Going from a garbage person to a compost person

Marjory the Trash Heap

Beware over extended metaphor ahead.

Johnathan and I often joke about being garbage people. Usually it's what we say when we can't explain to the other person why we did something or why something went wrong or why we messed something up. 

"...because I'm a garbage person from Trash Island."

It's just something we say.

The death of my Oma knocked me on my ass. Grief is a weird thing and it manifests itself in very weird ways. I have found this particular grief journey rough. I think it has a lot to do with me living overseas and going home for the funeral. I am so happy I went. But everything around me going home just wiped me out. I'm a big believer in the Spoon Theory and let's just say, the cutlery draw has been empty. 

Making the decision to go back to Canada. Experiencing the funeral and all that comes with it. Being there to be a helper to my family while we all try to get through some really intense days. Doing this all while jetlagged and not wanting to be a burden and then getting back on a plane not that long after you arrived and then landing back in your life in Switzerland where life had gone on as if nothing was happening is a bit of a brain scrambler. 

The safety net of your family who are all experiencing this mutual loss is gone. You're 7000 km's away from the people who will get it. Who get you. The people who will understand why you randomly cry when you see a pretty flower. This isn't to say that our friends here haven't been amazing. They have been. But I wanted my family. 

I felt like garbage so I treated myself that way. 

I was a garbage person.

Ambitious Tatiana thought she could make Garbage Tatiana feel better. Ambitious Tatiana thought she could distract Garbage Tatiana. Everyone says you should keep busy when you're grieving. I have learned for me, that's the worst idea ever in life. If that works for you in your grief journey, cool. But for me it makes everything worse, not better. It feeds Garbage Tatiana. It gives me a way to not deal with anything and just focus on things that in no way help me or take care of myself.

So I just stopped. 


I stopped caring about things in general. 

I stopped following the plan my nutritionist laid out for me.

I stopped wanting to do stuff. 

I just stopped. 

And I didn't know what to do.

Things were dark. I was awful. 

I was lost on my grief journey.

Then something started happening. I started acknowledging how bad I was feeling. How much my heart hurt and how much stuff that surrounded the funeral and me going to Canada was weighing on me. Things stopped being so dark.

I knew I needed to do things to make myself feel better but I needed Ambitious Tatiana take a hike. I needed to figure out how to take all the garbage I was carrying around with me and turn it into things that made me feel better. I needed to turn garbage feelings and emotions into something. 

I needed to be a compost person. 

So I started small. I started doing 1 thing around the apartment that was bothering me. Then I started to get back into routine. One thing at a time. I added 1 thing everyday from the routine I had before my Oma passed. Then I started doing things for me. Or as someone I met recently said, "do something for your soul." I've started embroidering. I've been cross stitching. I went back to knitting. I'm learning how to sew. I'm cooking again. I'm writing again. I'm creating. 

I'm creating through my grief. But I'm not going to be hard on myself if I just don't have the emotional or mental capacity to do something. I will do what I can and try my best and if at first I don't succeed, I'll try again tomorrow. If I don't have the energy to do something I'm not going to force myself. I will do what I can every day to feel a little bit better. And every day it feels a little better and I can do a few more things. 

I'm a compost person just trying to make garbage island a better place.