I was really triggered this recent Thanksgiving holiday. I spent the week with family and found myself in the middle of an emotional storm. None of the family drama was aimed directly toward me, but it still brought up feelings of loneliness, lack of self-worth, loss, and sadness. There were moments of levity, camaraderie, laughter. But underlying it all, for me at least, was tension, a forced sense of obligation to this ridiculous tradition, too many words not being spoken, a suffocating heaviness.
I dealt with my discomfort by over-eating, taking the dog for long walks, and drinking a lot. When I was out with the dog, I’d end up inexplicably crying in the park, the beach, my car. I kept asking myself, Why am I here? Who can I turn to?
On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I ended up turning to Twitter. People told me to start drinking as early as possible. I did – and it helped. I set up a table in the den and made whiskey sours while watching 80s movies like Private Benjamin and Ruthless People.
The thing is… I’ve just decided to stop drinking, so I can’t rely on that tactic going forward.
Saturday, November 27, 2021 was day one. Of how many days I don’t know. I’ve decided not to put an end date for now. All I know is I don’t want to drown my feelings anymore, or numb whatever it is I’m numbing. I don’t want to feel as if I can’t control how much I drink. I want to know what exactly triggered me this past week (what triggers me in general), and I suspect the only way to do that is to not drink and pay attention to how I feel. I am doing this publicly to help keep me accountable.
Another thing I know is that I must return to this blog and write more often, daily if I can manage.
For a long time now I’ve been operating under the philosophy that if I had any energy to write, I should pour it into my work and not “waste it” blogging. What’s the point of blogging anyway?
Originally, this was a grief blog, a way to express how I was feeling about losing my late husband Kaz and to connect with others who might understand what that was like. Then it morphed into somewhat of a diary of a writer trying to rebuild her life after loss, moving across country, adjusting to life in a rural small town, discovering new hobbies.
After a while, I stopped wanting to write about grief. Then my father passed away, followed by my brother, and a part of me became too numb to express my true feelings. I still haven’t dealt with these losses, especially my brother, with whom I was very close and revered more than any other.
There was a period when I was afraid to be political on here, scared to say what I really thought about what was happening, because this was a grief blog – not a political one.
I no longer care about any of that. I’m tired of feeling invisible. Like people think they know me but they really don’t. Like my voice is not being heard, or isn’t loud enough. Like I’m not using my voice at all.
My voice – my writing voice – is literally all I have to offer.
It’s also my way of dealing with anxiety. My way of healing, of self-therapy, of expression. It is, quite frankly, my salvation.
In the spirit of giving thanks, I’m grateful for this tiny little piece of real estate in the matrix. No one to edit or give me notes. No permission needed from anyone. Total freedom (for now, anyway).
A couple of new “house rules”: I’m only sharing posts here and on Twitter @nivaladiva . Comments are welcome, but I will not be engaging in responses at the moment. Finally, if you know me in real life, it’s okay to let me know you’re reading, but I don’t want to talk about the blog.
Thank you. More soon.
Being safe is about being seen and heard and allowed to be who you are and to speak your truth.
November 29, 2021 at 7:23 am
A very resonant post. I wish you every success with this stage of your journey.
It sounds like you’re getting ready to clean house and face into some serious stock taking.
I don’t presume to offer any advice, but I respect and admire your honesty, and I totally get the relationship with one’s writing voice.
Good luck. Keep faith with what you need to do to build your world for a happier, stronger you.
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