I just stood there staring at all of my choices. There was everything from Chocolate chunk and Cherry Garcia to the many assortments of vegan coconut flavors I have grown to love. There was plain vanilla, always a favorite, and plain chocolate and Neapolitan. Am I the only one who actually loves the strawberry in Neapolitan?
My world stood still as I repeated the names in my head, waiting for one to scream yes, that’s the one that will fix everything but it never came. My body felt numb, my eyes puffy and my heart shattered in a million little pieces. How will I ever put them all back together I wondered? There was a time, years ago, that a pint of cool, creamy ice cream would do the trick, momentarily anyway, and that is what led me to this very place, at this very moment.
I continued scanning the cooler, growing a little panicked that nothing was registering with my need to stuff, to fill the hole that was once my heart. Nothing was jumping out of the grocery store cooler into my little basket. I wanted desperately to return to my old ways of comfort but realized in that moment that I couldn’t. There was no turning back; I have come too far now. I no longer craved that anymore.
What I craved now was new to me but so much power rested in knowing that I couldn’t stuff down this sadness, I had to actually feel it, work my way through it the best way I know how.
I pivoted on my heels and walked away from the comfort I once turned to in times of pain and sorrow and headed straight for the produce section. What I need, more than anything was to feed myself in the only way I know to be comforting now.
I loaded my basket with kale and avocado and humus and carrots and was reminded that this was truly what I was craving. Not to stuff away what I was feeling but to do the very thing I was always too afraid to do; feel and to nourish and nurture myself through this.
My life feels as if it is in a million pieces on the ground right now and I’m not ready to talk openly about why, however, what I’m realizing is how far I have come over the last few years. How I use to head straight to the ice cream isle for some kind of momentary reprieve but now, in this time of sadness I’m also filled with gratitude and hope and knowledge that this too will pass and I will come out ahead. A Stronger, better Amanda.
I no longer want that pint but to remember how this feels so that when I have moved on and it’s all said and done, I will know just how far I have come. I will remember because I've allowed myself to feel all of it.