I’m Healing

I'm Healing

Today marks one year since my maternal grandmother passed away.

It dawned on me early in the morning and stuck with me throughout the day. I didn’t have time to call my mom to check in with her until evening because work, kids, dog, and a migraine that wanted to be but I kept fighting. The migraine still might win; we’ll see.

Last year, at the end of this difficult weekend, a woman I had known online for quite some time made some unkind statements about how I posted and processed my grief online. I no longer know that woman, for telling any grieving person that they’re “doing it wrong” is simply unacceptable. My online community rallied around me and held me up, not just after the death of my grandma, but throughout all last autumn which marks the worst depressive episode through which I’ve yet lived.

I’ve been reading through my writings from last fall, both online and off, and it feels as though I’m reading the works of someone else entirely. I can see, hear, and feel the pain dripping off each word I typed here, each word scrawled throughout my many journals. I really have no rhyme or reason as to why certain pieces of writing end up in one journal or another, but they do. It makes following along both difficult and intriguing. Why this journal for this entry? Why this color pen? It’s like decoding my own state of mind at the time.

Which is to say: dark.

Decoding my very dark state of mind last year has felt rather empowering. Yes, looking at how lost, how grief-stricken, how deeply depressed, how desperately alone in my mind I was lets me see how far I’ve really come. I almost fully lost me, quite literally, and here I am, fighting a migraine because, hey, I like being alive. Without pain, even.

I am still healing, of course. I’m healing from the losses of my grandmothers, still making sense of the losses I experienced last year in quick succession. I’m healing from a depression that nearly killed me. I’m healing the parts of me that need compassion and self-forgiveness, though that process remains slow and arduous—but I’m doing it. I’m healing, also slowly, the perfectionist parts of me; the ones that don’t like to start new things out of fear of not doing them properly; the ones that pit myself against myself in a never-ending war of I can do anything better than… me; the ones that look to others and see only their successes, not their struggles, and then point back at me and whisper, “Failure.”

I’m healing.

Maybe that old back injury of mine taught me a thing or two about healing. All these years later, three years after starting to run again after two years of non-stop, debilitating pain, I still occasionally have a “bad back day.” I’ll wake up from having slept wrong—or from having pushed too hard the day before—and I’ll fear the worst. It’s back. I’ll never run again. This is it. But then I get out of bed. I do my stretches. I take some Aleve. I drink water and move my body. I wait a day or two, or even sometimes three. And then it’s gone once again. If I can accept the recurrence of physical pain with some initial trepidation but then follow through with a plan of action, then maybe I can look at my emotional and mental healing with the same sort of view.


I feel a little quiet today, looking ahead—or behind—at the next few days, a year ago. I also feel thankful, beyond what words can ever fully convey, to be here, to be healthy, to be whole. I feel most thankful for each and every person who reached out, stood by me, emailed, called, texted, tweeted, Facebooked, messaged, sent gifts and flowers, and just generally supported me while I couldn’t support myself. I am the luckiest to have each and every one of you.

8 replies on “I’m Healing”

I adore you, your writing and the way you share how very real life is. So often, we find ways to hide our truths, when living them out loud brings such connections we’d otherwise not have. Honored to know you. Keep being unapologetically you.

Grieving is a VERY personal journey – you do it however YOU need to ? no one, especially someone masked behind the Internet, can tell you how to do it.

Healing is the same :) it’s a process. You cannot rush through it because it will find you. Sometimes, when you least expect it. I particularly love reading your posts on these subjects – not because i like that you are hurting (obviously that makes me sad), but because it makes you real. Real people have feelings. Real people experience highs and lows in life. Real people have to pick themselves up and continue on. Real people aren’t machines who can compartmentalize.

My brother died 6 years ago next month. He was 20, 20 hours from turning 21. It is something i will deal with for the rest of my time here on earth. Because i love him. Because my connection with him was real. And so with your grandmothers. Don’t be apologetic about that. You love them.

I’m glad you are here.

Those little moments when you can feel all of the joy, the beauty, the worth of every less-than-great minute you pushed through…it’s like looking up and seeing the heart-shaped knot that was hiding there all along. I am so sorry you had so much to work through this past year, but my world would be so topsy-turvy without you Jenna-ing all over the bloggy sphere and reminding me how to be strong and brave and downright awesome. You are a force, my friend, and I am so glad I know you!

I love you. You are amazingly brave evert day but last Fall you showed me what real strength looked like.I here for you always.

Have you seen the Piano Guys Mash up of Fight Song and Amazing Grace? I dedicate to you. You made it through to the other side of this one. Hugs. There will probably be other dark times, that’s life and that’s depression, which is why I’m supremely glad you posted this. It will be here to look back on, to remind yourself that this too shall pass. That you have a support system (near and far) and that we love you. Hugs!

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