The Fizz There Is
If I’m ever going to be OK again, my hunch is that I will be—at least in part—because I’m saying out loud that I currently am not.
My goal is not to worry anyone. I think people should worry more about people who remain stoic and silent. Still, that is not a judgment about anyone who does stay stoic and silent.
I think my honesty about my pain is my safest path.
Even though it may invite judgment.
I can handle that because I’m handling something far more horrible than what-one-person-who-may-or-may-not-have-been-through-something-similar thinks of me.
It’s silly to say something so obvious out loud but I’ll say it anyway: I know I am not the first person to lose a child. But I’ve never lost one before so this is new terrible-territory and I’m doing my best to survive my worst nightmare.
When I was in Guatemala last month, dear friends had a case of kombucha delivered to me. When I flicked off that first bottle cap, the carbonated, fermented tea sprayed everywhere. I was covered in what smelled like vinegar. And even though the remaining bottles were safely resting in the fridge, as the week progressed, each time I tried to open a bottle up, it would act as though someone had just shaken it up. So I learned to gently ease the caps off slowly. I’d take the bottle opener and literally open up an edge at a time. I’d put the bottle in the middle of the sink and watched the liquid fizz over the sides and down into the drain. I’d let it rest a few minutes before I’d go back and bend another edge and listen to the hiss, watching the fizz. And rest. Each bottle took its own sweet time. The pressure in the bottle was the boss. It had to go somewhere, but I could control the pace and as a result, I had some say.
I’ve seen the effect bottled-up pain has on people. I don’t want that for me.
I have mentioned that the book, It’s OK That You’re Not OK has been helpful for me. One of the points the author, Megan Devine, makes is that there are sometimes unsafe places (alone or otherwise) to share/feel your pain, and that it might serve best to “keep a lid on it” until it IS safe. In essence, if you can, manage it. I think about Joey all day every day and it hurts all day every day, but some moments hurt less. Some moments are wordless agony and I let myself feel as much of it as I am able. Since he left us, I have had moments that I have chosen to distract myself away from the pain. I knew that I could “come back to it” and allow myself to feel all there was to feel. If I didn’t, the pain would remain in the bottle with nowhere to go. I could come back to the sink with my bottle opener and bend another jagged edge up. I could control the hiss.
I’ve never seen her show, but I read a quote by Drew Barrymore that resonated with me. It was in reference to her sharing personal information. She said that everything gets better when we share ourselves. She said it helps.
I think so, too.
I do think I will be OK again. So please don’t worry, just love.
I don’t think I’m so special; I am not the only kombucha drinker. For every bottle of fizzy kombucha, there is a thirsty person. Maybe you are one. I will share my bottle opener with you.