I've never been a confident public speaker, I remember being forced to do speeches in school and I would always have a mini anxiety attack before it was my turn to face a sea of crowded children all huddled up with their eyes piercing at me, the teacher in the corner like a giant observing my every move and word that came out of my mouth.
Something similar happened last night. I went to my first grief group counseling session. There were only 5 of us, all women from all different walks of life with all different stories to tell and not all of them were linked to a death. But all these women were experiencing a loss of some sort.
We had to share our story of why we were there, I knew this was coming but I still didn't feel prepared enough to share it without my heart jumping out of my chest. I avoided going first, after hearing three stories and everyone already crying I had to share mine and so I did. I didn't drop one tear, its not because I didn't want to but I'm still trying to understand why I do this. When I attended a support group session for bereaved parents last month I did the same. I let my emotions flood into my head but I swallow my silent tears to avoid showing any kind of emotion in front of people I don't know.
Trying to be strong.
Trying to be strong can take a toll on my body, I literally felt sick to my stomach after that. I bottled up my emotions in such an intense way I thought I was going to be sick. I came home, hiding it from my daughter and partner, but I couldn't hold on to it anymore and I cried, cried and cried. Everything came back flooding in and broke down the walls of my "trying be strong".
A wave of emotions drown me and I need to come to the surface to breathe every now and then. Crying is my breath of life. When it all gets too much sometimes and the strength is too overwhelming, crying is my way out, a fresh breath of air and then I'm OK until the next wave hits again. But among all this grief and tears I still manage to get up every time I get knocked down, among all this sadness and sorrow I'm still alive.
I'm still standing
We're still standing