Things had been going well lately. For the last couple of weeks I was feeling more positive, more fun, more me. I’d lost a little weight, I was feeling good.
I was happy.
Not completely happy, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be rid od the little bit of sadness that hangs over every moment. But things were feeling better. We were enjoying life, going out a bit more, saying yes to almost every invitation.
It just took one moment for me to become, like a classically bad typo error sign I once saw: out of bounce.
It’s crazy to be buoyant and bubbly one moment, to being completely deflated. And worse than the contracted feeling, is feeling stupid about feeling sad, because it was such a small thing that punctured your tenuous bubble, that dragged your outlook downwards, that sank your posture.
It just takes a careless comment, a careless joke, a careless gesture, a careless action. It honestly feels as though the person could not care less about your pain or your struggle.
I’m not sure whether people realise how bone-numbingly exhausting it is to constantly have to explain or educate or bring attention to insensitive language and behavior. I wish I wasn’t the person who has to be vocal and “brave” or “strong” (which I definitely am not). If I could, I’d choose to “move on” or be “over it”. Or to just be normal, one of the 3 out of 4 women who don’t know this pain. But I’m not. And sometimes, small actions are hurtful. And sometimes, jokes are hurtful. And sometimes, comments are hurtful.
I wish that everyone could care more, especially about people around them. Because the people around me who have been more caring have made this all more bearable. I can’t just shrug off this pain. I can’t replace this empty feeling.
The emptiness is heavy. It’s hollow but makes you harder. Grief has an inexplicable weight that can only be momentarily lifted. The lighter moments can be lengthened into weeks or even months, but the burden can come crashing down in a matter of seconds.
I am 1 in 4. Please, please remember that. And please remember that there are so many women who have not spoken about their losses or grief. Think of them before you make a joke or comment or ask questions this holiday season.