Friday, 29 November 2013

Am I REALLY Okay?

Carla (aka Mizfit Online) left this comment on my blog a couple of months back, and it really gave me pause.

At first it surprised me. I do my best to open and honest here on my blog. I have always consciously worked hard to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Life has not exactly been rainbows, magic, and lollipops over here the past few years, and if you have been reading along than I think you have seen that. I like to think that what you see here on my blog is pretty much what you get. But I also understand that we live in a world of social media and sharing that is not always genuine and sincere. So I also found this comment hopelessly honest.

So today I thought I would do my best to candidly and authentically answer that question. "Am I really Okay?"

The short answer is "yes.. sometimes". But this post is about transparency, so let's get into it shall we...

The this year has been hard. In fact the last few years have been hard. And I won't deny that there is a huge part of me that feels worn down. Losing my Dad, has overwhelmed in a way that I am not sure I can adequately describe. I won't sugar-coat the struggles I have had with my health. They have been stressful, painful, and frustrating. But with every medical misadventure I could see the light. I knew it would be hard in the moment, but I also knew that I would come out the other side healthier and happier. I knew the pain was temporary. And that the struggle was just a means to an end. And that end was worth working for.

Grief is very different. Grief is about accepting a new unwanted reality.

It has been 4 months since I lost my Dad, and that loss still overwhelms me every single day. It often hits me out of nowhere - while walking the dog, out on a run, studying. I will think of him - something I want to tell him, something that reminds me of him - and then I realize that he is gone. In that moment my heartaches and tears flow. I still cry at least once a day. Usually when no one else is around. Usually just a few tears, while I try to carry on with whatever it is I was doing. But the pain is there. It is raw. It is real. And it is all consuming in a way that I have never experienced.

The last few weeks have been especially hard. Last week would have been my parent's 36th wedding anniversary. This week is my birthday. And we are supposed to be prepping for the holiday's. The idea of celebrating any of this without my Dad is devastating. I want so much to drink his homemade wine, hear his big loud boisterous laugh, celebrate with him, and more than anything - hug him. The fact that he will be missing this year, makes me wish I could hibernate until 2014.

But life doesn't wait for you - a lesson I learned long ago - so I know that hibernating is not a real option. My grief has given me pause, made me question my direction, refocus on my core values, and reflect on the life that I have been given. I have spent a lot of time asking "Why?". And I am not sure I have my answer yet. I think my grief is still too powerful and my heart is still too heavy to hear my answer today.

But I know I need to do something positive with my pain in order to heal. And healing is what 2014 is all about. My struggles have become part of my story. Every struggle and every setback has led to something greater. I have grown, learned lessons, come out stronger, and more often than not happier because of the things I have faced. So I am trying once again to find the Opportunity in Difficulty

Which means in 2014, I want to slow down and spend time with the people who matter most. I want to try to be present, and learn how to focus on the things I have, rather than the things I have lost. And in 2014 I want to honor my Dad and train for the Muskoka Ironman 70.3 . I want to work closely with Heart and Stroke Foundation to raise money to fund new research and awareness about Heart Health. 2013 broke me, so in 2014 I want to rebuild.

I am not sure if this is my answer, but I am hoping I will find it somewhere along my journey. I am still searching - searching for my something greater, searching for my light. I know it is out there.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten