The body remembers
Two weeks back my brother asked what I was planning to do on the one year anniversary of my boyfriend’s passing. I was trying hard to not think about it. I want it to come and go as quickly as possible. My brother said he was asking cos he doesn’t want it to be a sad day, he was wondering what we could do to make it lighter for me. I’ll be taking the day off from work. I hope to spend it with my nieces as they remind me why I still want to live in spite of all. this. pain.
We had that conversation and I moved on with my life. Or so I thought.
I’ve been struggling to stay asleep. I randomly wake up in the middle of the night and struggle going back to sleep. I had these sharp pains in the middle of my chest. I was also struggling with a runny tummy, nausea and indigestion. Still I was just going to wait all these random illnesses out. It’s the chest pains that got me concerned. The last time I had those pains was the week my boyfriend died. I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. Turned out it was broken heart syndrome.
I mentioned the random illnesses to my therapist in passing. I was wondering out loud if I need to see a doctor. Then she said softly, “Sanele. A significant day is coming up. Your body remembers.” That made me sad. I thought if I pretended April was just another normal month it would come and go like any other month. But I guess I can’t run away from the truth. It is a significant month in my life.
My boyfriend’s birthday is in April, we would have turned 6 this April and then he also died in April. April went from being my favorite month to one I wish could be erased from the calendar. Sigh. So now I’ve accepted that there’s no running away from it. Even if I pretend it doesn’t exist my body remembers the truth. The random illnesses were due to heightened levels of anxiety. I also like to pretend I’m not living with clinical anxiety. But my body knows everything and it will break everything if it has to to get my attention.
I’ve accepted that no matter what I wish was true, April IS a significant month. I’ve started taking extra meds for anxiety. They should get me to April and through April. I’m being extra gentle with myself. I’m feeling depleted cos my well is empty. I’m taking time out from being mother Teresa to just tend to myself. Seriously, don’t ask me for help with anything. I have nothing left to give. I’m just giving to myself until I feel replenished enough to give to others.
My friend suggested that I go for massages, getaways, spend time with my nieces anything and everything that will make April less painful. I love that idea a lot. I love earrings a lot but I haven’t really been wearing earrings since that dreadful day in April last year. I’m wearing earrings today. I’m trying to pick up all the things I used to love again. Anything that promises to lessen the pain even a little bit.
I’m so sad that I’m still living through this nightmare. I hate that my heart physically hurts. I hate that I’ve been living so long without my angel. It breaks my heart that there’s nothing new about my boyfriend. No new funny words to add to my vocab, no new pictures, no new favorite music, nothing. There’s just this loud silence where he used to be.
I saw that quote on Instagram. I’m choosing to hold on to it as April quickly draws close. Yes, this grief is relentless. But so is my hope. I have hope that someday my heart will hurt less. I have hope that someday April won’t bring me SO much anxiety. I have hope that I will live a long and beautiful life and find love again. I have hope that it will get better.