It is Just Going to Hurt, That Bad.
I have always tried to be as honest as I can and as transparent as I can. It works for me, and this is no different. I am going to say what no one wants to hear, yet what everyone needs to know. No one wants to hear it because it makes us feel helpless, and yet by hearing it, it also makes it OK. It may let you off the imaginary hook of needing to do something and open a space for you to explore just being. I believe what I am going to tell you applies to all areas of life. It came to me through the loss of Rene but loss is loss. Whether it be a divorce, the loss of a job, a missed opportunity, the loss of a loved one, a shitty childhood you are still grieving, whatever it is that you are dealing with I think this is true for it all. We can choose the repercussions, the outcomes that we are going to create from our situation, even and especially in the situations that are so far out of our control we are blindsided. But here is what you cannot control and what makes most of us so uncomfortable; it is just going to hurt. There is nothing you can do about it. There is nothing anyone can do about it. How bad it hurts is personal. How you experience the pain is all yours. Someone might find one thing devastating while another would hardly see it as a problem but it doesn’t matter. If it hurts you, it hurts you.
It might hurt so bad you feel like you are being ripped apart from the inside, like you can barely breathe, like you don’t care if you do. It might be so intense that you didn’t even know that one could feel so much pain. There might be times when you would do anything to make it stop.
I have always loved working with people in substance recovery because I saw myself in them. I thought, if I had had your life, I too may be an addict. I was so grateful for the opportunities in my life that I wanted to share whatever I could to show others that there are people who care about them, that there is another way. I wanted to hold the hope for them until they could take it on for themselves. But now I sit here and see, it is happening to me. This is one of those times. A time where one drink could lead to 6, where the thought of drugs, sleeping all day, sex, or prescription medications are so appealing, their consequences seemingly trivial compared to the pain being escaped.
I see all the sweet faces around me trying to make it better. Doing whatever they can to ease the hurt. For me, having people around does help. I find a lot of comfort in having a reason to shower. Not that anyone would care if I didn’t but it helps having a reason. Yet all the visitors in the world cannot make it better. For a time, for a moment it is OK, but then they leave and I close the door and am flooded with the realness of it all. The realization that the only person in the world that I always want around, my person, is the only person I cannot have. But he watched me grow up. He gave me an advance of $200 for his future yoga classes with a card telling me to take the yoga teacher training when I wasn't even that into yoga, (that is how fucking awesome he was). I have been prepped for this, he was instrumental in making sure I had these skills.
This is what I have practiced for. I didn’t know then but I see it now. There is no way to make it better, and it is just going to hurt like hell, so I sit with it. I let it bring me to tears, anger, fear, frustration, and disbelief. I let the sadness settle in and stir about, until it passes through. Knowing that it will be back, again and again and again. I feel myself being drawn to what will ultimately be destructive but momentarily gracious. While I feel the draw I know better. I know on a very deep level that there is nothing that will make this better and adding toxic behavior will ultimately make this process much harder. So I sit with it, with it all. Not trying to change it, or fix it, or bury it. I just be with what is. And what is, from time to time feels like it's killing me.
So to my sweet friends, going through whatever you are going through. Go through it. There is no other way, it is just going to hurt that bad. Until one day it hurts differently. I don’t believe I will ever get “better”, I am not sick. Life will never be what it was, you may never be the same as you were, I will never be the same. Perfect, let it work through you and let it make you amazing. Refined by fire, we will be different and we will be strong. I know that if I can go through this, well then...
There is no conversation I can’t have, there is no situation I can't stand up to. This is it, we will KNOW our strength in an entirely different way. So just let it hurt; let the loss of whatever it is you are moving through hurt like it needs to and let that be OK. If you are able to hold space for those going through their hurt, try just being with it. Just let them hurt, no rush to heal, no cliche sayings, no pep talks, no needing them to reassure you that they are OK, no need to make it “better”; just let them hurt. Knowing they have someone who cares enough to be in the uncomfortable place with them will mean the world.