Ten years. Ten years ago today Ryan Michael Gladstone died. The circumstances leading up to his death have brutally and unapologetically beat me up over the years. I haven’t been able to celebrate his life like a normal death nor mourn it. Maybe that’s why it’s taken me ten years to really start talking about it. Lots of pain. Lots of pain in the good and the bad. I don’t have the answers but I sure like to talk about solutions in finding healing.
So what’s the solution to ending pain, depression, anxiety, grief and trauma?
No one told you?
You just get over it!
You didn’t know that?
There ya have it.
And it gets better.
It’s like an overnight thing!
I know. Such great news.
Wait! It’s also,
You just get “through it” sometimes too.
Ya, you either “get over” it or “get through it” or something like that.
That’s what people tell me anyway.
I thought everything was gonna magically happen. Well not with glitter and rainbows but maybe a little superhero stuff. Like maybe one day I’d be rescued of all the pain and agony because I went to 5 therapy sessions and told one person what really happened during the entire month of January 2011. I thought maybe if I clicked my heels and memorized ten Bible verses and attended fourteen church services I’d get “past it.” Ugh: now we have “get over it”, “get through it” and “get past it'' so just pick one that sounds the best and stick to it.
I also thought if I was nice enough to people, went to work everyday and did what I could like to donate to charity, then I wouldn’t have had so much pain happen in my family. Like why me God? Or Mother Nature? Or the Universe? I mean, after what I’ve had to endure I’ve questioned it all!! Don’t judge.
Oh ya. That’s a big one. Feeling judged seems to slow the healing. Judgement from others and self. Feeling judged by every walk of life. It’s so dumb because how could anyone judge someone else’s life? But it still hurts. Sometimes I don’t care at all and I get my East Side Kennewick attitude on and I’ll get all this inner confidence and feel like I’m gonna be ok. Then someone says something to offend me or I take it wrong or it’s just so damn triggering! Either way, it’s stupid but I’m sensitive and insecure so I do that. And then I feel bad about myself. I’ll feel like l can’t measure up.
So, best thing to do is...
Punish myself. Right? I get all in my head and start obsessing about my past. Isn’t that what we do? Or is that just me? Either way, so dumb. We’re both dumb.
I’m just talking about my personal life experiences. I ramble and I’m sarcastic so I hope you interpret this the right way. I don’t mean to disrespect anyone. These are just thoughts I’ve had and hopefully you can relate to some degree.
Thing is, we’ve all had something personal happen that’s caused some sort of pain. You can’t go through life measuring other people’s pain against your own. Just own yours. Don’t compare. You can’t measure pain! If we can’t measure pain, how can we judge our losses? You can’t. One person’s loss of a mother could be equivalent to someone else losing a job. You can’t measure that, judge it or tell someone how to feel about it.
So back to getting over it, getting through it or getting past it. Just do the following:
find the right therapist
seek friends/family support
take the right kinds of supplements
meditate with positive affirmations
exercise and eat healthy
other things like “this” and “that”
Know that also you will have to suffer:
flashes of never ending memories, what-if’s and never will again’s
not being able to breathe at times
feeling like the world might as well end
feeling like you’ve been living and breathing hell - ya it’s like a cool packaged deal
enduring suffocating pain and going through the good, the bad and the ugly with a hope that one day it will end
But it won’t end. But it will end better. If that makes sense. Think about it though! It won’t end but one day it will end better. It won’t end if you don’t try. Even if trying means “I’ll try tomorrow.” You HAVE to speak about your future when your today is hopeless. Even if you don’t believe it. Even if it sounds insane. The pain won’t end but one day it will end better if you decide TODAY that you’re the ONLY one that can make it happen. You are the superhero.
So it begins and ends with you. That sounds like some Kay Jeweler’s commercial. It’s true though. If you’re wanting true healing, it’s a fight. I hated finding that out. Why can’t someone else do it for me?
So you want healing? Here’s the kicker:
It can’t even begin if you’re not being completely honest with yourself. Within all that honesty you better make sure you add a lot of compassion to it. Don’t be bullying your honest self! That ain’t easy to bring out so be kind to you.
Now ask yourself why you feel the way you feel. Then ask yourself why again. Get to the bottom of it. You have to get ugly with yourself. Then tell that ugly where to go. It DOES NOT belong in you. No matter what, who, when, where, why or how...only you can tell it where to go.
It also takes caring more about healing than walking in shame. It’s a choice. It’s more of a FIGHT really. You have to fight to even choose. I’ve had days/weeks/months where all I could do was go to work and come home and lay down. I couldn’t make decisions. I couldn’t remember much (still have memory issues) and I just flat out couldn’t cope. I walked and breathed in regret and pain. I’ve had such deep, deep depression and shame that I would argue I know what hell even smells like. I’ve seen darkness.
Do WHATEVER you can to find healing. You have to WANT it more than your shame. It’s nothing to be guilty for if you can’t right now! Never feel guilty for whatever “stage” you’re in with grief/pain. I hate even saying “stage” because that makes people think there’s a timeline or that there’s “no returns” cuz once you’ve “felt it” for a time, then you can’t return it. Ya, you can’t feel anger three years down the road because you already “wore that.” As if my grief could be bought in the first place. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t “buy” this shit! So for you to think you know whatever “stage” I’m in or should be in isn’t your call to make...!!! People have no right to tell you how to feel.
It’s taken me ten years to even be able to type what I just said. I wrote some after Ryan died in 2011 but getting healing is definitely not going to come from some inspirational quote or phrase. It will need to be something that moves you or you can relate to. I hope to God my story moves people or what’s the point of me sharing all this personal stuff I’ve hid for ten years?
If you read something that moves or motivates you, it will take reading it again, and again and then reading other stories again and again. It takes time - DAMMIT - I always hated that one! But it does. And no one has the timeline. The solution is working at it. It's a process. It doesn't fall out of the sky. It's learning to live WITH your pain, not IN your pain.
The solution lies within you. Be kind to yourself. Stop bullying yourself and wake up that superhero in you.
You have so much inside you. So much to share, to give, to impart.
Why not embrace your experiences, your mistakes and your pain?
You are a gift. Unwrap yourself from doubt. Stop questioning yourself. Trust who you are. Oh what knowledge you have gained. Why
hide that from the world? Wake up! YOU, are the solution. 🕊💛