Don’t keep your pain a secret. From what I have learned by listening to others, it is better to get your pain out into the open. Since Saturday I have received many private messages and emails from women telling me about their miscarriages. Most of them have never told anyone, beyond their closest friends and family members, about their experience. They keep their pain a secret and suffer silently. Many of these women said they wished they had told people about what had happened to them. They said it was difficult to hide their sadness.
I created this painting using acrylic paint, sharpie markers, found papers, and a slice from a book. I didn’t have a plan when I started. I just added some paint and sprayed it with water so it streaked and ran. Once that dried I decided to paint a face. Then I went looking for papers.
I found this book “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff For Teens” in a thrift store. It was damaged and in the “free” bin so I picked it up. It has much better advice than the regular “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” series. It’s got practical suggestions for real situations and offers some helpful coping tools too. If the book hadn’t been so damaged I probably would have slid it onto the bookshelf in the hopes that Tiny-Small discovered it one day.
Instead, it’s been feeding my mixed media ideas and often when I flip through the pages I find the perfect words to accompany one of my pieces. That’s what happened last night: Don’t keep your pain a secret. I couldn’t have bumped into a better sentence if I tried.
Of course, some things are not really “small stuff” and even the small stuff can feel really big at times. I do know talking about it with caring people is really helpful. If you are in pain for any reason right now, don’t keep it a secret. Find someone to share it with and let go of pretending everything is fine. Pretending not to be sad is too big a burden to bear.
Grief and loss are nothing to be ashamed over. It’s part of life. Pretending otherwise just causes more pain and secrets often do too. If you can’t talk to someone, write. If you can’t write, paint.
Tell your story in whatever language you can. It helps. I promise.