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Fight Like Hell

In the midst of the dense fog that my mind can not escape, I must find the space to acknowledge and accept that the willingness to live is within me as well as the willingness to die.

Then fight like hell to side with the willingness to live.

I am my advocate.

My mental illness is unique to me. My meds is my unique cocktail. It is my duty to ensure I track my meds, emotions, my coping mechanisms, and journal about each day. I need to know exactly what to advocate for when it comes to prescription drugs, my physical health, my mental and emotional health.

I am uncomfortable in admitting I am mentally ill. I am exhausted from questionnaires, medical history forms, psych test, psych evaluations, talking about my emotions, my history.

Weary I am but, as I sat across from my beautiful teenage son yesterday. I listened as he opened up about his feelings to me and I took a mental note, this young man needs his mama more than he even realizes.

Weary I am but, when my toddler runs to me with this unexplainable light. I sweep him into my arms and my soul shines.

Weary I am but, my partner in life, my love, my best friend holds my hand and he takes the weight of much although his exhaustion is visible.

Weary I am but, I feel the energy of my family and friends who have rallied behind me, encouraged me, loved me…I hear those voices and I fight.

Weary I am.

Fight I will.

Hostage

I have read so many books on the power of positivity, I am in FB groups, I have joined challenges, started MLM businesses, blogged, vlogged, posted, deleted, posted, deleted all in effort to stay in the realm of positive energy. Little did I know unrequited emotions were begging for my attention. Negative emotions that were way to powerful even for the power of positivity. Negative emotions unfriended become dark, it’s grief and so much more. I worked really hard for almost 25 years to keep them at bay. Until I didn’t have a choice…

I stood in the shower wanting to die. Not just a passive thought of death but a genuine urge to stop the pain and unburden those closest to me. The crown of my head rested against the cold wet tile, I cried. The pain physically hurt my brain, my neck, my back. I needed to die to make it stop.

It’s a slow fade from “good vibes” to “i want to die”. Much of the closing of 2018 is a blur. It was like for months I was on speed. Starting home projects, unable to finish. Work…a disaster. I am Sales Gal always have been and more or less successful. I had month after month of ZERO productivity. Looking back I would say that I had a threeish month manic episode. I spent thousands of dollars (money we did not have) I have absolutely nothing to show for it. I drank every night (just one or two or until I had a nice buzz). My body needed anything and everything to quench the thirst of the darkness that brewed ahead.

Somewhere around the beginning of December suicidal ideation began. I would sit in the room with my beautiful family and begin to imagine myself not there. They will be better off. Those thoughts would come once or twice a day. Until they were incessant and my good vibes cup was completely empty. I then become a hostage. The darkness that crept in was now nestled in calling my mind home.

Between a friend’s intuition and a loving husband and my inability to:

hide the dark circles,

the pain that crept from the corners of my eyes,

the smile that no longer existed

I was voluntold to “rest and retreat” in the Seay Center…it’s a psych ward y’all. The rest and retreat was the social workers best effort to convince me to enter into the double doors. It’s not a rest and retreat…not at all.

but…

I was able to quickly get a diagnosis and a med cocktail to give my mind and body a break from the hell that my thoughts were putting me through.

I have never been suicidal in my life, I’m not sure what triggered it. I am not even sure why I never followed through on my plan.

Today I am in recovery. I see a Psychiatrist every two weeks. Psychologist three times a week. I am doing an out patient therapy program (DBT) which includes group every Thursday night.

The days are long, the nights are short (thank you Lunesta). My diagnosis: chronic depression with bi-polar tendencies.

I am writing this as part of my recovery. I want to document my journey and hopefully help someone along the way.

Nutrient Dense Grief Journey

Can we all agree grief is not linear, and it’s timeline is infinite.

October 13th is our 9 year anniversary. Not the kind of anniversary that calls for celebration. Nine years ago my daughter died in a tragic accident. She was six months old.

Anniversaries past I have found solace in some type of creative project. This year I have a garage full of unfinished projects, a kitchen baseboard still not painted white to match the rest of the cabinets, a full time job, a toddler and teenager. I just don’t have the bandwidth to start a project. I do know that if I don’t exercise my grief especially during an anniversary, I will suffocate amongst the dense fog that almost always tags along with each passing milestone.

This October, I want to help others who are grieving. I want to help others who know someone who is grieving. This blog is my attempt at putting the past nine years of messy grief into a constructive format.

Let’s get our grief fitness on:

Science says giving your brain new experiences that combines physical senses, with emotional sense will stimulate more connections between different brain areas. This will help your brain naturally produce brain nutrients.  The nutrients we need to have the ability to sit with the relentless pain and then to miraculously pull ourselves out of it to somehow manage our day to day.

Let’s start with three things you can start today that will help trigger your brain to produce a nutrient dense grief journey.

1. You will need a peace space. A small space just for your mind to rest.

I can easily take myself to a white sandy shore. My toes kiss each small wave that kisses the beach. The roar of the ocean drowns out the noise. I can taste the salty air on my lips. I am there.

Everyday for nine years I wake up with her image, sometimes the image is of her smiling face, some days it’s her blue body lying in a baby size casket.

That image can haunt me for minutes, hours, days…when I need an escape I close my eyes and I take my mind, my senses, my body to my peace space and rest my weary mind. Focus on my breath and imagine myself there.

2. Find a Tribe

Grief loneliness is uniquely subjective.  Loneliness is defined by what a person wants in contrast to what they have. In grief we want what we can’t have nor will ever have again. Your emptiness is that part of you that was taken when your beloved died.  The devasting news about death is that you will never fill your beloved’s void.  You have to work slowly, like molasses on a cold day slow, to fill the abyss.

A good starting point is to find your grief tribe.

Sign up for a grief retreat.

Find local events that will help you honor your beloved.

Hang tight to friends who aren’t afraid to do hard things.

Join a Grief FB page and engage. Spill your heart out in a post.

Find a grief mentor.

Blog.

3. Journal

Y’all write that shit down. I mean the good the bad and the ugly. I had like four different journals going that I rotated.

Some examples of my journal

December 16, 2011

I didn’t shower nor do I want to.

August 20, 2012

I won’t repeat the four pages of this entry but y’all I went through the entire book of Psalms and wrote down every time David lamented to the Lord.

I write memories. I write about my faith and my lack off faith. My unwillingness to forgive. I describe smells, dreams, fears, experiences. Some days are empty.

Honor

your

grief.

When you privately honor the good the bad and the ugly grief you give yourself permission. Permission that the world will not allow, a permission that is of the utmost importance.

❤️ Summer Rae