It can't be easy being around someone who is dealing with horrible grief, especially if the grief is exaggerated by already existing anxiety and depression. We also can't fake being happy all the time, so there's a fine line between being real (even if it's a deep depressive state) and being accepting of all that has happened. I totally understand the concept of happy attracts happy, and the opposite alike. It's a dark place to be in when you're grieving, but it's also a dark place for anyone trying to help that person whose tears are literally drowning you out of their presence. And if you're the type of person that has broad shoulders and can be there during the times of somebody grieving, hats off to you. Not many are able to do that. We all have our trials and tribulations in life, so the amount of sharing is up to you, and it's up to the person who receives the 'sharing' to take a step back. We can only handle so much, but sometimes, it's nice when someone can lift us up when we're at our lowest points. I would never want to become a burden on anyone. I try to share as little as possible when I'm in someone's company. On my blog -- that's a whole different story. You can just "X" out when you feel like it -- when it gets too much. But right now, it's my time to purge. If you wish to stay, then thank you. Or maybe you can relate and get something out of this. I'm not just crying a river over here, I'm also telling others what helps me feel better -- so it's not all doom and gloom. (I hope.)
Yesterday afternoon, my friend texted me to see if I was okay. I told her I was doing crappy and couldn't shake this feeling of dread. She told me to something that I would've typically rolled my eyes at. She said, "Listen to worship music." I can't tell you how much I detest worship music, because there's really no melody in most of the songs -- it's noise and has no rhythm -- so I thought. When my partner turns in on, I'm like, "Stop! I can't listen to this! It gives me anxiety!" She just looks at me like the devil himself. I was so desperate that I turned it on while doing my errands. I don't know what happened, but it instantly made me feel better. My mood lifted and the entire energy in my home changed from dreadful to peaceful. I do believe that sometimes we're being attacked. God doesn't put the spirit of fear and dread into your heart -- only the devil does that. So when these songs are playing loudly, it drives out the bad energy. I experienced it for myself. I may not like the tunes so much, and perhaps it'll grow on me, but the messages, the calling of Jesus itself is calling the angels in to help with whatever you need. I'm a believer!
Once again (and again and again), I have cut back on the wine. I slept like a baby last night. I think when the alcohol wears off on me, my anxiety comes out tenfold. Since I stopped drinking the wine during the week now, I'm sleeping normally, and get very few myoclonic jerks and no seizures. There has to be something said about that. I'm not quitting my 'grape juice' -- I'm just limiting my intake. I think with everything that has happened in my life recently, I reached for the wine a little more than I should've.
I'm learning the hard way that you're all you got. I'm all I got in this world. I am solely dependent on God alone. Having this sort of mindset is helping me a lot, because things are starting to happen that doesn't make sense. Things are starting to work out better and good things are falling in my lap that I never expected. I'm in a good place, even though the worst thing in the world happened to me. Grieving doesn't have to destroy you. We all have to do it in our lifetime. The only thing you have to focus on is God. Take care of YOU by relying on God. Throw away the word "independent" and be DEPENDENT on God only. Stop yourself when you want to call somebody for help. Go to God first. See how that works out for you instead of relying on a human being to fix all your needs. For me, when I do this -- something falls into place where God gives me the help that I need. It may not be the help that I want -- but it helps me regardless. Sometimes it's even greater than I expected.
With great expectations, comes disappointments when it comes to people. I have learned that not everyone cares about what you are going through. You cannot control that. The only thing you can do is be an example of the conquerer you are. Your struggle as well as your victory will be a testimony. Thank God by praising Him for all He has done for you. I'm in the "reality slap" phase of grief right now. It screams out, "THIS IS LIFE, suck it up or suffer!"
This whole anxiety thing is so incredibly stupid. I mean that in terms of -- look what our minds can do to us... I mean, sometimes I can't even walk out of the door because I'm paralyzed with fear. But I keep in mind that I am safer out in the world than I am in the confines of my own home. Anxiety isn't logical. It's a torturer. My attacks have been quite severe, but I'm a conquerer all because I'm not alone. God is here guiding me step by step. I have never believed so much as I do today.
Some tips on at least feeling a little happier...
- Name at least 5 things you are grateful for. If it exceeds 5, wonderful.
- Cut back on alcohol.
- Make time to sit, pray and meditate every morning or every night. Don't only pray, but listen. Remember, the word "silent" has the same letters as listen.
- Change something around in your house. Rearrange furniture, even if it's temporary.
- If you can cook this, make bone broth. (Recipes found here.) If you can't cook it, find a speciality store that sells it. It's a wonder serum.
- Do something nice for somebody else. Anything.
- Keep a journal of all your feelings, whether on notebook or on your laptop.
- Get out of your head and read a book. Movies and TV shows sometimes aren't helpful enough. Make your brain work for the entertainment.
- Open your doors to friends and family.
- Spend a good amount of time thanking God for all you have, and all He is going to provide.
- Forgive yourself if you have a bad day and end up jumping back into bed. It's OKAY. Just pull it together tomorrow.
Sometimes there are people who want to hear your story, but not out of relating -- more so out of curiosity. I had one reader of mine, we'll call "Jill" email and tell me that she is caring for her mother who was diagnosed with cancer. Right now, her mom is able to do things still as she fights the vicious "C" beast. Jill knows that her mom's days are numbered, only because she is much older and opted out of important surgeries she should've had. My mom did the same thing. She said no to the one surgery that could've saved her life. We respected her wishes and went through the whole ordeal of radiation, chemo, doctor appointments and watched her suffer terribly. Jill fears that this is going to take place soon and is looking at my story as a "future Jill" -- and that's a scary thing. Watching a loved one suffer with cancer is just horrendous. Sometimes I would have to walk out of the room just to compose myself. Other times, my cries were audible from where she was on the other side of the house. I was having anticipatory grief, and Mom heard it. I felt so bad, but it just came out and I didn't realize how much pain I was in, seeing her in so much pain. So Jill is reading my blogs, watching my broadcasts and wondering if and when she is going to be jumping into my shoes. Luckily, I don't only talk about my sadness, but I do tell you what helps me through it. I think that's important when sharing something so traumatic. "How do you get through it?" That's what people want to know.
Again I will say this. People are going to judge you based on how "crazy" you seem by how hard you're grieving. Take it with a grain of salt and please, always consider the source. Sometimes, those kind of people are scared to see something like that, because they're scared they're going to be in the same position. Grieve the way you want to, the way you have to -- there is no wrong or right way to grieve. If you're angry, bring it to God. If you're sad, bring it to God and ask Him to send you someone who can help you. The one thing I can say is, you will definitely realize who is there for you while you're going through such hard times. Count your blessings and throw away the absentee list. That list can be long, unfortunately.
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!