Unfortunately we are not dealt a life with no pain. We will experience several losses throughout our lives and in those losses, a chance for positivity and personal healing.
I have learned so much over the last four years. How to deal with loss, cope with immense grief and how to see the light at the end of the tunnel, when you really just want to crawl in a hole. I think a lot of people don’t come out and talk about their feelings because of the sadness associated with them, however being the over-sharer that I am, I have decided to share what I learned throughout my journey the last four years.
- Everyone grieves differently, but we all go through waves (big waves) of emotion. When first experiencing serious grief around two years ago after my father passed away from brain cancer, I thought it was a cycle. Phase one being shock. I thought, “Ok I just need to go through each phase and with time I will feel better.” I quickly learned I was so wrong and we actually experience ups and downs of emotion, like waves, back and forth from one phase to another; shock, grief, feeling better, grief, etc. Learning grief wasn’t a cyclical experience helped me realize what I am feeling is totally normal and helped get me through the grieving process without questioning why I was feeling a certain way.
- To quote one of my ALL TIME favorites, Sex and the City, “Will I ever laugh again?” “Yes, when something is really, really funny.” It took a while for me to truly feel like myself again, but when I did finally laugh, I laughed until I cried. Oh how laughter soothes the soul!
- Personal goals. Wait, my OWN goals? Yes, those goals! Sometimes we get so lost in emotions, relationships, life in general, that we forget that little list in the back of our minds. Going through a rough patch is a great time to pull that list out and conquer the world! Think about yourself, your life goals, things you have always wanted to achieve and do them. Not only is working hard an amazing distraction, it is so very rewarding. Feeling accomplished is extremely important for the healing process to regain personal strength.
- Night time is the absolute worst. I experienced anxiety and insomnia so bad to the point where I would go days without shutting my eyes. Fortunately, I have so many loved ones in my life I could talk too, especially my mom. There were many late nights I would call her and I felt so much better knowing she understood everything I was experiencing. Reading was one of the only tasks I could do that would relax me enough to where I could fall asleep. I highly recommend staying off the phone as much as possible and avoiding the TV when you are having trouble sleeping. Pulling out a book and reading with soft lighting is a great way to relax the mind and body to achieve sleep. One of my favorite reads are the small Guideposts magazines. The articles are light-hearted and really put the mind at ease.
- Last but most important to me, I experienced great love that some people may never have. I cannot even begin to count the amount of good times in my life, they greatly outweigh the bad. I am blessed to wake up happy and remember the good times, rather than resonate with the bad. It can be hard to get passed the cloudy feelings that come with heartbreaks, but once you do, you are able to reflect on all of the good and pull positivity from those moments. I truly believe if we are loved by another, they don’t want us to be sad, depressed or unmotivated. They know in their hearts how much we love and miss them, and that’s all that matters. It is up to us to live a full life in honor of our loved ones and the time we are so blessed to still have here on this Earth.
Thinking about the ups and downs in my life I can’t help but smile because, thanks to this journey, I am the strong, positive person that I am today. All of the hard times have lead to personal healing and so much appreciation for life. Also a huge shoutout to my Mom because she hears it all, always has the best advice and is wise beyond her years. I love you, Mom!
If anyone is interested in some good book suggestions, or if you have something special to share with me, please post in the comments below.