I have sat in this subject for almost a year. After last year I finally made some drastic changes in my life as I began to realize more and more this insane reality that what I was going through, was never going away. What I had been through was forever a part of me for the rest of my days here on earth. To everyone else this may seem like something simple to accept. You may even know me or follow me here and think that I had already accepted that, and I was managing just fine.
To be honest, I was not managing fine. Well, some days were better than others but something needed to change in order for this to work for forever. It’s hard to describe grief. For those of us who have truly walked something so earth shattering and crushing, even we can’t say exactly what it is like all the time. Mainly because it changes moment to moment, but also, it's so much. It’s so heavy. It’s so… everything.
In the last year I became extremely anxious in social interactions. I became paranoid and overly concerned with minor details. I felt like I was always looking over my shoulder. I wouldn’t leave the house as much as I had before unless I had Atom with me. HHH events were debilitating for days after they would end. I would be so exhausted from 2 or 3 hours in large groups. I would become sick to my stomach at the thought of things I used to love. I was losing my mind almost every day and I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t pray my way out of any of it and I hurt. I was hurting others by becoming someone different. They didn’t understand why I was the way I was. I was forgetful and lost. Believing everyone was judging me. The pity some felt for me made me uncomfortable to an extent that I feared if I was even in the presence of anyone, they were feeling sorry for me. New relationships. Oh, my goodness, new relationships. This is where I broke….
Trying to form new relationships in grief is excruciating. Forming this new life with out a large piece of me being present was like a knife to the heart. I began some new relationships with friends and immediately pulled away. I couldn’t take it all. But yet, for most these were simple tasks. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just get past all these emotions? Why couldn’t I fix it?
Because I am human. That is the simple answer for the defeat we feel. There is no big secret here that folks are holding out on us. The answer isn’t complex and hard to find. We make it harder by not realizing that these huge things we go through on this earth are just too much sometimes. And we do have choices. Maybe a mother who lost their child will change her diet or work out, maybe another mom will go to therapy, maybe a mom will take medications or maybe a mother will do all of the above. There are ways to help ourselves, when we realize we are human.
About a month and a half ago I made the call to my doctor. A call that as the phone was ringing, I felt like a failure and that grief had won and I was a loser. I hit so low; I wouldn’t be able to bring myself out of it alone. There was no food, mileage I could run, essential oil, or book that was going to help me at that time. And I became so scared that this would never subside. With the reassurance of the most amazing man I know, my husband, he stood near as I called the doctor and took my first step at helping myself… He encouraged me to do what I needed to do but assured me that he supported whatever that was.
I was able to be seen quickly and I have successfully been on an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication for the last 6 weeks.
My life has changed. In a way I never thought possible. I have a calming side of me now that has offered my mind to stay focused on my faith and spend more time in my relationship with God. My temper does not alter because of my circumstances, and what I deal with everyday in grief does not weigh so heavy on me anymore. I am able to work myself through so much more than I ever have. I have not lost. I am winning because I took that step.
I am still me. I still cry. I still feel it all. But the processing in my brain and in my heart is different now. The anxiety of feeling lost and never returning has diminished and now instead, I feel peace that there will always be a way. The ups and downs aren’t so drastic and they aren’t so debilitating. I am trying to put it all in words the best I can, because I wish it had been spelled out for me like this a long time ago.
I sat in believing medications were a crutch. That I would be high all the time and not myself. I also didn’t believe they could offer me anything for what I have been through. And worst of all, I believed that what I was feeling I deserved. My son died. Why did I deserve to feel any peace, even a moment of it? This was my punishment. A life of feeling immense pain and suffering and letting it ruin everything good in my life.
No one deserves that. And as much as I have wanted to keep this a secret from so many people, I have felt more that THIS needs to be discussed. There NEEDS to be open communication on this. Not to judge one another or to push this on anyone but to know we all have options. We all have things we are not educated on in even the slightest and hearing people’s stories, that gives us knowledge. And knowledge is power.
How you tend to your grief is never something I will judge you on. But if you ever need to discuss medications or faith or really anything regarding grief with someone, I am a safe place.