• Aphra

On Grief and Letting go - Guest Blog, Roxanne Simpson,




Letting go.

Working through hard emotions.

It’s really not easy.

There’s no saying how long it will last.

I used to think grieving was something we did when people die. I didn’t realise grieving is actually about working through some hardcore emotions to let something or someone go, dead or alive. Grieving is about loss, of anything!

Since October 2019 I’ve been grieving a lot.

A brutal end to a relationship, that had already ended. It ended even before it ended. It was so over.

Or so I thought. Mentally it was over.

Emotionally, not even close!

Something big occurred and it shook my world down. Stripped me naked. Soul bare and exposed and it really fucking hurt. It still does at times.

I then started to connect to my inner child through meditations. It turns out when something shakes your world, it seems to also trigger some old childhood wounds too, that you didn’t realise existed. So I have been working through that as well.

I decided I needed to move away and start a new life. One month in, Lockdown started.

Started a new life, living alone, with my child half the week. Then the universe decided, working through a breakup wasn’t enough, so it added a pandemic in there too. Thanks universe. Obviously, something as big and as worldwide as a pandemic wasn’t just for me.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this pandemic.

Before I begin, I know this is a very sensitive topic, and my thoughts might be triggering. We are all going through this, in our own ways. We all have our beliefs, but I need to say this out loud and get it off my chest because it’s driving me mad!

One day, before Christmas, I went to get some shopping at the high street. Queuing, waiting to get in. All of a sudden I couldn’t handle waiting in the queue any more, the sun started to shine, so I left and walked towards the harbour.

I could feel my skin itching all over my body, feeling irritated. It wanted to break out in a big nasty rash. That’s how my body responds to emotional stress. The day continued in an emotional roller coaster kind of way. It was stormy, windy, the waves were crashing way above the walls. It felt fitting for my current mood. I had a little cry by the sea. Headband blew off and landed in a dirty puddle. Yes, it was that kind of day.

I was about to head off to collect my son from his Dad. Some added nausea before I see my ex. That damn toilet seat that never sat on the toilet properly, came off and I couldn’t get it back on. So I grabbed it and smashed it up. I took out all my anger on a toilet seat, and it felt so good!

Although a little shocked at myself. Then I resumed collecting my son via Dunelm, to buy a new toilet seat. Laughing to myself on the way.

It wasn’t until explaining this to a friend, he pointed out. You took your power back. You smashed up a toilet seat, went and got a new one, then fitted it yourself. He was right! That is exactly how I was feeling at the time. I was feeling so powerless, and it’s when I go into these places, all the negative feelings come up for me. Then I end up in a little vicious cycle. Until you find something that breaks the cycle and you gain your power back.

In this case, it was smashing up a toilet seat! Brilliant!

My skin didn’t flare up as bad as I thought it would after that day, but it did decide to hang around my nose. Just what you need when forced to wear a mask. Hot sweaty breath on a very sore, red and raw sensitive nose.

The reasons why I have loved it. I can be so grateful for it sometimes. The fact that people have had to be so versatile in changing their business models, it’s been so inspiring to see people and businesses evolve. Witnessing people adapt to the changes forced upon them.

Our little planet earth got a break from us, for a bit. Animals that usually hid in the wild started joining the streets. Life has had to slow right down.

I’ve had so much time on my hands. I was involved in the ‘sourdough bread making crew’, then I discovered I developed an intolerance to gluten. Which I am absolutely gutted about. My sourdough bread tastes so good!

I have started a new project, Sparkle+shine. A platform I can share my words and poetry in an artistic way. I’ve also written a book. ‘Heart Medicine.’ This absolutely scares me, to expose myself in such a vulnerable way. I’m still going for it though. When you lose so much and have been left feeling so empty. There really isn’t anything else to lose but only gain.

The reasons why I hate this pandemic.

The world has gone potty, absolutely mad. Bonkers.

I can’t help scrolling through Facebook, to pass the time. There’s the divide. Everyone is bickering, because they are wrong and we are right. The term ‘conspiracy theorist’ has been thrown out so many times, I think maybe everybody is one. I don’t think anyone trusts anyone anymore. Not even the neighbours cat.

Let’s be honest, we’re all baffled. We’re all scared and confused. No one is completely enjoying this. Maybe some, I can’t speak for everyone.

I just don’t trust any politician that fake cries on live TV. I don’t trust the body language, the terrible spluttering of speeches. Big signs when someone is chatting BS. Now, if this was a person I was considering dating, these actions would be big red flags. Alarm bells ringing, don’t trust this person! So, it’s hard to trust certain bits of information when portrayed in such a way, on the news. Also I’m just pointing out here, I definitely did not vote for conservatives to run this place. Surely it comes to no surprise they are royally cocking this right up.

It’s hard to go along with something when nothing adds up or makes logical sense. I would be lying to myself, if I were to go along with the narrative, that’s being regurgitated on the news 24/7. It’s fuelled with fear and twisting of the truth and lies. It’s hard to read between the lines and distinguish what information to take away and trust.

It’s definitely been an experience none of us will forget to say the least.

I have also had a love/hate relationship for my ex and also myself. Some days I am bossin it. Other days I’m stuck in my head thinking about my ex and the hurt he caused me. I tell myself, this doesn’t serve me any more, it’s time to move on. Giving myself a hard time, because I can’t shake off the queasy feelings that come on so strong in my gut.

When you’re still grieving though, it’s just not that easy. There’s no saying how long healing will take. It will just take as long as it needs to.

Some days I’m absolutely great, never better. Top of the world. I love my life and I love being single.

Then some days, I’m feeling a bit wobbly, then I’m out shopping and there are people wearing face masks everywhere and I can’t stand too close to anyone any more. People desperately try to avoid walking past me now, I feel I should have a big sign on my head saying, “keep away, I will kill you”

It’s just the way it is right now. But it’s fucking weird.

Surely I can’t be the only one that thinks this? Some days I can get on with it. Other days, I just can’t handle it. I come home and I feel restless and angry. I feel so scared, lost, confused and so lonely! So lonely because I can’t go home to someone to get a big hug, someone to stroke my head and tell me “It’s OK. You’ve got me here.” And that is exactly how I felt when I was a child. I’m triggered by this pandemic for much deeper reasons. So when I hear people say “just get on with it” “think of the others” to each other. Instead of blaming each other or name calling, we should recognise, people are trying, in their own way, everyone is trying to get through this, but this shit is deep. I feel I can’t speak up about this, but I really need to.

I’ve cried so much this past year. I’ve felt so wobbly this past year. I can’t work out what’s wrong with me. I’m so emotional. I’m up and down. Then I realise, I’m grieving. I’m grieving for an old life we don’t have any more. I’m grieving for the little me who feels lost, scared and confused. I’m grieving for the family I thought I was creating, but now my son is split between homes and he just wants the one. It breaks my heart.

I’m grieving for all the loss.

It’s very confusing when I am trying to grieve for something I’ve lost, and I’m constantly being reminded on a daily basis that I can’t walk away from these things. We are still going through a pandemic. I can’t go on a break away anywhere. I have no idea when this will end and I have no idea what the future looks like when it is over. If it ever will be over.

I can’t get distance from my ex. When will I get over him? When will I stop feeling nauseous and forgive and make peace with the hurt and pain? One part of me really wants to and the other part of me doesn’t want to let go. I’m just on this constant wheel until it finally stops and I can get off the ride.

Then yesterday I was reminded. “Be kind to yourself” Have some self-compassion for yourself!

What does that look like?

Not judging myself for how I should act or behave.

That kindness and forgiveness I’m trying to find for others, find it for myself first.

Remind myself this is a process, which will take as long as it needs to.

Embrace all the feelings and not feel shame for the ones I don’t want or the ones that feel too uncomfortable.

Communicate with my inner child. Embrace her with the love and affection she needed then and give it her now. Words of affirmation. A big hug for myself. Doing something that I loved doing as a child. Simple things like eating ice cream, anything you think you’re “too old” for. Remember the innocence of a child.

I am only human and I’m trying my best. I’m a good person with a good heart and soul.

It’s going to be OK!

Oh my though. It’s an interesting time to be alive.

Connect with Roxanne on Facebook or Instagram - Sparkle+Shine

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