I’m stuck riding the ‘Wild Mouse’

First of all, let me begin with the most important lesson I’ve learned in the last week—courtesy of my first session in grief recovery at Riverside Counselling Services.
My brain isn’t broken; my heart is broken. This means I cannot fix my heart with my head. This means my grief cannot be fixed with time alone, or by keeping busy, or by being strong, or by replacing it with chocolate.
With a lot of help, I am going to learn to face and feel and claim my losses. Oh, brother.
I’m out to fix my emotional self and quite frankly stepping into those waters scares the shape wear right off of me. It’s like walking down a familiar country road in the pitch black of night with my arms outstretched into the nothing with a tiny flashlight.
I know with help I will find my way, yet something tells me this heart healing is going to be as raw and painful at times as the sides of my mouth are after I eat an entire bag of salt-and-vinegar chips.
And what’s the name of this ride I’ve been on? I would like to get off, please.
Who knew there was such a thing—an emotional roller-coaster with waves of dreadful rides 24/7 right here in my neck of the woods in the middle of winter?
I looked to Wikipedia for a definition of a roller-coaster, and specifically to find the right words to describe the degree of rise and fall that one of these machines takes, so I could better explain the whirligig of feelings I am experiencing these days.
The definition of the “Wild Mouse” roller-coaster landed right in my lap and it fit so well, I put in on over top of my black cape:
“A Wild Mouse roller-coaster is a type characterized by small cars that seat four people or fewer [and in my case just one]. It rides on top of the track, taking tight, flat turns at modest speeds yet producing high lateral G-forces [uh-huh].
“The track work is characterized by many turns and bunny hops—the latter producing abrupt negative vertical G-forces [uh-huh, there goes my appetite again].
“When approaching a turn from a straight section, the intended impression is that one simply will continue straight and thus plunge off of the device [I can relate].
“Almost all ‘Wild Mice’ feature switchback sections, consisting of several of these unbanked turns, separated by straight sections. Usually the turns on the switchback section are 180 degrees, but some coasters feature 90-degree turns, as well as more rarely steep runs with loops.”
I wanted to paste this description to my forehead and point at it when someone kindly asks, “How are you doing?”
And the Academy Award for “how well you are processing this” goes to . . . me? Not a chance, my friend. I think “processing” is what happens in an abattoir.
While I have my moments of peace and quiet, which usually occur at 2 a.m. while I am asleep, I do not feel strong or courageous at the best of times nor that I am “processing” anything well.
I feel lost and abandoned and shafted and helpless and desperately sad to name five of the many, many uncomfortable emotions I have begun to recognize on my roller-coaster ride.
And the best medicine I can think of is at my doorstep. Its name is counselling.

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