I’ve been putting off the endeavour of starting a blog for a while now, but my Instagram captions keep getting longer and loftier and I feel I need to create a more open space to discuss some things that have been on my mind.
It’s been two months since I lost my best friend in this whole world. The main reason I wanted to move out of my parents house years ago was so I could have a dog, and I looked for months before I found Paka and just knew he was the one. He was my closest confidant and my constant source of comfort during my darkest days. I finally felt like I had a purpose when we were brought together. When I got my second dog, he was always looking up to Paka (literally because of how huge he was), and to this day he still looks for him every time we go out and every night before bed.
I know that this isn’t a topic that most people want to read about, but I’m at the point where I just don’t care if what I want to say is what people want to hear as long as it’s coming from a genuine place and especially if I think it has the potential to help someone who may be feeling the same way.
From the time I found out Paka had cancer in January to the time he passed away in February, I didn’t really have a healthy way to process my thoughts and emotions. I was completely blindsided by the diagnosis, the lack of understanding for how to proceed with treatment, the financial burden, and most of all the torture of seeing the mighty beast that I leaned on for years just wither away. I spent longer than I should have in the stage of denial trying to manifest some kind of miracle.
Luckily though, I have had an amazing support system: from my family and friends to my bosses and coworkers and especially coach Megan and the amazing team that she’s built for her clients. Without this support I’m sure I would have just crumbled under the weight of dealing with such a traumatic situation.
I’ve used a lot of different coping mechanisms since losing him to try to just carry on with my life and to be strong for people who care about me and want to see me happy and successful. To be honest though, I’m still in a tremendous amount of pain whenever I think about him, and I know I really avoid talking about it because I don’t want to deal with the pain or listen to someone telling me I need to “give myself time to heal” because the truth is there is no amount of time that will make me stop missing him, even though it may become less painful in the future.
I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with physical pain in my life, and my best advice has always been to distract yourself and try to put your mind into a different state of consciousness, since pain is a result of your nervous system signaling that something is wrong. Using that logic, if you can focus on something that either brings you total happiness or requires your full attention, you can free yourself from experiencing the sensation of being in pain.
The problem with that is that it doesn’t actually cure the root cause of the pain - it just helps you treat the symptoms of it - so it can get pretty exhausting when you feel like you can’t let your guard down without being subjected to the pain that you’ve been distracting yourself from.
I guess the more I explore how I am processing my suffering, the more I feel the need to admit what works for me and what doesn’t, and most of all, I just want to be clear about what I’m going through and the fact that I’m actively trying to handle with as much responsibility and grace as I can manage.
I’ve gotten pretty good at getting philosophical and tying in universal motifs with my own personal problems so that I can share them with my audience in a more easily digestible manner...
but the more I try to beat around the bush, the more debris I feel collecting in the corners of my mind.
I know that I often preach that you should have patience with yourself and give yourself time, but I have to admit that I struggle to actually follow my own advice in this aspect because I feel like other people are expecting me to show up as my best self, even though I’ve been pretty transparent about how much I’ve struggled with this loss.
Paka was such a huge part of my life, and when I get into a situation where I really feel his absence, it affects my mentality and thought process like a black hole; it doesn’t matter how strong or well-developed my defenses are if I get too close to those dark thoughts. I just end up getting sucked in and it feels impossible to pull myself out.
Lately I’ve just been letting the darkness wash over me when I feel its pull and just wait until I drift back to a normal state of consciousness.
This has been extra frustrating because I see being in quarantine as an opportunity to be able to stay at home and try to get my business off the ground without having a predetermined time frame of returning to my full-time job. I feel even more disappointed in myself now when I get stuck or sucked in to one of those black holes and don’t end up being as productive as I had intended.
What I have to remind myself is that I am still making progress even though I’m still struggling, and while this is something that I actually do shed light on pretty often, it’s also something that I fail to remember when I’m the one who’s in need of hearing it.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to start writing my blog because often when I post and insightful caption with a picture attached I end up caring more about how my viewers react to the image than I do about holding onto the message that I wanted to convey.
By simply writing out the thoughts that I want to share without worrying about what kind of graphic needs to go along with it to grab peoples attention, I feel like I will personally benefit from the questions I prompt myself with and the unabridged explorations of mindfulness while still giving my audience the chance to gain insight and value from my deepest thoughts.
Hopefully this is a good start.