Day 37 of 100 Days of Grief and Hope
"People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer anymore."
-Thich Nhat Hanh
I'm going to start with today's post with starting with the prompt. Today's prompt is this: Which grief misconception has been most harmful to your grief journey? Consider the ways in which you can help teach others about these destructive misconceptions.
I think the worst misconception that I struggled with during my miscarriages was that it wasn't okay to feel certain ways. At the very beginning I felt bad feeling angry, depressed, and hurt. I think the hardest one was the anger. I think I probably still feel bad about this one. We are taught that anger isn't good and that it's a "bad" feeling. We shouldn’t feel angry at people, we shouldn’t feel anger towards situations because it only hurts us.
I think that anger can be a harmful emotion if we don't dig into it and find what it's hiding. I've heard people say that it's a secondary emotion meaning it comes first to protect you from another emotion that leaves you feeling more vulnerable. But with miscarriage I think it can be all so overwhelming that it's important to let people just feel those emotions. Let them be angry. Let them rage. Usually as they release those emotions it breaks down into what is usually hiding, which tends to be hurt, or confusion. I think what I've learned is the more you try to avoid those emotions the more they stick with you.
I'm not saying that you should release the anger at those around you. In truth it is really hard not to. But finding healthy ways of getting it out. I had a therapist recommend writing a letter to the person or thing your angry at. For me I kicked and screamed as I pulled a bag of wood chips down to my chicken coop. The thing that I'm struggling with now is determining if I'm angry at someone or if I'm avoiding them just because of the hurt. I've been very introspective as I try to work out what my emotions are. And it can be exhausting.
But for me this idea of "bad" emotions complicated my healing process. Emotions aren't bad. It's how you deal with them or work through them that determines if there is any good or bad. Emotions are so tricky and difficult and when you're in the midst of your grief you shouldn't have to worry about controlling them. I feel like if you can just let the emotions come and accept them as part of the journey healing will be lots easier.
Another misconception with grief that I struggled with was that there was a timeline. I gave myself a timeline of when I thought I should have it all together. I'm never going to have it all together. I'm always going to be hurting because of my loss. Somedays it's easier to carry and other days I sit and sob. I think we need to reassure ourselves that it's okay and there will be times where we have to stop and just feel those feelings. No matter if it's the day after or 10 years later. I feel like after you've lost someone from that time on your grief will be with you for the rest of your life. It changes but it will be with you because it's your remembrance of the love that you felt.
Another thing that I've noticed is that I'm worried that I talk too much about my grief. I worry that people are tired of hearing about Hope. But I'm realizing that if there are anyone that feels that way then they aren't really people I should count on as friends. Friends are the people that stick with you through everything and are concerned no matter where you are at. And they care about what you care about. I find myself hesitating to say things about her because I think people might think that I've made her up in my mind because I was only carrying her for two months.
I have many anxieties but I feel like in order for you to heal you have to be true to yourself. Feel your feelings. Don't let others ideas or even what you think their ideas are determine how you grieve. If you have something you want to say, say it. Get it out. Talk about your baby. Talk about how you feel. When someone asks you how you are, be honest. I've found that as I've tried harder to be true to myself my worries and anxieties have lessened and I feel better about where I'm at.
As far as how I feel like I can help people with these misconceptions I'm not sure. For me I feel like talking about my grieving through this blog as well as with others may help in a small way. I always struggle talking about things that have helped me with grief to others who are grieving because what works for me may not work for them. That and I hate telling people what they should do. I guess I'm just hoping that in some way this blog may help others who maybe don't understand what this is like, or that maybe someone who is going through miscarriage or even loss may find something to help them here.