Boy am I glad 2012 is over … it was full of such highs and lows, I am dizzy from the bipolar coaster of a ride the year was. Especially, the last quarter of it … because I spent it grieving. And anyone who had to deal with me moping around the past few months can attest that I was diligent about actually grieving, because it was the first time I’d actually ever done it. I didn’t run to the emergency room of emotional pain looking for a quick fix. Though, I did run out and adopt a dog and impulsively got a tattoo, I didn’t sedate myself from my pain; I forced myself to actually feel it. Because you can’t put a band-aid on a broken bone, now can you? Well, as hard as we try, that doesn’t work for a broken heart either. Just like a torn muscle needs physical therapy, a broken heart needs to be rehabilitated so it can heal properly too. And with every injury life gives us, it hurts before it feels better. Because you’ve got to fall to your knees before you can get up. So, I put my big girl panties and game face on, and faced my pain head on, forcing myself to go through the stages of grief. And boy did it suck. I even broke out my old psychology textbook from college covering the Kubler-Ross Model that I knew I was hoarding for a reason.
I was stupid through the (1) Denial Stage, which lasts for about a week. Then I was irrational and slightly bitchy and psychotic through the (2) Anger Stage — the absolute worst stage of them all. So I rushed through it quickly and went from pissed to pathetic in the (3) Bargaining Stage. Then, I fell hard into the next phase, (4) Depression.I lost 12 pounds from not having an appetite, and would randomly, without warning, break out into tears … and then try to be inconspicuous about it, but my mascara would get messed up so it would be obvious, and then I’d have to make up some stupid excuse as to why I was crying. Once I even blamed the Spice Girls for splitting up. And then … (5) Acceptance. That’s supposed to be the final stage and the death of the grief. But truth is, I accepted the reality of my grief as soon as the denial wore off. I accepted it, but that doesn’t mean I liked it. But through my faith in God’s plan, I learned to.
But, I think there is one more step Kubler-Ross left off her list … (6) FORGIVENESS! The unofficial 6th stage in the grieving process, that my Psychology professors failed to mention.
Because you see, when you go through something, and don’t go through the process of healing from it — and just put a band-aid on and play through the pain pretending you’re not hurt, you’re just worsening the injury. Just like ignored back pain can end up a herniated disc, a broken heart that is never cared for can harden. And the next thing you know, you’re 30 years old dealing with the issues of having your virginity stolen from you when you were 13, or whatever childhood trauma you suppressed by just pretending like it didn’t happen. You can lie to yourself all you want, do things to distract yourself from mourning and put on a happy face as easily as putting on make-up, but you can not hide from your subconscious. Suppressing emotional pain is like building a bomb inside your soul … and it will eventually explode! It’s not just about accepting your situation as a reality and dealing with it, but it’s finding forgiveness that will cut the wire to deactivate said bomb.
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