This weekend, I was invited to speak at an event. I was asked to “tell my story.” I had my usual pre-speaking Nerve Bugs, for which I did my tricks and tips to contain them. However, I found that the copious amounts of practice, deep breathing, and water consumption didn’t work as well as they usually do. In other words, my Nerve Bugs were getting the better of me.
I couldn’t figure out why….until about 3 minutes before the talk when I realized that I’ve never articulated my story in front of a group of people. Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve articulated my ENTIRE story here, on the pages of The Silver Pen. What I really meant is that I’ve never told my story in front of a live audience. When the realization hit, I dropped a few (silent) f-bombs (haven’t done that in a while!) and my mind went blank. Completely. Blank. Fortunately, I did have notes with me (Silver Lining).
Part of my talk was sharing some of the Silver Linings that I’ve witnessed in the past year. Sharing Silver Linings is my sweet spot. As you can probably tell, I loooooove to share them!
However, as soon as I started talking about them..all of a sudden, out of nowhere, emotions (i.e., tears) came flooding out of me. The tear triggers were talking about the HOTY and Sweetly Six. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Truth be told: I’m a terrible crier. The tip of my nose and ears turn bright red with purplish hues…my nose drips and I often drool. It ain’t pretty! The Silver Lining is that I stayed just this side of tear oblivion!
A little nervous laughter (because really, it was a comical sight) got me back on track (Silver Lining).
What I realized is that I have been trying to talk about FBC (and all of the S**T that came with it) as if it happened 20 years ago. Nice try. The reality (that I learned the hard way, in front of a group of people) is that my wounds are still very fresh.
What I know for sure is that:
- Grief during and after FBC (or any other earth shattering event) is not only normative, but also dynamic, pervasive and individual. I don’t think that (change that: I know that I haven’t) fully gone through the grieving process…and still have some work to do.
- Returning to my regularly scheduled program is not an option.
- “How are you?” is a very loaded question.
- Regaining the equilibrium in relationships is an ongoing process.
- Making long-term plans makes me nervous.
- I still think about FBC every. single. day.
There is no particular program for coping emotionally with and healing the (internal) wounds of FBC. No regimen that can be prescribed with assurances that, taken twice daily, everything will be fine. It’s a long process circuitous meandering process. However, I still continue to look for and find Silver Linings everyday. Silver Linings do not negate catastrophic circumstances and the feelings of sadness or anger that inevitably follow. What they do (for me) is provide balance and perspective. And for that, I am immensely grateful!