How do I move forward?

There are forms of pain

that run so deep

you feel it in your bones.

Soul crushing,

mind numbing,

heart stopping,

pain.

 

Initially, it’s so profound

that you don’t feel it at all

And then, it’s like a wave crashing down

 

Except… it’s a tidal wave and

you can’t find the surface

and you can’t breath

and you’re not even sure you want to,

ever again

 

The only sensible thing

is that the world

and everyone in it

just stop and be in shock too,

but they don’t and it doesn’t

and inexplicably

everyone is moving on in their lives

 

They look at you funny as if to say,

“What’s wrong with you?

Why are you frozen in place?”

 

You know to grieve your losses

but that’s just stuff that you know

You can’t really imagine doing it

because it’s not really loss

until you let go.

Right?

 

It gets harder as you go

to hold on to illusions.

You’re afraid you’ll forget the good stuff

So you hold everything in

 

You ask me, “How do I just go on?”

I can tell you

but you’ll hate it

because it’s very easy

to understand

and very hard

to do.

 

You go forward clumsily and

without any real conviction

that it’s worth it or

that it you’re worth it or

that you’ll ever know what you’re doing.

 

Life is a never ending series of adjustments

and  some of them suck profoundly

 

Gradually…eventually…you find

that you stand a little taller

and you have days that aren’t horrible

 

You will find, to your dismay

that you manage to have a good day

every so often.

 

And you gain dignity and self respect

by virtue of nothing but your resilience.

Eventually it sinks in

that it really does take guts to go on

 

You gain grace as you learn

to connect with kindred spirits

We may not share your story

but our hearts have been

in as many pieces

and we too have made sounds

that no human should ever have to make

 

Suffering, my friend, is something we do alone.

It’s recycling pain endlessly.

Grieving means sharing pain with good people

It’s the only way to let go and even then

only bit by bit.

 

It’s how we become free.

 

How do you go forward?

By letting others believe in you

even when they say stupid well meaning shit like

“I’m sorry for your loss” or worse,

“I don’t know how you do it.”

 

You move forward with courage and I remind you,

bravery is only really bravery when you’re scared shitless.

 

You live well, even if only out of spite

Even if it’s only a big fuck you to everyone who tried to break you

 

Sing along loudly to music that soothes your soul

Read great books and watch great films

and dance every single chance you get.

 

Nurture growth in yourself and in everyone you meet

Flirt with someone who’s plain.

Be a muse

be amused

laugh at everything

howl at the god damned moon

 

and eventually, clarity

will allow you to see

that you Inspire countless others

simply because you go on.

 

Just believe that we believe in you.

I love you.

Someday you’ll love you too.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.