Grief can mean a lot of things.
When someone says grief, you think of losing a loved one. You think of widows in black veils, or orphans with tears streaming down their tiny faces.
But grief exists in many forms.
You can grieve for the place you called home. You can grieve for your childhood. You can grieve for simpler times.
I grieve for all of these things, but none so much as I grieve for the person I feel I could have been.
I grieve for a girl who stayed in school. She graduated in a subject she was passionate about and she found an entry level job that maybe wasn’t perfect but paid the bills and gave her a sense of purpose.
This girl got a car, and an apartment. She stayed in contact with friends from school, and made new ones through work and hobbies. On weekends they would get together and go out somewhere fun, and on some weeknights her closest friends would come share a bottle of wine and gossip over a dramady playing in the background.
This girl had a future. She had a degree, her own transportation, a roof over her head that she could call her own.
This girl had a life to be proud of.
This girl didn’t struggle to pay even a cell phone bill. She didn’t get rides to work from her mom.
She didn’t take a handful of pills in the morning and a handful at night, just to continue to behave relatively normal. She didn’t see a therapist once a week and a psychiatrist once a month.
She didn’t suck her parents dry like a leech, eating their food, ruling over their couch, costing them a fortune in medical bills on a nearly daily basis.
This girl could have been me. Without bipolar, without anxiety, without ADD, I could have been her.
It’s that girl that I grieve. I grieve my lost chances, crushed dreams, broken heart.
I resent my inability to be the girl I want to be.
I have grieved for this girl for years now. I have tried to pass through it, traverse the five steps, but somehow I always fall back down the ladder and land on the rungs of anger, or depression.
I hope that some day I will accept that I am not that girl, will never be that girl. Hopefully one day I will let go of her hand, watch her fade away, and then I will be able to learn to be happy with the girl I am now.