Writing about loss isn't about dwelling in pain or staying stuck. It's about releasing deep feelings so that you can move forward. I write this Heartbreak Diary of my own publicly, to encourage others to write about their feelings. My goal is to introduce as many people as possible to the idea that WRITING ABOUT FEELINGS IS HEALTHY. It's not necessary to write a public blog, or even share your words, although if that feels good, do it. Writing about feelings is simply an effective, free, easy method to improve both emotional and physical health. Your body needs exercise. Your emotions do too. Write it out...you'll feel better.
Loss has made me do some crazy things. In trying to regain balance, I've teetered, sometimes too far in one direction or another trying to find a steadier path. Today's exercise is called "WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!"
Has your sense of loss or struggle ever driven you to do crazy things? Has it put you off kilter? Have you tried to right yourself using less than balanced methods? Have you had unrealistic expectations? Have you tried some crazy shit? I bet you have. (Or if you haven't, maybe you should!)
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!? Write about it now.
What was I thinking when I left my young children with a babysitter, took off for the weekend a year after my husband died, drove four hours from suburban Chicago to rural Southwestern Wisconsin, imagining that a divorced organic foods activist that I met on JDate, who lived on a remote farm with two cats and life restrictions caused by environmental illness could be my next great husband?
What was I thinking when I imagined that tall, handsome "Ben", who confessed early in our relationship that he often "flamed out" on relationships quickly, that his father was married six times and possessed no moral compass, and who protested all too frequently that he "did not want to run away" from our relationship, could be my next great husband?
What was I thinking when I imagined that a law school professor who talked bitterly of his bad 20 year marriage, and spoke disparagingly of his own grown daughter, could be my next great husband?
I'll tell you what I was thinking....I was thinking: I had it so good with my great husband that when he died I couldn't imagine how I would live without all the good energy, spirit, intention, and love that he gave me on a daily basis, so in my struggle to survive my loss, I had to pretend it would be easy to do it all again, and quickly.
That's what I was thinking.
Now, what were you thinking?