We were so busy in the first few months after Dom left us that I was running on adrenaline and caffeine.
Sorrow, sadness and pain were my constant companions but I really didn’t have much time to think about or process what was happening below the surface in my psyche or my spirit.
Most days were filled with the necessary and urgent.
So it was probably almost six months into this journey I really took a moment to assess the state of my being and it was not good.
Not. good. at. all.
I slowed down a little-found more time to journal, reflect, cry and just breathe while walking trails or sitting outside in the sun.
Fast forward nearly six years and I’ve forgotten how to do that.
I’ve forgotten how to sit still and let the feelings wash over me. I’ve forgotten that if I don’t give myself space and grace to feel, deal and heal I’m doomed to fall deeper down the well of despair.
So today I took a mental health day.
Those of you who work full time know that in many companies it is a perfectly legitimate use of paid time off. In fact, the most progressive organizations encourage employees to pay attention to their own inner voice and stay home if they need to.
It’s harder for folks like me whose work IS home to declare one day a “work free zone” and instead do only the things that feed and nurture our souls. Or do nothing at all.
I’m surrounded by reminders of what I should be doing. And some things simply can’t be left undone-animals need tending, dishes need washing, food must be prepared and doled out.
As a matter of fact, as I’m typing this I feel guilty for not having done as many chores or accomplished as many daily tasks as I normally would have!
I think it gets harder and harder over the years for me to justify the necessity of some time devoted solely to processing the ongoing changes grief produces in my heart, mind and body.
It just seems like I should be-I don’t know-“used” to it by now, “better” at it by now, “more capable” by now.
And, I suppose I am all of those things.
But every now and then I find the normal stress and strain of life combined with the constant hum of missing Dominic wears me down.
So I’m trying to remember that rest is its own kind of “work” and that it is important work.
It’s setting aside time and space for my mind, body and soul to refuel and renew.
Being a perpetual motion machine (or trying to be!) is overrated.
No one can run on empty forever.