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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Greif & Glory & Happy Birthday!

If I were to ask each of you who read this blog, all four of you, to fill in the following blank;

Greif is _______; I would get four different responses. I would expect that as we all grieve differently. Grief, in its purest form, is a natural response to loss. The loss can be that of a loved one, a home, a job, ideals of the future, or any other thing. We each place our value in people and things differently. Grief isn't a competition. The loss, whether sudden or expected, can generate feelings of grief that may be overwhelming.

I've had more training than most in understanding grief and loss. Before moving to the South, I planned to start a master's program focused on hospice care. Death and dying are not uncomfortable to me. It is an experience we will all face, an experience that warrants grace and dignity. I wanted to provide care teams, families, and patients with meaningful end-of-life care.

When I began down the end-of-life path, it made sense career-wise. Working in organ donation, I found solace in being a part of a team that made these end-of-life moments compassionate and meaningful regardless of the outcome. I found joy and purpose in these moments. Establishing a "connect to purpose" and finding joy is essential to my professional success. I know full well that every job will have moments when the needs don't align with my convictions; I am okay with that.

I face these needs, complete the task, and hope my convictions hold steady during these moments. Recently I did the dumbest or bravest thing from a professional standpoint. The jury is still out and will likely be for a while. I went into this meeting hoping for the proverbial " a-ha moment" that didn't come. I was searching for closure and a way to accept new trajectories. In all honesty, it wasn't fair to place that much weight on this meeting. Yet, I did, and now I am reaping the benefits of the physiological letdown thanks to my charming anxiety disorder.

There is no closure with grief. Your experiences with grief will define your story and guide your narrative. I understand the importance of reconciling with these feelings and using them to feed your spirit and positively impact the next steps. This hope for resolution, however, brought about greater instability. We are indeed our own worse enemies.

This month celebrates two years of Wayfare Green. I started writing as a therapeutic outlet to heal from my trauma while navigating a pandemic and working in healthcare. Part of me also hoped that in sharing my story, others wouldn't feel so alone in theirs. According to the CDC, 12.2 million Americans contemplated suicide in 2020, 16 million faced depression, and over 40 million have an anxiety disorder. I am not making light of these statistics; these numbers come with consequences.

October will mark three years since my suicide attempt and subsequent depression, PTSD, and anxiety diagnosis. I think over the past three years and what I have had to push through, breathe through, and work through both personally and professionally, I'm not sure if I deserve a medal or another inpatient stay. I'd like to think this is one advantage to being stubborn and the innate ability to persevere.

Professionally speaking, I have always been goal driven and knew 1000% without a doubt what I wanted to be when I grew up turns out that goal is probably not going to happen. The reasoning behind this is multifactorial. This instability and inability to reconcile with this change is overwhelming. I'm starting to think I have run out of steam. Lord knows I'm still stubborn as hell. It would be easy to put up walls and place less heart in my work. Provide an environment where I can't be hurt. I've also been in enough therapy to know that isn't a healthy response.

Thirty-plus years later, I am starting to think that my cousin's life goal of being a cash register at K-mart might have been the key to professional glory. For reference, we were 5 or 6 at the time. My cousin did not grow up to work in retail, or live out her K-mart glory. However, I have never heard of a cash register hurting someone's feelings. Just putting that out there...

Taking time this evening to scroll through my past blogs from the last two years, I have seen this recurrent theme of professional unknown. While I know the reasons behind that unrest, they will remain close to my heart. I am proud of where I am. I am proud of how I continue to grow. I am amazed at the setbacks I have overcome. I'm honestly shocked at what I have managed to accomplish. Perhaps this unintentional benefit of blogging is a public way to keep track of my successes and missteps. Or at least entertain the four of you who actively read this sucker.

So I guess, Happy Birthday to this little blog of mine! Thank you for taking me on this journey.

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