GOOD GRIEF: Do I Deserve What I Need?

I was starting to wonder if it was even fair to call it grief anymore. Then I found this fitting definition on what I can only describe as a “grief website:” “Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.” I’m trying my best to navigate in the wake of mostly unwanted and surprising changes. But navigate where, and in what direction? Forward, I suppose, as that is the direction life seems to go, even when you just want it to slow down or pause.

Recently, in an attempt to move myself forward I’ve opted to make a few changes myself, and I am terrified that I am not sane enough to make big decisions. I don’t really have a choice though, I have to do something. I am grateful to know I have many soft places to land. I remind myself of this every day, when the panic rises.

Not everyone has the same luxury. My life is relatively easy. I am a white, straight, cis woman with a supportive and encouraging network of humans. Which brings me to my latest grief struggle: Do I even deserve what I need?  

The answer I want to hear is “Yes, of course you deserve what you need.” But what if I just need to need less? Or worse, what if both contradictory things are true? That I both don’t deserve what I need, but also that I do, in fact, need it. We live in a world with limited resources. Perhaps I already have my fair share. I’m worried I’ve been over indulging myself. I’m worried that writing this is just another example.

I feel like I need so much from everyone right now and like I have nothing to offer in return. I need people to be patient with me. To forgive me for not being as present as I should be, as I would like to be. For not being as capable of processing their feelings or my own. For being sullen. For struggling. I don’t know if I even deserve what I feel I need to sustain myself right now. I feel like I am draining people of their resources. I’m afraid, as I always am, that I am becoming a burden to people. I don’t want to take up more space than I deserve.

Lately, I can not get outside of myself and my feelings. I am in a big, sad, confused, anxious fog. I don’t know where to find more energy. More clarity. I don’t know where to find what I need to be able to be better. I am afraid, always, of asking for too much. But recently I have become equally afraid of asking for too little. So what is the balance?

Maybe it’s more fluid than that. Maybe sometimes, we take up more space than is allotted for us and other times we take up less space and it just evens itself out. I am not quite sure what I’m worth. I’m not sure if I am selling myself short or over-valuing myself. I feel hurt and angry but unsure of whether these feelings are justified. I always say the mere fact that you’re feeling them is justification enough. I think that’s true, but that doesn’t help me figure out how to react to the feelings. Just know that I am trying, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

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