Friday morning I woke up feeling like each of my limbs weighted about a thousand pounds each. Sluggish and super groggy, despite having gotten a solid 7-8 hours of sleep the night before, I felt like I had been through the wars, or the bars. As I lumbered downstairs to find my husband thankfully pouring me a cup of coffee, I muttered “I feel hungover.”I was, and I wasn’t. I had only had a single beer the night before with dinner – enough to taste it but not enough to really do much of anything. What I was feeling was the emotional weight of the day before; what would have been Dad’s 70’s birthday, but turned into another ‘would-have-been’ days, stacked up on top of the teetering tower.
The day also coincided with a stack of work due, a grey rainy sky, and my seven year old kicking off the morning by vomiting at 7am. It was going to be a shit day no matter what, so I leaned into it. I barely ate a fruit or vegetable that day, subsisting on cups of coffee and handfuls of tortilla chips, of which I ate standing up. I gave up on the idea of strong-arming myself into doing much of anything to feel good, and just let myself sink. I didn’t shower. Didn’t put on makeup or real clothes. I wallowed because I didn’t have the energy or desire to tell myself not to. It still felt like shit, but I (mostly) saved myself the trouble of beating myself up about it. Progress, maybe?
Here’s the thing I’m starting to learn about the grief process; sometimes when you’re in it, you don’t want to be reminded of the living or beautiful or positive. You want to sink into the dull and the dead and the stagnant. I didn’t want to eat a living thing on Dad’s would-be-birthday. Didn’t want to go outside. Didn’t want to feel clean or crisp or productive. I just didn’t. I scraped by doing the bare minimum necessary to care for my kids and do my job, but that was it.
But when I woke up Friday morning, hungover from the day of mourning, I wanted all those normal good things again. I did my normal yoga routine, had a shower, ate a piece of fruit, and sat back down at my computer ready to write again. I am not magically cured. My eyes are still puffy from the day before, my head still fuzzy. But I am beginning to learn what methods and elixirs will help me alleviate the day after my next grief binge, whenever it may come. Grief will forever be an ongoing process. I refuse to be apologetic about it, despite knowing it might make others uncomfortable at times. Sorry internet friends, I’m probably going to talk about my dad, both celebrating his life and the person he was, and also how sad I am he’s not here again. Because this experience is one which all of us will go through at some point, multiple times in fact. Isn’t it time we discussed it without feeling the need keep it as small and quiet as possible? Can’t we lean into it so we can begin to understand how to move through it?
Grieving or not, this smoothie is delicious. Rich and creamy, not too sweet and packed full of all of those delicious living things we all need to survive. Especially after a hangover of any kind. Bottoms up!