Grief is messy
It's scratching at the surface, under my skin
It's a discomfort that makes me want to pull out my hair
It's anger and tenacity which sometimes gets mistaken for strength
It's fear, and vulnerability
I've described it on a number of occasions as bleeding out
I got sick, and then I got diagnosed, and through out this whole ordeal I've been feeling like I'm bleeding out
It's the little things you notice first
it's the pale skin, and the tired eyes
And then comes the irritability, the anger, the moodiness
It's this ache in my chest, right where my heart is. It's gory and messy. It doesn't hurt really. It's just this small twinge whenever I walk or talk or laugh or breathe
Loneliness, desperation, neediness
These are all symptoms of the bleeding out
Maybe it's a good thing. maybe it means one day I'll have all new blood, healthy blood
But for now, it just hurts. It's sticky and red and it's not neat and pretty
I tend to edit myself a lot, to make things sound poetic and neat. I tend to miss capturing the raw and the real and the honest on paper.
In these bleeding out days, I think it's my fragility that scares me more than my mortality
Death doesn't scare me. Neither do needles, or doctors.
What scares me is this sort of desperation that needs to make everything ok, the neediness I feel, the vulnerability I am forced to succumb to.
I kept waiting for someone to notice me, to pay attention to that pale girl losing blood over there in the corner. But it didn't really happen.
No one offered to tend to my grief, or sit with me, to acknowledge that what happened to me was not ok and awful and world changing.
But the world kept spinning. Life went on.
And so I did it myself. Or I tried to.
I wrote too much and watched too much television and threw all my time and energy into eating the right foods and complained too much and avoided friends because I wasn't brave enough to trust them with my grief. After all, it was all I had left of normalcy.
I was looking for a cure, for some magic to not necessarily take away my conditions but to minimize that gaping hole in my chest it seemed only I could see and make it stop hurting, make me stop feeling like I was losing blood every time I took a breath.
I wrapped myself up tight in un-forgiveness and anger and isolated myself, tied the cocoon I'd made myself up tight and stamped it shut, locking myself inside.
With bare hands, I'm digging through all this gory, messy blood that's coming out of me.
It's not pretty, and it's not fun.
It's exhausting and lonely and it scares the crap out of me and I still don't have all the answers on how to stitch myself back together.
For now it's just duct tape and staples.
But as I look through all this gore and misfortune, as I look at myself in the mirror and see the things other people look past (The pale skin and the tired eyes, the stickiness from the metaphorical blood that keeps coming out of me), I see something else too.
I see life.
It's red and it's sticky and messy but it's a sign I'm still alive
So the blood keeps coming. Soon, I imagine, it will stop pouring out of me and I'll start to build new blood, better blood.
Soon, I imagine, it will stop hurting and aching and the grief will stop feeling so consuming and I'll stop feeling so angry and desperate and lonely and vulnerable. At least, I hope so.
But until then, until that hole in my chest stitches itself closed and the new, better blood comes and it all nudges me back up to live, I'll just sit here, with my pale skin and tired eyes and all those other symptoms of the metaphorical bleeding out that's going on inside of me, because this bleeding out is all I have left of the before.