So the huge loss is behind you, some more time has passed, and you have done all that you can to accept it, to work through it, the grief triggers are lessening, and yet….
And yet the reality for those who perhaps find themselves living alone for the first time in a very long time, especially through the ongoing pandemic, where so much more has changed, remains immensely challenging at times. Really challenging. Every day you wake up, get up, either plan or go to your work, or if retired wonder how to fill your time with so many previous meet-ups and regular events cancelled.
Challenges are always opportunities and yet the reality of having no one to talk to at home, discounting zoom, of having no one to share the responsibilities and angst when trauma strikes other family members, of having no one to bounce ideas and reactions off except yourself, about anything, can be quite startling and that can produce yet another pain point, a low grade chronic pain, which is both debilitating and highlights the losses even more.
If you also add a relocation into the mix, which circumstances sometimes dictate, the reality after all the planning, moving and settling in takes a while to filter through to your current day to day life. There’s only you to make all the decisions, manage the finances, and put the bins out.
When this absolute realisation about your situation finally hits you, it’s so strong it stops you in your tracks, and you probably have a week or two, or even a month or two, where you don’t do much, apart from any required work. Watching a few box sets helps, perhaps some chocolate and wine, and the shopping, meal planning and exercise becomes erratic, and understandably your sleep patterns alter too.
And yet you know you’re a survivor and thriver and you got this far, so you take a few deep breaths, finally start the meditations and relaxation exercises you were previously given and you’ve been putting off forever and you start over, again.
Starting again with the strength and the knowledge of how resilient you really are. Making new plans, now the restrictions are easing, to seek out the company of others which you need. Finding help and/or support if you can for any major sticking points in your life either by joining a community of like minded people, and/or outsourcing a task. Putting things in the diary to look forward to, and actually writing them down.
Starting to exercise more, because we all feel better after exercise, the science proves it, and returning to more organised meal planning because both your body and your purse benefits. What you eat starts with what you buy, so it’s maybe time to stop buying chocolate and reduce the alcohol purchases because you finally noticed that too many suppers of red wine and chocolate is not actually sustainable.
Being able to look down at your life, as an observer is a useful skill, it’s never completely objective but it’s a great start to the future, your future. And yet on its own it may not be enough, it may now be time to share your experiences with others, to reach out for help which is why we have the Grief Tree Community.
Being present in the present is so important to our wellbeing. Take a deep breath in and breathe out slowly. What do you notice in your body? Is there pain or tension? Repeat the breath and what do you notice in your feelings, what are you actually feeling? Repeat once more and notice your thoughts, what are you thinking, and more importantly is it true? Be honest, be real and be kind to yourself, it’s ok to feel like this, it’s all normal after what you’ve experienced, and it won’t always be like this.
When you’ve done this little exercise come and join us here in our Community and tell us about it, it’s free to join and Sasha Holyoake and Sarah Pym are both here and happy to help and we’ve been where you are now.