Waves. It will come in Waves.

from the Twitterfeed of Martha Crawford @shrinkthinks

My first day of real crisis calls, and many of them. Panic attacks. Displacements. Anticipatory grief. The gathering dread breaking through.

Listen: it will come in waves. Your psyche may numb you out, or offer you some respite. If you feel strangely okay – take it. Enjoy it.

Pace yourself.

The fear, the grief will come in waves. Breathe. Keep breathing. They will crest and settle and recede and gather again.

This is a long haul. This is not a brief disruption.

It’s going to break through our defenses sometimes. It has, too. We are too small. This is too big.

It will change us. Let it.

We will fall apart and reassemble, fall to pieces and reconstitute.

That is how this will go

Don’t expect to always “hold it together”. Falling apart here and there is in service of our overall functioning.

You aren’t weak if you are “cracking”. You are human. We are are all cracked.
The best we will do through this is learn how to fall apart with grace and self-compassion.

And learn how to come back together.

Sometimes the task is to number the pieces of our jigsaw puzzle so we can reintegrate without being lost.

This is what happens when you face death anxieties.

This is what it does.
It shatters you and makes you love your life more deeply.
This is what grief with a big “G” does.

This is how it feels to fear losing things and people we love.

It means we LOVE.

When we are afraid of losing someone we love, we feel powerless and terrified of losing that one person. It can be all-consuming.

When we are scared of dying, we are scared of losing everything and everyone.

Many people are scared of both simultaneously right now.
But it is all just love. We wouldn’t be afraid if we didn’t love. We wouldn’t mourn. We wouldn’t tremble.

This is love, too. With another face.
Maybe it’s okay to crack.

Maybe it can eventually crack our hearts wide open.

Maybe that is better than not cracking at all.

This is what I told myself as I buried a mother, and then a sister, and then had to tell my children about my own cancer diagnosis.

This is what I tell myself now.

This is what I tell my clients.

This is love’s brutal face, and it is just as sacred as its joyful one.

A series of tweets written by Martha Crawford @shrinkthinks March 20, 2020., during the beginning months of the COVid-19 pandemic in the USA.

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