You create new ones.
We know life is good when we have control over it, but what happens when you don’t?
I used to teach people about how to let go of the need of control… I learned how to let go of it and enjoy life, I worked real hard with myself in order to do that. My need for control was so big that I had a fear of the dark until I was 18 years old. I am proud to say that I confronted it and defeated it, once I learned that it came from my fear of losing control. In the dark, I could not see things so I was scared. Now I enjoy, both the loss of control and the dark.
And since this is a lesson that many people could benefit from, I started teaching it… Until I encountered a less than happy situation.
I ended last year with a terrible cold – or at least, that’s what I thought it was. Immediately after Christmas, during New Year’s Eve and until February, I was constantly sick. I had many symptoms related to a cold, so I treated it as one. Later on, it turned into a sinusitis, which I instantly recognized since I have it very often. It didn’t get better so I went to my doctor’s office, who said it was bronchitis. I started treatment, only to get worse over weekend and to end up at a hospital, where I found it was a severe sinus infection, plus another severe nasal septum deviation, plus another thing. To tell the short version, my nose was causing me not being able to breathe, sleep, eat or stand. Basically, every little thing that helps one enjoy a life.
Back from the hospital and on new treatment, I went home only to feel really bad the next night. So, naturally, the next morning they put me in hospital, on perfusion. And here it goes like this: on my way to the hospital, I get a phone call from my cousin in the other part of the country, letting me know that my grandfather had died that morning…
I started crying, yelling, shouting, screaming that it wouldn’t be true… I hadn’t seen him in 3 years. The history goes that my parents split up when I was 8 years old, that would be 15 years ago. My father’s family is across the country, at a 8h drive and 12h ride by train… In addition to that, I didn’t keep in touch with my dad, so it wasn’t that easy for me to go visit that side of the family, but I would always think of them and remember my childhood and memories with them, before the age of 8. Still, I had a chance to visit them a few years ago.
My grandfather was the one who used to please every little thing me and my cousin wanted… And he hadn’t changed over the years. I felt like a child again… I promised to visit more often… But time passed by real quick and 3 years after I went there, he died and I wasn’t there at least one more time… The sad part? While I was sick and couldn’t breathe or sleep, I thought of him and I had planned to visit this summer, just a few months from then. I also wanted to tell my cousin to say to him that I was thinking of him… But I hadn’t had the chance, being sick I wasn’t in the mood to give phone calls… And then I receive the news from her…
I cried for 3 hours nonstop, and then I went blank. I wasn’t allowed to cry having a needle stuck in my vein, while at the hospital… So I tried to retain myself until I got home. After a few days, at home, I cried again, but I had no more tears. It just hurt so much and I blamed myself for not visiting or for at least not letting my cousin know that I think of him, so she can say to him and that he could hear it one more time before he went away… I just blamed myself for many things, I pushed away all my friends who tried to be by my side. As I told them, I felt that words couldn’t help me, I just needed some time alone. And so I took that time and it helped me. It helped me rationalize all this, so I wouldn’t blame myself anymore and so that I could take back my life, step by step. I was – and still am – devastated and it still hurts so much, I don’t yet feel the need to socialize with people.
The though part is that I work in PR, Communication and Networking. I am still on sick leave, I don’t feel functional… But I do have hope that I will be back there soon, because I love my job and I love what I do. I already am better than last week, I started reading and have interest in day-to-day life. I watched movies and took my time to get better. My friends have been there for me, even though I did not ask them to. The only I thing I did ask them was to leave me alone so that I can have my own time, to get better at my own pace. Because in their wish to make me feel better, they were always calling and sending me texts and visiting me, but the questions were always the same – how was I feeling, how was I holding up… I appreciated their concern and now I appreciate them even more because they gave me exactly what I needed, when I needed it. They were there for me until I told them not to be, and then they gave me space, they gave me time. Until I went back to them and started initiating conversations. That was the moment they knew I was ready for the next level, and then they were there again, by my side.
It’s not easy, losing someone dear… And it’s not your fault, it’s not anyone’s fault. It’s okay to take as much time as one can, to be functional both physically and emotionally – because a loss causes damage to both. I literally felt like my heart was tearing up and falling into pieces when I found out. I actually felt physical pain…
Some people are more used to the feeling, but to me, it was my first experience of this kind. I was lucky to be surrounded by people who care for me, and who understood and offered me what I needed. Because it hurts to realize that nobody can help you but you, and the sad part is that not even you can find a way to help yourself… It’s all about the time that passes, that’s the only thing that makes it better… Of course, your will to bounce back is an important key to all this.
It still hurts, but I found out that I was the only one who could help me… Especially since other people’s lives go on, regardless what you’re going through. Also, no matter how many people surround you and care about you, at the end of the day, at night, you’re still alone with your own thoughts and memories… Try to make peace with yourself, to be able to have a life. Because there is life after loss, no matter how hard it seems at the moment.
I started this post by saying that I used to teach people about letting go the need of control. I also told you that I thought I was already living a life in which I was okay with the loss of control. Recently, I found out that loss of control comes in many ways, and the only thing that you really can control, is your reaction to it.
Even though it sounds like a cliche, trust me, things get better with time…