Well, we are six months down in 2017 and let me just say, the New Year’s Promises I had made six months ago, lets check in on them….
So when I wrote my New Years “Promises” (using that instead of resolutions, I thought maybe I could charge forward and actually do them):
- a budget for my family that we are going to stick to
- writing/reading the scripture every day (I have a plan to follow to keep me on track)
- working through a wonderful bible study that Kathleen Duncan and her husband have put together regarding Grief
- Seeing the joy in my life not just my loss
- Live in the today, not in what could have been
No matter what you try to call New Years Resolutions, they are what they are. Something you promise you will do better in the next year, then you turn around and it is mid year with nothing marked off your list.
Per my list above, after months of being deeply depressed to going through therapy I can say that two of the five are slowly beginning to make their way into my life. Seeing the joy in my life not just my loss and living in the today, not in what could have been.
I did participate in the bible study for a portion of it, but was so depressed at one point I stopped participating. Going down hill like I did for the first half of this year, I was at a point in my life that I didn’t care what tomorrow brought and really didn’t care if tomorrow ever came. I was angry, hurt, resentful of others who were happy and had a full family, and didn’t want to get out of my bed much less the house. I would go to work 5 days a week then come home. No extra curricular activities for Krissie or I. I ignored the fact that my 1 year old, full of energy lab needed to be outdoors and running that pent up energy off. That was where I let her down and I see that now that we have a house and backyard (equipped with kiddie pool for play). She is so happy now. She is a totally different dog. She is still a snuggler and loves for you to pet and love on her, but she does love her pool….
Krissie and I would do nothing on the weekends except lay in bed or on the couch watching TV. I hardly ate as I just didn’t have an appetite and to be honest and open didn’t really take good care of myself during this time. No one knew or at least that’s what I thought until my boss said something to me. My family didn’t know because they are all in Texas and I am here in New Orleans (which for a time I was glad because I could be somewhat selfish and no one but me would know). Now, after months of working through the different parts of my grief, taking steps both forward and backward, I can say that I am finding my way out of the fog of losing Big Bubby.
For the other items I haven’t touched this year, I may or may not get to them. I am not beating myself up for not completing everything I set out to accomplish as I have learned, sometimes we put too much on ourselves to achieve and it ends up burning us in the end. Learning this has been a hard sell for me. Learning to lean on others and to talk about what I am feeling is difficult but productive now with the help of therapy. I have learned I don’t have to be everything for everyone all of the time.
So many parents don’t seek help in their time of need because of the stigma it has attached to it. It saddens me to think of all the parents who suffer in silence, as I did for over a year, and are stuck in the fog of loss with no one to help them pull themselves out. It’s a very scary place to be not knowing where you may end up.
We see daily the effects of our country’s inability to recognize the number of mental illness patients who desperately need help both through therapy and through medication, the lack of dollars available to help these people, and the devastating effects it has on those whose loved one suffers.
I only hope that future efforts to help those who need it can be found so that for parents who are not as fortunate as me, where I have insurance that pays for my needs, may be able to get the help they need. Also that the stigma of getting mental help due to a devastating loss as Big Bubby is lifted and accepted.
To the parents out there who know the loss of a child, reach out to someone you can confide in. Don’t stay stuck in the fog. It’s important to get your feeling out in the open to be able to move forward, I am not saying “move on” we all know that won’t happen but to be able to live again and take strides to enjoy what you have today.