Distorted Reality

mental health


Hello beautiful writing community. I’ve been out of commission for a minute.

My husband’s grandfather, a man who I had the pleasure of getting close to, Pa – passed away July 1st. It was a bittersweet event that will be with me for the rest of my life. It was a blessing and an honor to stand next to him as he took his last breath. He was a beautiful man, and he will be missed. So I’m dedicating this post to him… Pa.

Being a survivor of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, I’ve realized through this struggle with grief, which is very new to me, that I fight with assimilating in order to make everyone around me happy. Along with this realization, I have also discovered that there is absolutely nothing False about any one person’s way of grieving.

When you’re a person who hasn’t experience grief fully, and you’re going through it for the first time, as long as you’re not hurting yourself or others, you don’t have live in a distorted reality. Here are some things I’ve picked up from friends and family:

Truth #1: Grief looks and feels different to everyone… and that’s ok. If it’s crying and rocking back and forth, or screaming and yelling, or like grandma said “I feel like being like Forest Gump… I just wanna run and run.” – it’s all ok. Listen to your body and allow yourself leverage to do what you need to do.

Truth #2: There is no right way to grieve. I know I thought it was all about crying or being sad and depressed. Well, yes, I cried, but I clearly felt that I wasn’t depressed… I was sad. My heart hurt for the man that we lost, and the family that was grieving for him. So, let your emotions go and just be.

Truth #3: A buffer zone was very helpful for me. I went straight from 5 straight days of sadness and suffering to everyday work. It was too much… and that’s ok. I didn’t know it at the time, but I simply just needed someone to tell me “Hey, whatever you need to do to grieve is ok.” And going from that much emotion back to the daily grind was too much. I had to allow myself a buffer. Just going home and getting some extra rest helped immensely.

Truth #4: It’s ok to listen to your feelings. Listening to them doesn’t make you weak. It makes you strong and smart. If you remain open to those feelings, they will guide you through the waves of grief.

Truth #5: Watch out for triggers. They will get you. They got me. But, if you listen to your feelings and get an idea of what might trigger you in the future, you can avoid some of the pain that comes along with them. Triggers don’t necessarily have to exist in the present either, they can be things like holidays or looking through photos, or going somewhere that reminds you of that person.

Truth #6: Grief has an ebb and flow, just as sure as the tide comes in, it will also go out. You’ll have good days and bad days, but soon, with a little hope and courage, you’ll be able to master those waves.

I believe that community helps a great deal too. If you have an questions or comments please share. Chances are if you’re thinking it someone else is too. And if you’ve suffered a loss now or in the past – I want you to know, you’re not alone.



2 thoughts on “Distorted Reality

  1. Great post! This time last year I lost my Grandmother someone who really showed me love and was always there for me. But I was unable to be there for her funeral as I was out of country when it happened. That had me really hurting for awhile. Then I realized how lucky I was to have such a wonderful person in my life and what a big heart she gave me. If I continued to stay sad I would not be able to share that heart with others. The greatest thank you I can give my grandmother is to continue her love through me as she would wish. This has helped me to connect more with others and at the same time feel closer to my grandmother. Interesting how life creates sadness so that we can find the real joys in life. Best wishes, Dave


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