It is so hard to get from Point A to Point B on some days. Not in a miserable or sick way. More exhaustion from anticipation, or dread, or fear.

Explaining this to someone who is not feeling what you are is almost impossible. Picking up life where we left it when things fell apart, well that can be the hardest part of this journey in unique ways. Providing separation from grief and life is a mental struggle that includes guilt and distrust in ourselves.

I have been putting my feet in the water a lot lately. It used to be just toes, but I want to progress without pushing myself to do too much, taking advantage of opportunities to test my grief and “new self” in new and old situations. Recently, I went to a friends house for a get together (birthday) for her son. I said “Yes” when asked, quickly, before my heart could become involved and push the word No through my throat. It was difficult. There were a lot of families, with kids, happy and unbroken. There was a lot of laughter and love. I made it 4 hours before totally falling apart and my husband having to take me home. It was the time around the kids, talking with them and watching them interact, it broke my heart, where I know it was already broken.

But, I did it.

I put myself out there and I made it. I even enjoyed myself up until it was too much.

The thing that hurts now, away from the situation, is that so many people will not understand. They will judge or label and not realize the struggle or triggers that complicate something like a simple birthday party.

I cannot let that feeling of people not understanding keep me from trying again and again. I have to keep moving forward and taking opportunities.

I have to let myself heal, and I need to let people witness that it is okay to be broken and smile through the cracks and scars.

Leslie Beery
The Surviving Project