Is it possible that the overwhelming emotion felt whilst grieving could be addictive?
This is a question that simultaneously intrigues and disgusts me.Intriguing because it is just not put out there as a discussion piece and disgusting in that I would dare interfere with a process so personal.
We are aware of the power of love, the need for love and the love, love,love. It is written about and songs tell us of how people do sometimes astonishing things to confirm their love to another.
Grief is equally written about and depicted in song lyrics. Some of the best writings ever made are based on the loss of another and the pain of dealing with that loss.
But there is a difference.
An addiction to love is one thing, but what of an addiction to grief?
Grief is a powerful emotion drawing immense feelings from within and having physical consequences. It is a given that love runs a parallel course with grief but certain factors come into play that distinguish each of these.
On one hand, love is emotionally charged with the ultimate goal of some requite. The emotion surrounding grief however is an outpouring and something akin to evacuating the body.
These simplistic descriptions of the two emotions belie their importance and raw influence on our spirit and physical being, but none-the-less go some way to identify just what roll they play.
My interest here is not to necessarily discuss the meaning of both love and grief, that I believe has been well covered over the course of many hundreds of years, but to explore that raw nakedness grief exposes.
The feeling that life will never be the same and the deep sorrow engulfing our every thought and deed.
I am not a Shakespeare student, but I believe in describing grief he said ‘ Parting is such sweet sorrow’ at least that is how I’m interpreting it. This, as concise as it be, is the elephant in the room, so to speak. There is nothing so strong as grief. Nothing that charges one with so much emotion and yet we sometimes deny its beauty and importance, when really it could be celebrated as feeling life at its very core.
Each of us would have experienced grief of some kind. It is to one and not to another, so it is personal and authentic. I have had personal grief and this has come in many forms not least of all being the loss of a very close friend. But I have experienced grief also for my dog and the loss of the baby years of my now grown son. For the school years that brought so much joy and freedom. For so many things.
The role grief plays can be over-looked in the scheme of things. ‘ Time to move on’, ‘ Better to be busy’, ‘ Such a sad thing but things will get better’, all very helpful and generous phrases and offered up with much hope and prayer, but ultimately robbing us of the true experience of grief.
What has happened to cause a grieving situation, will not necessarily change and so our body and mind take charge of the moment, shielding and questioning us.
I believe that it may be possible to be addicted to grief. Addicted in the sense that once experienced, never forgotten and having profound connotations on the inability to feel if not under its power. Why not? It happens with love, people become addicted to love and feel the need to fall in love and feel love. An addiction is something done with little or no control over the action. A need to score before a calmness or high, re-establishes the status quo and things can proceed.
My character is not of an addictive type, yet I fall in love with so many things and do so heavily. My love for people, landscape, nature, words and art are equally driving forces within me and sometimes, unless I get a fix of them, my world slows until I do. In feeling love so strongly, grief is also profound and, dare I say addictive. I don’t wish for grief but I understand how vital it is as a resource to re-affirming life and it’s beauty. I live in trepidation of the next event that will test me, but I know that it is what makes life so fulfilling.