Today is the day I have been dreading, my birthday. I turned 28 years old today and I am officially the same age as my sister when she passed away. I have outlived someone who was older than me. I get to continue in my life, growing and aging, while my sister will never see another day. She will never experience another trip around the sun.
During my birthday last year I wrote this journal entry in my deepest moment of grief. I wanted to share it because I believe it speaks to mental health, grief, pain and sadness.
“Somewhere along the way I lost myself, and I don’t know how to get back home. I want to be true and authentic me but I don’t know if I can anymore. I am so broken, shattered into obivilion. Where are you? Where am I? help me come home. I am lost in despair and anger. I don’t want to live like this anymore. Will I ever come home? Will I ever feel whole again? I find myself quickly back in old patterns of anger and attitude. I want to be free from sadness and pain. Please help me come home, home to self, home to love, home to compassion for all. Ive wasted this entire month with people I loved living in denial. I couldn’t be authentic because it hurt. It hurt to see them hurt. It hurt to let them see me hurt. hurt hurt hurt, pain pain pain. Help me come home. Home, I long to be. Will I ever feel again? Will I ever feel anything besides sadness, I am attracting it all around me. Things, places, opportunities, relationships all dying. I am tired of dying. I want to live, I want to come home to me. I want to come home to bre. Help me see the way, the love and light because I am numb and blind in anger. Set me free, send me home to self, give me love and strength because I am broken, shattered, demolished, hanging by a thread of anger and tears. let me live.”
I was so ashamed to share this entry. It felt like I was going to be disappointing people. As a mental health professional, I feel like I had to have it all together and shamed myself for struggling mentally. I told myself “people have it worse” or “I should be grateful for the people who told me happy birthday”, erasing my feelings with gratitude.
If you feel lost, explore that hole in your heart before you jump to gratitude. It’s going to hurt and its going to hurt for a very long time but there is no way around it. We have to move through the pain to get to the other side (You can and will make it to the other side). You won’t always be hanging on by a thread, with love and support your thread will turn into two threads and then eventually into three. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or be ashamed for feeling the way you feel. IT IS OK TO NOT BE OK. We are all human and will go through periods of time with pain, there is no shame in feeling emotions. Life is hard and we need support.
Though I talked about being broke, I am not broken. I am thousands of misshaped puzzle pieces. It looks overwhelming and I don’t know where the pieces go. Just like doing a puzzle, it takes time to find each piece and match it to the next. Eventually the pieces that seemed so random fit perfectly into the whole picture. You now have a beautiful masterpiece and a representation of your journey.
One of my favorite quotes is by Ram Das and states, “We’re all just walking each other home.” We are all on the journey to finish our puzzle, let’s support each other to the path home.