So today I hit another rough patch. I don't know why and that's one of the hardest things about grieving, you never really know when it's going to hit or why it does, but when it does there's really not much you can do about it. This was one of those days.
It was supposed to be a great day. I had a church activity this morning with the young women (ages 12-18), then an appointment to get my nails done, and lastly, Kim and I were supposed to go to the mall shopping for maternity clothes. I was so excited to go shopping...for me! I never go shopping for myself. I even cleaned out and reorganized my entire closet this week to get ready for my little spree!
Then today came. I woke up not feeling well, which already put a damper on things. On top of that, when I woke up I was just coming out of a dream about Hailey. I was giving her a bath, there was no verbal communication, but just seeing her face and life back in her little body was enough to invoke a lot of pain. Those dreams suck. When you wake up it almost feels like you've just lost the person all over again. It's like she was right there within my reach, but I just couldn't grasp her and hold on tight enough to bring her back out of the dream with me. It made me really miss her a lot.
So here I was on one of the most beautiful days of the year (It was 80 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in the sky...), yet I just couldn't seem to enjoy one darn second of it. Physically I felt horrible and emotionally I felt even worse. Why? Why today when I was supposed to have a fun, relaxing day? I guess that's the million dollar question, with no real answer.
I went to my church activity, but didn't do much (sorry everyone!). Then during my nail appointment they seriously played the saddest music ever (Think Chicago.), so I literally had to hold back tears several times. Here I was getting my nails done on an absolutely gorgeous day and it took all the strength I had not to break down. I couldn't stand being around all those cheerful people when I was absolutely miserable. I just wanted to get out of there as fast as possible.
Afterwards, I was tempted to put a smile on my face and still go shopping. I knew being around my sister would cheer me up a bit, at least on the outside. But, unfortunately, I also knew that on the inside I would still be a mess. I wouldn't enjoy one minute of being at the mall around a ton of people pretending like all was well in my life. And, even though I'd have some new clothes to show for it, they wouldn't ease the pain I was feeling inside.
Then I remembered what my therapist had told me. She said that the fastest way to get through these emotions is to embrace them and face them head on, even though at the moment its the hardest thing to do. Half of me wanted so badly to shove them inside, as I used to do, and pretend like nothing was wrong because in a lot of ways that's much easier to do than the alternative. The alternative being to face my sadness head on, cry, scream, whatever I needed to do to get it out. As she told me, if I keep holding it inside it will just fester and continue growing until eventually there's just no room left and it has to come out. That could end up being 10 years from now. But, the thing is, I don't want it to be 10 years from now, I want to feel better soon...now!
So, as I had decided when I first saw her again, I did exactly what she suggested. I feel like over the past few weeks I hit my rock bottom and the only way to go up now is to take her suggestions and advice seriously. I promised myself I would do whatever she suggested, no matter how difficult because she is so amazing and I know she can help me a lot.
I called my sister and told her I just wasn't up for going to the mall, finally being honest with myself and therefore everyone else. (Of course, Kim was amazing about it.) Yet inside, I was so disappointed and angry that I wasn't up for it. Why did I have to feel like this today? Why couldn't I just freaking enjoy the weather, my sister, shopping, etc.? I was so angry.
I decided to face the emotions I was feeling head on, so I drove over to Hailey's Place, sat down on a towel in front of her stone (decorated so cute for Valentine's Day), and just cried. I cried and talked to her and cried some more. I cried for her. I cried for myself. I cried for the beautiful day I was missing out on. I just cried. But most importantly, I cried it all out. Instead of pushing those feelings down and trying to pretend they weren't there, I let them literally flow out. It was hard. I hate to cry, but I knew it was the only way to truly feel relief.
It worked. Although, I'm still bummed about how today turned out, I was actually able to enjoy my evening a little. Kim came by to check in and it was great hanging out with her for a bit. Then Sean, Lexi, and I sat around the table for a couple hours, chatting, and making Valentine's for Lexi's class. (They all have to be handmade!) My sadness and anger subsided and I was able to relax with my family. I'm exhausted, but all in all, I feel very relieved.