Alex Green

I Hope You Give Yourself Permission To Heal As Long As You Need To

You wake up, wash your face, drink your coffee, and head off to work or to meet your friends or to deal with your responsibilities. Everything feels fine for a while. You’re okay and you’re composed. You’ve managed to take care of yourself and dress well, you’ve maintained your anger and took that shower. You’re following a routine. Life’s good. You’re conquering both external and internal demons.

You realize that for a while you’ve forgotten about those who hurt you. You moved on with your life. You’re past the wounds and thank God you haven’t cried about the same things that used to literally sting and burn your heart. And for a while, you do feel like an unshakable mountain. You feel that no matter how much life tries to chip away bits of your soul, you’re not going to be defeated and you’re going to keep that bright smile of yours and sparkly eyes. You romanticize your melancholy and say, “What can I learn from this?” Your mess becomes your strength. 

But then for no reason, you wake up one day and your heart weeps. You’re walking back home and you feel an indescribable amount of grief rushing over you. Someone says a sentence that triggers your deepest wounds or you are reunited with a long lost friend and you remember how hurtful it was to lose them and you relive the pain all over again. You revisit your grandma’s house after being abroad and miss her presence like crazy, even though you thought you’ve come to terms with her death. And for a while, you wonder if you’ve ever healed, if all this was an illusion or rather denial, like putting sand on a pile of garbage to make it look less awful. You’re ashamed that the pain could feel this fresh after all this time.

But I give myself permission to cry. I will cry until there are no tears left in me. I will cry until I have embraced this beating heart and all its screams for recognition that it hurts and that it still wants to weep. And maybe I’ll cry for one more day or two more years, and maybe there are things that take years of healing or simply memories and stories that get rewritten in your head in ways that trigger different emotions at different periods of your life. 

But I’ve come to realize that as long as I live, I’ll be hurt, and I will deeply love and enjoy moments of pure bliss. But amongst it all, I’ll have to be okay with the unpredictable and dancing waves of emotions that flow through me. One day, I might make sense of it all, but for now, all I can do is give myself permission to cry. All I can do is give myself permission to heal for as long as I need to, over and over again.