Self Grieving and Why It's Essential to Heal
Last updated: August 2023
If you ask anyone, they will tell you that I have always been high spirited. In fact, I was voted most spirited on my volleyball team in high school.
I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at the young age of 14 years old. If you asked me how I dealt with that, I would simply say, “I didn’t” and it would be the whole truth. I didn't know it then, but something inside of me decided I would not cry. I would not complain. I would try my best and I would simply survive. I wore that high spirit as a mask and I wore it well. No one could see that I was actually physically and mentally hurting and in full survival mode. I wore that mask until I met my now husband 9 years ago and haven’t seen it since.
Recovering from the trauma
I noticed after receiving a kidney transplant in 2020 that I became a very emotional person. I would cry over the little things because of how full my heart was to have a second chance at life. I then remembered how I trained myself not to react with my emotions. Remembering every single moment that I should have cried and I didn’t. I would cry for a few minutes and shake it off or distract myself so I would stop.
In those moments, I convinced myself that I was dwelling in self pity and that would cease my tears almost immediately. The person I am today, knows it was indeed not pity, I was simply recovering. Recovering from the trauma. Recovering from the time lost from being a kid and missing out on most teens' experiences. Grieving the years of my life before being diagnosed when I was just a normal kid.
Taking time to reflect
Grieving is necessary to heal. In my journey, I was robbed of time I could have used because I made a choice to survive day by day, but I never took the time to reflect on everything I was going through. When you grieve yourself, you are acknowledging all the things associated with your pain, trauma, and loss. When we do not grieve, it holds us back from healing to be the best versions of ourselves.
Self mourning allows us to revisit the hard things we survived and gives us the opportunity to give ourselves grace. We can be our hardest critics, but when you grieve you are able to appreciate the triumphs we refused to see.
I hope you cry
When I was younger, I tried to convince myself that if I did not cry, I wouldn't appear to be sad. Now, I am an adult who frequently grieves past periods of my life. I realize that my tears that I held in for so long I thought portrayed weakness. It is quite the contrary. Me being able to cry again is the expression of the love for myself and my strength.
This is me taking time to sort through the unresolved emotions. To appreciate all the things I have gone through to be where I am today. So I hope you cry. I hope you cry and heal the scars we cannot see. I hope you grieve the person you were before your life changed and the times in between.
I have never felt more like my most genuine self until I was able to grasp that I need to grieve, and that it was okay, to grieve the old me.
Do you have chronic kidney disease without any symptoms?