I am going to do that this evening. No pics, just words.
Something that we can all be guilty of (no matter what our issue may be), is the way we often brush things under the carpet. We don’t say how we really are. “I’m okay, thanks”, we answer, changing the subject as swiftly as possible.
We seem to have a fantastic knack for putting a guard up – a help-proof barrier – in an attempt to persuade others (and ourselves) that we are fine. And putting up a front can indeed be a comfort – it can be much easier to forget about our worries and carry on as though nothing is wrong at all. We plod along and use it as a distraction from the pain we are in. But what we need to remember is that ‘brushing things under the carpet’ is only temporary. The problem is not disappearing, it is merely out of sight and the longer it is swept to one side, the worse it will get.
In terms of grief, this is a topic that I have covered previously in both my blog and the book, but I have noticed a significant change here from the person I was when I first lost Mum and the person talking to you today. You see, I haven’t felt quite right the past week or so. I can’t completely explain why, either. As I have said before, these ‘uncontrollable storms of grief’ really can hit you out of nowhere – they can be triggered by the smallest of things (that seem able to crush the heart in such a momentous way). Using a ‘storm’ is the best way I know how to describe these experiences. Just like the weather, feelings are completely out of our control.
But, the positive part (for me) is that today I am much more likely to tell someone straight away if I am struggling. I no longer force a smile for hours, days or weeks. I don’t carry on as if nothing has happened. I was honest with a couple of my friends and they were as wonderful as ever – listening, supporting and most importantly, reminding me to do whatever I need to do to get back on track. Just knowing that people are there is enough.
Regardless of how small or large the issue is that you face – no problem needs to be (or should be) tackled alone. Bottling things up may lead you to implode, or even explode in years to come. I think that it is important to share with those you love, just as they can do with you. And you may just find that the weight will lift a little quicker.
Because it really is okay to say, ‘I’m not okay’.