I wrote awhile back on fatigue, where I attempted to describe the heft and slide of my pervasive weariness. When I wrote it, that weariness felt new; it felt unlike other burnouts and other missed nights of sleep and other 14hr workdays. I thought it was understandably new; a combination of heightened ‘political’ bullshit plus new responsibilities plus losing loved ones…my creepily pervasive fatigue had plenty of reasons to be there.
I saw a bunch of folks I hadn’t seen in a long time on Saturday. And, every time I was asked about something in my life, my response was, “I’m tired.” I explained. Or, I tried to. I said things about why something was or wasn’t working, I said some hoop de do about trying new things, I said a paragraph on how I would be ok, how I am ok; that I felt solid about my choices. I felt off though, and as I fell asleep that night, I thought about how if I were to end it all, it would obviously be with a gigantic insulin shot.
And I drove home today, thinking about my answers and how all of them were lies. I’m not tired. I’m not trying new things all meh style. I’m not merely ok; I’m not over here just barely managing to be proud of my choices.
I love what I’m doing with my life right now. I love that when I play, I am free and open and ready to try again. I love that when I teach, I am always 100% in that lesson, even if I’ve been at it for six hours straight without a break. I love that when I start something new, I get something from it that I wasn’t expecting; that I grow a little each time and in ways that don’t abandon me five minutes after I’ve stopped doing it. I love that when I write, I can see the ways in which I have improved, and that I have real and tangible plans for my writing over the next few years (even though none of y’all answered my Patreon thing from yesterday. STINK EYE, folks. Stink. Eye.). I love that I have met new people that are in my life in regular, intimate, ways. I love that I have old friends who I love more every time we talk. I love life, and specifically, emphatically, I love my life.
I am not tired.
I am grief stricken.
This is grief.
I’ve never been good at grief. They have all these stages mapped out, and I’m bad at all of them. Bargaining for me is something like, “Hey ok but maybe this could hurt a little less. Oh no? FINE WHY DON’T I JUST SET MY FACE ON FIRE THEN YOU SHITSMEARED JIZZ MONUMENT.” I’m not great at adhering to emotional lines within a processing stage, I guess.
I gained a lot over the past year or so. And I spent most of my year absolutely embracing those things. I did not spend much time on my losses. And they were many, and none of them small.
The truth is that I don’t know how to say goodbye. I’ve always kept stuff alive inside even while fully believing I’ve let it all go. I don’t know how to watch something I love have its own world without me in it. I don’t know how to let it go without part of me weeping over my emptied palm.
I’m bad at grief.
But maybe, my badness at grief is what makes my joy have such untouchable goodness. Maybe my grief is not over what I have lost, but over the hope I wanted to have.
Maybe it’s ok to be bad at letting go.