I love hearing from people who follow my blog. It means the world to me to get an email or comment about something I’ve written. I tend to forget, with all the blogs I follow, that there is a real person on the other side of those words and stories!! I love it when someone makes that personal connection with me and takes the time to reach out!!
That happened recently with one follower in particular. She reached out to me through email to share a breakthrough she has had. She realized in the form of an analogy the reality of her life right now!! It made her pain and grief more clear to compare her life to a balloon!
I thought it was so good, and knew that many of you could relate to her story. Grief isn’t just the death of someone we love. Grief occurs with any loss!! When multiple losses occur in a short amount of time, we can feel as if our life is completely thrown off course. Accepting our reality is the first step in moving forward!!!
I believe this dear reader has done just that. She has accepted her reality and now is coming to terms with how to move forward. As most of you know, it’s baby steps. We may not see the progress, but it’s there with every step forward we take.
Here is her story:
2017 was a great year. We all loved where we lived, had so many activities and friends, my husband had a good job, our son had a great school with good friends. My balloon was fully inflated.
Then came 2018.
The year started with us having to put down our cat in January. April came, and my husband was laid off from his job. We knew this meant leaving our dream town and home. We were devastated. And I was deflating. My fully inflated balloon was losing air fast.
My husband was lucky and found a job in July, but it meant moving. As the move was happening, my husband was and still is struggling with his health. We still don’t know what is wrong. Despite many doctors and tests, he is sick and getting worse. Even simple tasks like walking up the stairs can wear him out.
More deflation came when my dad passed in August. My dad had battled cancer for almost 10 years, and he fought hard. I could not be more proud of how he and my mom handled all the doctor’s visits and the fighting they did to keep him alive. But now my dad, who was always there to inflate my balloon when needed, is gone. I am currently a fully deflated balloon.
I find myself living life as a deflated balloon. Little things bring me joy like my son doing something good at school, or my mom and I having a good laugh on the phone, and then something comes along and deflates it again: my husband in fear of being laid off again or grimacing in pain, my son struggling to find friends, etc. I’m struggling to find air to fill my balloon. I have found some “fillers” in my running group, my swim team, and a new church that we love. But the balloon still feels like it’s flopping around, half empty. I need to remember those places of air and the happiness they bring, in order to overcome the deflating parts of the days.
I worry that the people I meet here in my new town have never seen me fully inflated. They see the deflated me and don’t want to continue to be with me. They see someone who talks happily (and probably too much) about my inflated life in 2017, and then I come back to reality and deflate. I long to find friends who will carry air and help me.
I feel that people dealing with grief and loss (loss of a job, home, etc.) feel like deflated balloons. We may be surviving, but we aren’t thriving. Eventually, there will be air, and it will inflate that balloon again.
When I led a GriefShare group, I always told them when something they were doing was “healthy.” I believe that by sharing her story, this Now Choose Life follower is showing healthy grieving!!!
I’m always willing to share others’ stories. I am such a believer in writing down our hurts or pain. It is one of the most cathartic things we can do.
Can I share your story? Not only will you help yourself, but you will also help so many others!! Reach out if you want the freedom that comes with telling your story!!
If this post was meaningful to you, please share on Facebook or Instagram and encourage others to follow my posts!!