The ~Wave~ of Grief

Grief is an unpredictable creature of life. Grief is a common response to a significant loss to someone or something in one’s life. Grief occurs after the death of someone close to us but this intense emotion can also occur after the loss of a job, bankruptcy, or a sudden life style change. Grief comes in all shapes, forms and fashions. And most of all, there is no expiration date to grief. Many  well-meaning people in my life have said, it takes time,  God has a plan or you will be stronger for this. These statements were all well and good but it did not stop the flood of pain as I grieved.  And as time moved on in my life, I continued to have difficult days, hearing in the background from those same people, “Shouldn’t you be over this by now?”  If you have suffered a trauma or loss, you understand grief has no end and can rear its’ ugly head at any time.

My reaction to grief really manifested itself when, after years of using prescribed drugs, I was suddenly forced to stop or suffer grave consequences. The truth was that I suffered most of the consequences anyway but I saved my life.

Choosing to stop self-medicating, I quickly went through the process of an emotional and physical adjustment when I came off the drugs. Not only was I changing my life dramatically but I subsequently lost my job thus causing an uncertain financial trauma stress on my family. I now had to contend with a severe medical condition for the remainder of my life. It was not going to be a drive through fix-it like I had first thought it to be. I had more doctors involved in my care now even though my insurance paid very little– on top of a dwindling bank account.

The paradox of it all is that after all the years where I believed to have led this secret life, I was now being placed under a microscope and completely exposed for the world to see. In the beginning, I cried. And I cried a lot! I had my share of temper tantrums as well.  It brought a whole new meaning to hissy-fit. And I asked the “Why me?”  question more times than you can ever imagine. I was angry. I would go from shock, numb, sad, guilt, anxious and downright angry in a matter of zero to thirty seconds before you could blink your eye. Standing before you could be a completely different person each time you opened your eyes. My once  little numb world was now feeling every little pain — and it hurt.

My life was surreal.

I kept praying I would wake up and it was just a bad dream. But each day, I opened my eyes and there it was– reality. I appreciated that this was my life and what I had made of it. Each day, I would get up only to get knocked back down before the day was over. One day I had memory of a trip to the beach where I stood at the shore as I walked into the waves.  The waves grew bigger and as they bellowed up with tremendous force would knock me down each time. Worn out I would finally stay down and let the wave take me back into the shore. I grew too weary to fight. This sounded so much like my life now.

I thought a lot about that day at the beach and how much of a life lesson it was. So many times, I want to fight against what is going on in my life. I try to stand up and fight against the obstacles thrown in my path instead of just waiting and riding the wave out.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)

Waiting is hard. But it is all I have left– much like riding the wave into shore.

Beautifully Awkward

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