The other day, I interviewed some women in this community as part of an effort to find ways to better serve.
One question I asked was: How do you fear your close friends and family would react if they knew how hard grief was for you?
They all had a list of answers that really coincided with one another.
The one response that really stood out was: I think they would think "gosh, it's been a while, why can't you just get over it?"
This answer was universal.
From a women who'd lost her husband 7 years ago.
A women who'd lost her sister 3 years ago.
And, woman who'd lost her mother 7 months ago.
It didn't matter how long it'd been. They all felt the same way.
And, if I'm being honest with myself, I often feel the same way too.
So what can you do about it?
Start by giving yourself a little love: What if whenever the thought, I should be over this by now popped up you said, I'm not over it, and that's okay. Take some of the...
If you're grieving, any kind of grief, I can almost guarantee that you've suffered from shoulda-coulda-woulda at some point along your journey.
I'll let you fill in the blanks:
The problem with this, is that it brings you out of the present moment. It brings you into the past and into the future where you are trying to re-write what actually happened. And, while doing that, it often puts your nervous system into a state of fight, flight or freeze - increasing your stress levels and decreasing your body's natural ability to heal.
Disclaimer: If you find yourself in shoulda-coulda-woulda, please know there is nothing wrong with you. This is a perfectly natural part of grieving. I've been there myself many, many times. So please be kind to yourself. Tell yourself that it's okay that...
Since having my baby, I've been living with Postpartum Anxiety which I believe has been exacerbated by my past experience with loss.
It's bad enough that find myself dreaming up all the ways that my baby might die. It's even worse that I have the past experience (and client experience) to tell me that it's actually a real possibility.
It has been perhaps the most challenging time of my life - and that's saying a lot! ;)
On the bright side -as my husband always says, I have the tools to manage my symptoms when they come up and the wisdom to know that just because I have anxiety doesn't mean I can't also have inner peace as it is the dark and the light that make the whole.
Here is one of my favourite tools for managing anxiety:
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