I got lost. Sometime towards the end of 2017, I stumbled into a place that I couldn’t navigate properly and I got lost. It’s hard to find your way out of unfamiliar territory. I started to wander, walking aimlessly and tirelessly. It was easier to stay lost than to confront the problem that sent me to this place. I just kept wandering. At some point, I felt “comfortable”. I accepted where I was. I felt hopeless. I was tired and worn out and just emotionally drained. How did I end up there?
Well, my grandmother passed away.
Too often, we are hit with these life changing moments that we aren’t equipped to handle. As human beings, we run off of emotion more often than logic, so when our emotions are sent through the wringer, we can’t pull ourselves out of it without causing damage. While wandering around in this lonely place, I damaged my mental health. But you want to know the craziest thing about all of this? This place that I speak of, is my own head.
Finding out that my grandmother passed was a punch to the heart. I liked to think that she would live forever, so when she didn’t, I felt betrayed. Deceived even. I spent so much time carrying around this false idea of immortality simply because she was my grandma. She was more than that though. She was my comfort zone. She was my therapist. She was my biggest fan. My grandmother always cheered me on. She always had a story to tell, whether it was about something or someone, she always had something to say and that is what I loved most about her. There was never a dull moment. I learned how to have hope because of her.
So, when she left, I lost that hope.
And with that hope, I lost a huge piece of myself. I stopped believing. My faith was fractured. I kept questioning God because I didn’t understand why he needed her so soon. I thought it was cruel of him to take her without warning. I couldn’t deal. I couldn’t figure out how to live without her. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be happy again. I didn’t want life to move forward because it meant that she wouldn’t be there.
What’s it feel like to be lost? It feels like nothing. You feel like nothing. Your emotionally strung out, void of all feeling. After you’ve spent so much time trying to defeat your emotions, they end up defeating you. You are consumed within yourself which is a dangerous place to be whenever you are vulnerable. I was definitely that, vulnerable. I felt weakened, like the life had been drained out of me. I stopped doing the things that I love. I’m naturally creative, so for me to not want to indulge in that was a big deal. I stopped reading and writing. I didn’t want to listen to music, which is usually my escape whenever I am stressed out or overwhelmed. Every day was the same routine. I went to work and came home. While at home, I laid around. I would randomly start crying, but it wasn’t because I was feeling emotional. I would cry, and this sounds crazy, but I would cry because it was just something to do. I felt like I was supposed to cry, so I did. Truth be told, I was all cried out. This went on for a couple of weeks.
It wasn’t until the middle/end of January that I decided that I wanted to get out of my head. I was tired of being lost. I was tired of people feeling sorry for me. I just wanted to be me again. I woke up one day and I understood that I was gone for too long. A month and a few days may not seem like a long time, but when you are at risk of completely losing yourself, it feels like an eternity. You wanna know what brought me got me out of my head? Fear.
Imagine being so afraid of yourself that it brings you out of an emotional void? Seems a bit dramatic, I know, but it happens. I was afraid of never being able to genuinely smile again. I was afraid of never being able to laugh. I wanted to write again. I wanted to read books and write poetry. I just felt like I needed to get back to doing the things that made me who I am.
The first thing that I did after reaching this realization was cry. The real kind of crying. It was exhilarating. I released the anger that I felt towards God for taking my grandmother. I released the despair, the pain, the grief, and the anxiety. I was able to mourn her properly. In the process of releasing everything that I was holding in and beginning to find my way out of my head, I wrote a poem. And then I wrote another one. And another one.
Losing yourself, while detrimental, could also end up being a pivotal moment in your life. It’s a defining moment in learning how to control your emotions. When you find your way out, you have the opportunity to rebuild. It’s an opportunity to grow. I understand that sometimes we can’t control our emotional response but we can control the outcome, who we are after the breakdown. I chose to become a better me, a stronger me. Of course, I’m still mourning the loss of my grandma. It’s going to be a long time before I can go through every day without her. Sometimes I will catch myself about to call her or send her a text and then I will soon remember that she’s not here. Instead of getting upset about it, I just smile and remember the phone and text conversations that we use to have. That’s how I get through the day, by turning a negative into a positive.
That’s my advice for finding yourself within the chaos: figure out how to spin your negative into a positive. It’s not impossible. It might be hard, but it’s definitely not impossible.
Thanks for chatting with me.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert. Just experienced.