04 Jun it’s time
I haven’t written in a very long time. I haven’t had the words. I haven’t felt the purpose. I used to pour my heart out into these pages and post the blog on social media for friends and followers to read and share. It helped to have an outlet, to feel part of a community, to know people read and cared and responded.
I reached a point, however, when I felt that I was writing the same story laced with varying amounts of pain and regret, hope and faith. So I took a break. I zipped up my chest and kept my vulnerability to myself. I did more thinking and less verbalizing. I got quiet. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other and making decisions about the next moment, not worrying about any perceived obligations or trying to keep up with predetermined rhythms. It is amazing how quiet the world becomes when you get quiet too.
Time kept on ticking and my whole life changed. I switched roles at work, I moved three states away after 29 years in Nevada, I sold my home and bought a new one. My inner circle of friends shifted, contracted, then expanded again. I grappled with fear and loneliness and practiced daily pep talks on myself. I looked fear in the face and acknowledged its influence on the moment, then forced myself to act in spite of that fear. It has been enlightening and empowering and terrifying.
All the while, in the back of my mind, this blog hovered. This project waited. I wondered what would become of it and of me? I felt I owed everyone an answer and then I squashed that idea and reminded myself I owe nothing. I’ve given everything. When I have more to give, I will give more. I didn’t have the answers anyway so instead I focused on the basics: getting out of bed, going to work, spending quality time with friends. Moving forward, ever forward.
There is a phrase that I have never loved, “time heals all wounds.” It’s just so empty and void of any depth. It’s said when people don’t know how to deal with pain. Time does nothing, in my experience. Wounds tend to get infected if left untreated and time is no antiseptic. Wounds must be cleaned and tended, flushed and monitored. Salve applied, dressing tied. Then the body makes its best effort to heal the wound and return it to its original condition.
Seal the gash. Mend the tear. Rebuild the muscle.
Wounds of the heart need similar care. Time does nothing to contribute and if left unattended, wounds can fester over time.
I have a wound that is five years old today. Time has done nothing to heal me. Time has made no effort to stitch me back together or assuage my pain. Time just reminds me of my loss. One thousand, eight hundred, twenty six days of reminders that he is not here.
Healing comes with tender care. I’ve been looking inside the wound and cleaning out the infection. I’ve been confronting beliefs that haven’t served me and eradicating toxic thoughts. Flushing old guilt, applying salve to my shame. Dressing my wound in love, both from myself and others. Time just ticked on by while my mind and soul did some tough healing work.
I’m thankful for the freedom that comes when we face our fears and the healing that happens when we probe our wounds and apply some TLC to ourselves. I’m grateful for the strength to face the day, to keep plugging away on the simple day to day business of living. I’m in such a different space now, though the wound is still a deep gash across my soul and pain is ever present. ‘It’s Just Me’ was the outlet for much of that pain, and if you’ve been with me for this journey, thank you for your company.
Today, I am tying the bow and finishing the project. I won’t be writing for ‘It’s Just Me’ anymore. I have a new energy, a new idea, a new focus. I hope you’ll travel with me on this next part of the journey. You can find me at TotallyEnough.com and follow the new blog via the website. I’m also on Instagram and Twitter @TotallyEnough.
On the fifth anniversary of the day that split time for me, I wanted to check in one more time.
I’m still here. I’m still healing. I’m still trying to find life after death.
Friends, if you are wounded, don’t leave it up to time to heal your wound. Do the work, as much as you can, then rest.
Love you. Love, me.
The blog, It’s Just Me, is written by Holly Chamberlain, Founder of the aMasongrace project, a community organization focused on redefining the criteria for who is ‘at risk’ for self-harm and suicide. She speaks to parents, teachers, and students to raise awareness that sometimes there are no signs. aMg‘s platform is built on three empowering messages: Moments Pass, Please Stay, You Matter.
If you or someone you know is struggling, or if you just need someone to talk to in a difficult moment, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Help to 741-741.