How feeling worse can mean your making progress on your grief journey.
I wanted to take some time to talk through how much I've been struggling the last few weeks, but, also how after a chat with my counsellor, I'm actually starting to see that pain as progress.
On Friday last week it had been 6 months since Lauren died and the last few weeks have been the biggest struggle for me since the week she left us. I've felt lonelier, and its a loneliness that can't be cured by company, I've felt exhausted and it doesn't seem to be fixed by any amount of rest and every day has felt like a battle just to try and get through.
It makes sense that I'd feel like this, given that in the initial stages of grief and bereavement you just go in to survival mode, I had a tonne of practical things to sort out, I needed to pull it together for Molly and with all of the distractions I was putting in place to run away and numb how I was feeling, plus, Christmas and Molly's birthday, this is the first time I've allowed these feelings to happen and that's where I'm seeing the pain as progress.
Allowing these feelings to happen is excruciating and even though I didn't think it was possible I'm missing Lauren more now than ever. We were very much ying and yang, she was my balance and I was hers, so much of my life feels out of balance now. Every decision I make is filled with self doubt, whereas I'd have had her to talk things through with, parenting alone is tough and I'd have had her to share the load with, even relaxing isn't possible anymore because she'd be the one I'd relax with.
But with all that said and as hard as it is, during the earlier times when I was trying to numb the feelings, it led to me suffering with anxiety attacks, chest and arm pains and actually had me worrying that I was having a heart attack. So in a way your body keeps the score and no matter how hard you try to escape the way you feel, you're body will still be feeling the pain and reminding you that you need to deal with it.
Life as a young widow isn't easy, life as a solo parent isn't easy and actually there isn't an aspect of my life that isn't made harder by losing my soul mate. It also hasn't been easy to unlearn 32 years of learned behaviours about wearing a brave face and keeping on no matter the circumstance and I am so stereotypically male from that perspective. But I'm learning to share more, I'm learning to allow myself to feel the feelings, I'm learning to find ways to concentrate on self-care and as a result the anxiety attacks and chest pains have almost stopped.
So, although I'm really going through it at the moment, I'm also able to see this as a positive step forward in my personal growth and am able to recognise that this pain is actually progress.
Whenever I find a song that feels relevant I like to add it to the blog, and I stumbled across this one this morning. I'd asked Alexa to play The Tony Rich Project, thinking it would play 'Nobody Knows' and the first one it played was this, I'd never heard it and it was really speaking to me this morning.
Thanks for reading and being a part of our journey!