Discover more from Body Grief
"Things are getting weird..."
A new author's perspective on the writing process and emotional processing.
“I feel like I’m getting a little weird.”
Almost, what I would assume method acting can feel like at times, my writing process has become all encompassing in ways I did not expect. Unearthing memories both elating and quite confusing or just plain sad, having wild dreams and unapologetically allowing myself to tap into emotions that I haven’t unleashed in a long time. It’s all bringing up a lot, and in that it’s all getting a little weird around here… so as per usual, I am taking you for the ride! This is a part of the Body Grief journey, I’m in it with you.
This entire writing process is new to me! I love writing, I always have, and cognitively I know that writing is cathartic and a huge part of the grieving process…granted I don’t think I was prepared for this level of emotion to unfold as I began writing my book “This is Body Grief,” Coming Spring 2025 Published by Penguin Random House.
Because I talk about my Body Grief on a daily basis on my various social channels and live with chronic illness, chronic pain and physical disability, there was a part of me that thought a lot of the grieving had been complete. Ha!
That is quite literally the antithesis of my entire book! Yet, for some reason my subconscious decided I was the exception to the rule. No, I don’t get a hall pass this time, and I am happy that I don’t because a part of me feels as if I am not only grieving my past self, but I am living out parts of my life that I was never able to have that I always wanted to, or have yet to try.
The transition from being “healthy”, able bodied, hyper independent, and very active, to being chronically ill, disabled, unable to drive, using mobility aids, and debilitated by pain most days feels almost impossible to describe. Maybe one day I will be able to put it into the written word, or maybe this newsletter will accumulate to that, as that is what my Body Grief is right? The loss of my independence, my ability, my past life. You would think it was the big things, like getting my wheelchair, or my hysterectomy, or shaving the back of my head for brain surgeries, or diagnosis after diagnosis, but it is always the small things that break my heart all over again.
The ability to “simply” roll over and snuggle into my husband’s arms on a Sunday morning, and yet everytime I used to do that I would complain about his bad breath. I miss that.
To be able to just “go for a walk” when I’m feeling restless. To simply put on shoes, grab sunglasses, and go for a walk. That simple.
You know what I really miss? Being spontaneous, I miss just picking up and going somewhere….that shit doesn’t happen anymore. It is a whole process with mobility aids, a service dog, pain, accessibility, etc.
Right now daily pain is still a reality, in that I am doing my best to run my non profit The AND Initiative, run my business Recovery Love and Care and contracted work through Eating Recovery Center, while writing my book, This is Body Grief, and creating content for This is Body Grief, all while in varying levels of pain. On my good days I pace my day with pain meds, breath work, mobility aids, rest and a much emptier calendar than I would like. So needless to say, we are a tired household, we are doing our best.
Phew, that felt good to say.
We are doing our best. Try saying that outloud, it feels good. Because it is true. Our best looks different every single day, and right now, this is what it looks like.
One night this week after an emotional day, my husband came home from a grueling 12 hour day on his feet, working back to back shifts, to me blasting a TikTok live stream, on the surround speakers, of the Taylor Swift Era’s tour.
Let’s not forget, I am in full blown surgical menopause, so hot flashes are kicking into high gear since we are 9 weeks post op total hysterectomy.
let’s set the scene:
I was pantsless, in a big tshirt, bun on top of my head (with my baby rat tail from my brain surgery last year just tickling the nape of my neck), pretty fucking high from the joint I just smoked on our porch to manage my pain, and just doing my best to live my best life whilst jamming alongside 70,000 strangers screaming slurred lyrics to Taylor’s surprise song of that night, “Speak Now”.
In that moment , that WAS my best, pantsless and all. My inner child was so happy, little Jayne needed that!
That’s when I realized despite all of the shit we have been through the past 4.5 years, and the suffocating amount of Body Grief I have lived with, THIS is still the same.
If there was digital proof of pre teen Jayne, (I am so thankful there is not), I am 100% positive we would find a moment in time with 11 year old Jayne, in her undies, singing in her bedroom at the top of her lungs, to Taylor Swift or more likely Britney Spears, high on life. So much is different now, yet my soul will never change, my spirit will never fade. I don’t care if it’s corny, because it’s my truth. It’s what I can hold onto when my body is fighting for it’s life.
My spirit hasn’t died. My joy is still here. She is just a bit weird.
In my book I talk about protected grief, and the layers of privilege within that when it comes to Body Grief. I am the perfect example of that….I do not discount my privilege here. I hope that part of my purpose within my privilege is to help people grieve in a way that is adaptive to them and their environment so that they can thrive and find that joy too.
That is what is so beautiful about this writing process, my inner child is going THROUGH IT as I write This is Body Grief. I am revisiting everything I once had, everything my body used to be able to do, everything my body used to experience, look like, be. She was so innocent, so happy, so pain free. I am reliving trauma, I am extra fragile these days, and yet so resilient. Soft AND strong.
Here I am on my birthday weekend, writing up a storm, onto chapter 3 of my book. I’ll be 32 on Tuesday, this past Monday was Sean and my 2 year wedding anniversary, in a week Sean and I will have been together for 10 years, and I’m just doing everything I can to feel all the feelings, to just let it flow. And it’s getting a bit weird, I’m getting weird.
We have set up an outdoor office to seperate my writing space, I am currently in a Taylor Swift Haze, which is also bringing up many memories from childhood seeing that I have been listening to her music since I was 11! I remember going to a concert of hers at a county fair and being one of twenty people in the audience!
It all feels so synchronous to me. My birth month, I am birthing my book about my Body Grief, nurturing my inner child in my safe little cottage of a home that I have “built” with my husband who has lived this with me, all while listening to an artist who is currently on tour and was relevant during so much of my memories, both good and bad. As I birth this book, my book doula just released Women Without Kids, the month I had my total Hysterectomy. There are so many small and large signs that I am in my purpose. I hope that means that this purpose will reach as many as possible and help any and all humans working through their own Body Grief.
As I write my book, This is Body Grief, the emotions just bubble up, I cry, I laugh, I cry some more. As I allow myself to weep without judgment and listen and sing to T-swift without restraint more and more memories of Body Grief come to me. It feels almost as a form of self EMDR or trauma therapy. It’s as if these memories come to me out of the blue, uninvited at times, yet I welcome them with open arms.
I remember to hydrate, stretch, eat, and our lush backyard speaks to me as well. There is a family of raccoons in the tree right across from my desk. I have named one of them Miko, he is a goofy little guy, he loves to stretch and hang upside down from his cavern. So when I break from writing, I find myself hanging out with Miko, chilling with my little furry family, twirling around in my wheelchair without a care in the world. I think this is a good life. It appears weird to others. But for someone who can no longer drive, and lives with chronic illness, while in the process of birthing this book, it makes sense.
It’s been hours of writing, crying, signing, listening to the same songs, and talking to strange animals in my backyard.
That is weird.
I’m here for it.
Taylor is in her Era’s Era, I am in my Body Grief/Honoring my Inner Child Era/Unleashing My Weird Era…and little Jayne was a weird kid. She was a really fun kid with a huge imagination, and a major appetite for life, so it all makes sense in the end.
Let’s get weird!