Searching For The Silver Lining

“You say it’s over, I can sigh again, yeah
Why try to stay sober when I’m dying here
And I am aware now of how
Everything’s gonna be fine
One day, too late, I’m in hell
I am prepared now
Seems everyone’s gonna be fine
One day too late; just as well.” ~ “Fine Again,” Seether

Grief is a curious emotion. You can be awash in it, yet experience contentment, even happiness. At other times, often at the drop of a hat, you might feel helplessly consumed by it. It cleanses us, yet we may feel we are drowning in it. We reject it, yet we need it. It frees us to move forward, yet we feel imprisoned by it. To borrow a wise Aquarian friend’s observation, it is “an oxymoron wrapped in a conundrum.” While that might be true, the blunt reality is, I hate every second of grief’s intrusion into my thoughts, my dreams, my life.

My Leo girlfriend (left); with Yours Truly…gettin a lil tipsy

Yesterday, I felt pretty good. I was at least slightly optimistic about the future. I had a great night out, letting loose and just rolling with it. My insistent Leo girlfriend and I went to a club and there’s just no nice way to put it: we got trashed. My Cancer-cusp ex used to joke that I was a cheap date: just three or four beers and I was good to go. He wasn’t wrong. But I had fun. Flirting a little, not on a mission to find my next potential significant other, just enjoying myself, the people, the music, the beer. I enjoyed myself so much, in fact, that by the time we arrived back at the house, I surrendered to the inevitable before I could even reach the front porch, dropped to my knees, and puked like a drunk teenager right in the front yard. I passed out shortly thereafter. What a night. A night I needed.

and…drunk.

Today, however, is a different story.  Nothing has changed, nothing is different in any way from this same time yesterday. I’m not sure what I’m feeling, but the best way to describe it would be tired (goes without saying), a bit weepy, slightly pessimistic, a little wistful, highly unmotivated, and maybe somewhat overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by what; I’m not sure. Maybe by so many different emotions, or maybe because I know I still have a long road ahead of me in this journey. Some might say these emotions are a kind of hangover and while that’s plausible, I believe it goes beyond that. The aftereffects of alcohol probably have amplified whatever is lying beneath my surface. Regardless of the origin of these feelings, they sting.

And so the grieving continues. I want so badly to block it out, to distract myself, but I know better than that now. I spent over a year blocking and distracting, and I’m paying for it now. If I had allowed the process to occur naturally, I would surely be nearing the end of it or possibly even past it today. But by delaying the inevitable, I have only succeeded in prolonging the agony. I don’t want to feel this pain for one moment longer than necessary. So I take a deep breath and let it in. All of it. It’s as if I’ve extended an open invitation for grief to enter my life, announcing to it, “all right, come on in, painful feelings; let’s do this thing and get it over with.”

“Everything’ll be fine,” my perpetually upbeat Leo friend tells me. I know she’s right. I just hate waiting for everything to be fine again.

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