“You need to give yourself permission to grieve if you want to be creative again,” she said, leaning closer to her laptop so she filled up more of my screen. “I know it’s not comfortable for you to feel bad for yourself, but it’ll help.”
This sucks! Not your essay, Andrea, but just these restrictions on our lives imposed by Covid-19. I had a video-chat with a good friend about this yesterday.
And it sucks that it was a video-chat. Although it was a good chat, in no way could it replace two hours in a coffee shop with her with hugs at the beginning and the end of our visits.
We spoke of grief — and grief is the right word for it, too — because these changes are a big loss. We both had tears, but neither could hand the other tissue or put an arm around the other. We spoke of how for two highly productive over-achievers, taking time just to feel our sadness and anger felt so self-indulgent.
I think we need a grief/anger time set aside each day to wail and scream and cry. But I told her I think we needed to set a timer and when the 15 or 30 minutes expire, we shut it down until tomorrow. Then as thoughts of sadness and anger enter our minds throughout the day, we can dismiss them and tell ourselves, I’ll scream or cry or be pissed off about that during my session with myself tomorrow.
While grief is essential, it must not be allowed to bully our other emotions, the good ones, the ones we prefer, and with which we’re more comfortable. We need space for those, too.
So, while I agree that the pity parties are important, don’t be the last guest to leave the party.