Progress is not linear… and that is the point! It would be so shallow and delicate if we weren’t to go over it a thousand times. Like mending a hole in a sock. One stitch won’t be strong enough. So we go over and over to ensure the hole is closed. In therapy we repeat and retrace. We learn something new each time. We go back and forth retracing our steps to go deeper into the pain.
Over the past 4 weeks I’ve seriously contemplated suicide. I counted up my meds and googled to see how much is needed to kill a person. I considered all the ways I could die without being a burden on my family. But couldn’t come up with any idea that wouldn’t just hand this pain and grief over to my kids and husband. So I carried it inside me like a lead weight. Thinking about self harm every day. Tightening the bolts around my heart swearing I’d never let Linda in because that’s where I went wrong with Anna. I let her in and then she hurt me. But then I realised – this locking myself away is familiar, I’ve been here before. I had to protect myself from those who were meant to love me and care for me. And Anna has helped me learn how to open up and trust… and I know she’d never have chosen to leave. She taught me how to love with a trusting heart and let love in and the pain of losing her almost made me turn my back on that connectedness, turn my back on any future love. In noticing that my reflex to turn and run had kicked in, I began to lean into the pain.
The steps of progress I made with Anna deserve to be set in stone as I forge forwards with Linda. I don’t need to have them washed away like the tide along the shore as if it never happened. It did happen and it was life changing. And this grief has been life changing. The grief has been as powerful as the love. And though I’m able to go about my day now without the pain of the loss overwhelming me, it’s still there all the time. She’s everywhere. I still have multiple conversations with her in my mind every day.
Progress is not linear but we need to keep our eyes open and our minds aware. As we circle over the same issues we need to learn that this is familiar ground but it’s traveled on with new learning. So I am learning once again how to make a connection, form an attachment, let someone know me. And this time I’m doing it with a little more openness than before and more faith in my ability to make myself heard and to be understood.
I may feel like I’m going round in circles, but I’m viewing this familiar ground from a much higher vantage point than before.