Navigating Grief: Ending a Life to begin Anew (Part 1)

Navigating Grief: Ending a Life to begin Anew (Part 1)

The walls were finally beginning to close in on me. 

2021 was the beginning of the Golden Age of love and life for me. In April of that year, I quit my job, moved to a new place, and my business continued to expand mid pandemic. Throughout that year into 2022, I began exploring my sexuality, falling in love, deeply and intimately connecting with my online community, crafting new product recipes, all while returning to work and finding a new job that felt like a perfect fit for me. 

None of what occurred during that time was the life I imagined for myself. I never really allowed myself to dream of what I wanted for my life. My focus has always been surviving. Being able to stay afloat materially and maintain a stable home/work life. Beyond that, everything else was extra. But at age 32, for the first time I experienced what it was like to THRIVE. While my life was not perfect, many aspects of it felt ideal. It felt like I was utilizing my gifts, doing things that came naturally to me, and exploring what life feels like when you’re in the present moment enjoying it. Subscribing to the belief that if you continue to have faith and stay on the path that feels most supportive, things will ultimately work out.

That time in my life, I found out what I valued most. Having a value system is something else I’d never taken the time to develop or discover. I learned that I value romantic love, sex, health, intimate friendship, financial stability, feeling safe in the world, and a quiet, peaceful home life. 

The energy began to shift mid 2023. I ended my relationship, work began to feel demanding and exhausting, and I was losing the passion I once had for soapmaking/connecting with others. I no longer wanted to be in public or enjoy life outside of home. Very little felt fun for me. The apartment I once adored began to feel like a prison full of old, stagnant energy. The golden hue that once colored my life was beginning to turn grey. Financially I was doing well and prior to ending my relationship, we were planning to spend some time overseas. I didn’t make it to that point though. Insecurities and trauma I’d kept hidden deep in my subconscious began surfacing in my conscious every day life and relationship. I simply couldn’t do it anymore, so I walked away. 

I grieved/grieve the end of that relationship often, as it was monumental for me in ways that I won’t mention here, but it also highlighted that when your values don’t align, no matter how much you want it to work out, the end is always around the corner. 

I spent 2023 mostly isolated, at home, in the depths of my subconscious. I worked to the point of exhaustion, while maintaining my shop on little sleep. My energy was low so I stopped cooking and started spending money on food delivery and began indulging in sweets/overeating. It was the only thing in my life bringing me pleasure. If I felt a wave of sadness, I’d order something. If I felt joy from a win, I’d order something. I ordered something for every meal and every emotion. 1/10 do not recommend. It’s the most expensive, debilitating habit I’d ever developed. It sent both my finances and my health straight to the fucking trash. 


When I wasn’t emotionally eating because I didn’t want to feel my feelings, I was spending an excessive amount of time on the internet, and the artificial collective consciousness began eating away at me. I wasn’t living my life-I was absolutely running from it. Living in a world that doesn’t really exist, and allowing it to influence my perspective, behavior, and beliefs about the world. Also, 1/10 do not recommend. The internet/social media is an illusion. 

It got so bad, I announced on my socials that I would be deleting my business page, as I needed to escape from the hell I’d been perusing online and find my way back to myself and the real world. Convincing yourself that you don’t have addictions because you don’t drink or smoke is a form of delusion. Addiction comes in many forms. Food and doom scrolling were mine. 

Late 2023 I decided to cut my own hours at work. That did help a little. I was on a small team and a lot of the work weight was placed on me. I cut my hours down to 30 a week to ensure I kept my health insurance. So for about 3 months or so, I started to feel a semblance of balance again. In November I did the final restock of the year and took the break I needed. I began to accept that I was avoiding grief. That I needed to allow myself to feel loss and sorrow and all the darker emotions I avoided. I needed to feel the reality of my own mortality. I needed to feel the loss of old relationships, jobs, pets, the choices I made, the loss of my self. I needed to accept that I was becoming a different person, holding on to who I was and not allowing myself to become new through the process of grief. 

I accepted the job I had. The body I had. Where my life was. I accepted the isolation. The dark days and sleepless nights. I accepted the role I played in my relationship. I accepted the death of the person I was and allowed myself to become the person I am. I began the process of body modification, and allowing my creativity to extend to my physical appearance to represent the inner transformation I was undergoing. I was slowly overcoming my fear of being someone others didn’t accept, and began becoming the person I’ve always been, but never allowed myself to be. My worth and value was always perceived through the lense of others, ultimately giving them control of how I felt about myself.

At the helm of accepting all that is and all that was, feeling a renewed sense of freedom, I was laid off in February 2024.

Who’d of thought that acceptance would manifest as a continuation of grief? The feeling of loss had now started expanding outward into my physical reality. Isn’t acceptance supposed to be the final stage of grief? For me, it was really only the beginning of coming to terms with my own self undoing. It was in that moment I learned that grief is not linear. There is no real end to it. Only waves of it. 

(Cont. in Part 2)

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