Day 49 of 100 Days of Grief and Hope

"Obstacles can't stop you.  Problems can't stop you.  Most of all, other people can't stop you.  Only you can stop you."
-J. Gitomer


I really liked the quote above.  If you think about it most times it's you who gets in your own way of completing or finishing things that are important to you.  This blog has been difficult for me.  Ever since I got feedback about it from different people I feel like I can't be 100% honest about my feelings and thoughts.  I think about every word and every sentence that I put down on this screen because I'm now worried how it will be perceived.  And it's exhausting.  So instead of working through that I've avoided this blog.  Which has made it harder for me to work through my feelings lately and it makes it harder for me to get through the days.  But it's me who is the one that's really stopping me.  I can choose not to let others words effect my writing.   But I guess I'm just not sure how.  How do you ignore criticism of something so deeply personal?

The funny thing is that I've really only had two instances where people have questioned my writing but I've had dozens of people say how much they appreciated or liked it.  How funny it is that my mind chooses to lock onto those and not the kind words.  Maybe that's how you get past the criticism, you instead focus your mind on the words of encouragement.  Which for those who have encouraged me and supported me through this journey I am deeply grateful for.  

Today's post is about knowing your warning signs.  I really think this could be for anyone.  Not those that just go through hard things or have miscarried or lost a child.  As I work through my feelings and try to heal I've found how healthy it is to spend time each day being introspective.  It's funny that as I write that I feel guilty because in my mind it says that being introspective is being selfish.  I don't believe taking the time to check in on your own well being is selfish.  I think it's healthy.  And I think it helps you become a better person.  It's helped me fix relationships, it's helped me work through feelings that don't quite make sense.  It's helped me understand what I can and can't control.  

Isn't it funny though that in a way you're getting to know yourself day by day?  Finding knew things about why you do things and what motivates you?  What do you do when you're sad?  What do you do when you're angry?  What do you do when you're back is a wall?  I think in looking at these questions you'll find ways to improve and change.  In looking at these questions it also protects you.  

I have a tendency toward depression.  When things are hard my mind tends to go dark pretty quickly.  Or even in general.  I'm not sure why it does that but I know that it's something that I battle.  I also know that my anxiety gets out of control quickly which can throw me into a depression.  If I don't keep a close eye on my feelings and reactions to things I can end up in a dark scary place easily.  And I know that when I become exhausted it doesn't take much to get there either.  

I believe the loss of a loved one can push anyone to a dark place.  Loss changes you.  Even if you didn't struggle with depression or anxiety I believe that it can bring you lower than you've been before.  I know it did for me.  In my support groups I remember the moderator saying that it's important to grieve and mourn but it's also important to know when that grief has turned into depression.  She said that it was three years after her she lost her child that she was still not okay and had realized she was deeply depressed.  

For me it can be really hard to understand if I'm grieving or I'm depressed.  I have bad days.  I have bad weeks and sometimes it goes beyond weeks.  Most often I come out on the other side but sometimes I need help getting out.  I've been blessed to have a husband that is aware of me and my moods and helps me work through them.  But again it's hard to find that line of grief and depression.  

In the book it says that it's understandable that when you're going through this incredibly hard time you fall back on self destructive behaviors and then it asks, what are yours?

For me I know that when things get hard my sleeping its fitful and not restful.  I tend to either stop eating or eat all the things.  I pull away from those I love.  I come up with reasons in my head of why they don't want to be with me or why they shouldn't be with me.  I tend to disengage.  I find things to numb the pain.  It can be social media.  It can be movies.  It can be books.  I just find ways to avoid life.  I either don't exercise or I exercise to the extent that it causes me pain.  I also avoid any help from others.  

I love that in the books it says, "seeing a grief counselor is probably a good idea if you had a history of substance abuse, depression, or anxiety prior to the miscarriage."  Loss changes you.  I know I've said it already but it just keeps coming into my mind.  If you've never dealt with it before it can be very scary and not knowing how to work through it can lead you down paths to unhealthy habits.  I've even felt that I have all the tools because of all the therapy I've been in but I don't have the tools to help me with loss.  I think those are a separate type of tools.  As I write this I wonder if I should again try and find a counselor that will fit my needs.  I feel like I've made it through some pretty difficult things and I feel like I'm still healing but there are things that I'm stuck on and I'm not sure how to work through.  And because depression and anxiety are always just waiting to take control of me when I let my guard down I feel like it would any extra help is a good idea.  

Today's prompt is this:  Acknowledging to ourselves that we have a problem may come only after we have started on a downward spiral emotionally or behaviorally.  If someone suggests that you need help outside of your family and friendship circle, consider yourself lucky to be so well-loved and ask them to help you find someone to talk with.  

I know when I lost Hope the grief was thick but the depression gripped me in a matter of days and it pulled me down to the darkest place I've ever been.  There were warning signs but in my grief it's hard to see.  I pulled away from help.  I stopped talking.  My thoughts were all dark and self destructive.  But in grief most of my thoughts were dark.  In grief I didn't want to be around others.  In my grief I wanted to be alone.  Can you see how confusing it can be to find the depression/grief?  And even now.  There are days that are so hard.  Days that the heaviness pulls me down.  I know how quickly my depression can come too so I always wonder is today grief or is this a start of a downward spiral?  The time this blog has given me to think about where I really am has helped.  Allowing myself the time to talk through my feelings helps keep me from spiraling.  I question where I am and what I'm doing.  To some that may seem excessive but to me it's helpful to dissect my feelings and understand why I'm feeling that way and if it's something I need address.  I think it's in those moments where I stop talking, stop tackling the thoughts and feelings I need to be worried.  

For that reason I'm going to set a goal to be more committed to writing here.  The last couple days I've avoided this blog and I think that could be a warning sign.  I'm not taking the time to talk.  I'm avoiding it.  Which means there is something I need to work on to keep myself from spiraling.




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