I woke up with a ton pound weight on my chest. It wasn’t thoughts- it was a feeling. A “school is starting soon” feeling that instead feels like I’m coming down with the flu and I don’t quite know what’s wrong with me. Each year that school got worse and worse with Grey, the worse this feeling feels. I realized late in the afternoon where this achy, ragey, fearful feeling was coming from. I'm not sick, I'm sad. I came down with a case of the sads.
When it comes to sad feelings, I feel like a man with a cold. The tiniest speck of feelings can feel like a boulder in my eye. Tears fly out like a sneeze- seemingly from nowhere. A question about nothing related at all will trigger it, and I will swallow harder and harder to shove my feelings down, usually with zero success. I will cry from hearing "crackers" because I will make Parker peanut butter crackers for his school lunch box and suddenly, I am sad. Sometimes I have been sobbing, and I will say- “Why do I feel THIS much? Why does this hurt so bad?” Feelings so intense they vibrate with physical pain.
Feelings are not weak. They are human, and sometimes this human experience is excruciating and 1,000 shades in between. Most feelings don't last forever. But sometimes our skin gets too tight, and it takes time to feel stretched out into a new normal again.
Feeling bad feelings is hard. And it’s also strong. I’ve eaten feelings, starved feelings, drank feelings, ignored feelings and exercised feelings. They never go away- it's like sweeping dirt under the bed. It's like putting band aids on a damn that ultimately explodes. So I try my damndest to feel feelings. And I have to work twice as hard to feel the feelings than I do to ignore them. The good ones are easy. The bad and big ones feel like an epidural-less birth. They trigger other feelings of loss and fear. Because first I'm sad about Summer being over, and then I think Belle our dog is dying. We had a mast cell tumor removed a month or two ago and there might be more. She’s been shitting all over the house, a new behavior for this eleven year old. Michael has been out of town and I’ve been cleaning up shit and feeling bad feelings. And my parents are going to die one day and how do you live after that? And I will die and who will listen to Parker and Greyson breathe at night? Who will know that Parker needs the crust cut off his sandwich? Who will know what each sound of Grey’s mean? Who will take them for McDonald French Fries?
This is where my brain goes. Over peanut butter crackers. In a second. I get stuck on a loop. I’m hitting the reset button now.
We feel the biggest over the things we love the most. This kind of love is worth any pain.
I’ll be homeschooling Grey until the start of 2019/2020 school year. After that we will reevaluate. Life is too long to call things forevers. Parker will be starting a new school free from the ghosts that haunted Grey and I at the last place.
Perspective is my wingman. We can do this. We always do. Beginnings are hard. (So are middles. So are ends.) But the hard stuff makes us who we are more so than the good days. And when you numb the bad feelings, you numb the good ones too. That's not ok with me. One day soon I’ll be breathing easy again.
Running from emotions is exhausting. So is feeling bad feelings, but at least this option gives you an end in sight.